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Bulletstorm Review

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Game: Bulletstorm

Console: Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC

Companies: EPIC Games, People Can Fly and Electronic Arts

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“Kill With Skill”

The signature quote for the game, Bulletstorm, made by EPIC Games (The guys behind the massively popular series, Gears of War), is a First Person Shooter with a difference, where killing becomes a art-form.

The main aim of this game is the kill with style, you gain skill points for experimenting with how your kill your enemies, there is around 100 different ways to rack up some serious skill points with 10 different weapons, from the Screamer (A pistol that can also fire flares) to the Bouncer (A grenade launcher), to Chainguns. One of the most impressive weapon in your arsenal is actually more of a passive weapon, the Leash, a special weapon that Dead Echo forces wield, you can’t kill enemies with the leash at the first quarter of the game but it’s still a vital tool in your survival in battles as you can use the leash to pull enemies out of hiding, pull them towards you and slow down in mid air allowing you to take  easy shots at them.

Melee attacks are also pretty vital when things get a bit hairy, when up close, you can use one of two different kicks, a thrust kick and a sliding kick, both kick attacks when they hit, oddly, have a time slowing ability on the enemy that gets hit. Afterwards, you can either take pot shots while they are in the air or just keep kicking them in the air till they basically hit something or fall off a cliff.

In terms of skill shot kills, there are around 100 different skill shots to experiment and find out, most are pretty easy to find and not to mention there are also skill kills for using the environment to perform the killing such as throwing them off the cliff, kicking them against the wall and some natural disasters, you will pretty much find some skill kills by accident, I know I did. You use skill points earned from these special kills to purchase ammo for your weapons, buy upgrades such as the secondary fire mode and other things.

In terms of storyplot, you play as a pirate/mercenary soldier called Grayson Hunt, a man on a mission, a mission of revenge, he plots to kill his commanding officer that he used to work for, General Victor Sarrano, the plan all goes to ruins when his cruiser is attacked by Sarrano’s mothership, the Ulysses. Hunt makes a last resort by driving his ship through the Ulysses, brings down the ship but both fly into a desert planet with which only Hunt survives from his crew, well, the only human anyway, when the ship crashed, raiders invaded the destroyed ship and killed his crew but was able to revive one member of the crew using cybernetics, Ishi Sato, together they set out to find the remains of the Ulysees and kill General Sarrano. There is a catch however, Ishi’s new cybernetics keep trying to overwhelm him and take over his mind which leads to alot of difficulty for Hunt and his quest for vengeance.

Not only that but they catch a hint that of a soldier in a city called Stygia, who is seeking out the general to get off world, a member of the General’s elite guard, the Dead Echo, it turns out to be a woman, Trishka Novak, daughter to one of Hunt’s targets when working for Sarrano, this is their ticket off the planet and into freedom, but after meeting, it all goes upside down as they become involved in a all-out war between the Skulls (Raiders), the Creeps (Semi-mutant soldiers) and the Burnouts (Full mutated Hulk-like beasts). Although each enemy has different strengths and weaknesses, the AI isn’t exactly bright nor intelligent, Skulls are you average thug, Creeps are fast moving and immune to kicks and leashes unless damaged beforehand and Burnouts won’t die until you shoot these spores that grow out of them, there are also Dead Echo soldiers at the end of the game, these are tougher, pack more fire power and can use the weapon’s secondary fire but all the same, they can’t seem to figure out where they are going sometimes if they aren’t firing behind cover, they just blindly charge at you and do melee attacks.

There are also the Echoes and Multiplayer modes, let’s start with Echoes.

Echoes mode is pretty a point scoring mode where you play a certain part of a level and try to score as many skill points as possible while trying to beat the clock, completing the level under the PAR time will mean more points in the final results. This mode is mainly for veterans of the game as you try to make yourself known on the Bulletstorm global leaderboards, the better your killing skills, the better your will be positioned on the board, some levels require alot of points to get 3 star results (Which is the highest rank to earn in each Echoes level), this will show how creative you are with your kills so try to use all of your attacking and leashing functions to get the high scores.

In multiplayer mode, this is a sort of survival wave after wave mode, you can go solo or with upto 3 other players in a team battle against the many waves of enemies in order to get the most skill points and beat your friends. You get your own Dead Echo soldier to work on, you earn points after each wave, this will help develop your character by levelling up and unlocking new stuff for your Dead Echo soldier, also after each wave, you get a 30 second rest, during this time, checkpoint drop boxes will fall on several areas, use this time to spend what points you’ve earned on purchasing and upgrading your weapons, leash and character’s passive abilities. You have a choice of several sections and each wave will mostly feature one particular type of unit or introducing them into the mode, you will face all enemy types and while they will fight each other in story mode, but in multiplayer, they will work together to take you out.

If you die, it’s not the end, you can be revived by allies or have a chance to restart the wave if all of you perish, unlike story mode too, you can only use 2 weapons at once  but that should be plenty and you can change weapons during the 30 second rest between rounds. As I said, you can do multiplayer mode on your own and so you do earn 100% of your kills but it’s a damn sight harder and will take longer too so it’s not really practical, it’s also more fun to play with friends for that sense of competition.

PROS

  • Great looking graphics
  • Loads of creativity and imagination with the skill shot system
  • Big and badass bosses that provide a decent challenge
  • Echoes mode provides a good test of skill
  • Multiplayer is fun and challenging
  • Fast, fun and seriously crazy
  • Can’t get enough of using the leash!

CONS

  • Enemy AI isn’t very good
  • Quite alot of glitches, especially when it comes to gaining new weapons and re-stocking them
  • Story mode is very short, could probably complete it in just hours
  • Could do with more levels in Echoes mode and to last more than several minutes
  • It’s not for the faint-hearted, there is loads of swearing (Some I’ve never even heard of or understand), blood and offensive nature
  • The plot of it all is a little bland

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OVERALL

If your not the sort of gamer that couldn’t care less for story plot and some minor glitches here and there, this is a great game, boss battles are enjoyable, mutiplayer with friends will entertain you for hours on end and Echoes mode is good for testing your skills in more ways than one.

Story mode, even though it’s short, it’s sweet, good choice of voice actors and the game system is easily understandable. Even with not alot of weapons, with the amount of skill kills to find per weapon, you will soon forget that issue and it will even take you many hours just to find a large majority of the skill kills to begin with.

This is for those who can’t wait for Gears of War or just want some mindless crazy, fast and creative fun with your kills. (Unless your those lucky Xbox 360 owners who purchased the EPIC Edition of Bulletstorm in which you can try out the BETA of Gears of War 3, lucky buggers!)

Ziedrich’s Rating – 8.5/10


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