Gaming used to be fun. The experience was about distraction for a small period of time before returning to our mundane day to day tasks. When we look at gaming today some titles seem to forget this, lost somewhere amongst hours of adding layers of eye popping graphics, orchestral scores and big name actors. Don’t get me wrong, these things now form a necessary part of the development process and I understand their importance. However, the idea of original gaming begins to get diluted in a sea of Gears of War and Call of Duty clones. Nowadays change comes like a breath of fresh air.
So naturally when People Can Fly (makers of the Painkiller series) announced their new IP Bulletstorm boasting lines like “bringing the fun back to gaming” many of us believed that this might herald the return of the Serious Sam or early Quake-esque style fragfest. A game type lost in an over PC world that has long needed some time in the limelight.
Bulletstorm plays out like a mutant hybrid of mindless gib filled FPS and the Tony Hawk skating games. You character has the task of laying waste to an entire planets population of bad guys while trying to make it a hugely stylised mess as you go. This is done through a combination of weapons, kicking, lassoing and environmental hazards. Here is where the game really excels. Though at first a little shaky, most gamers will be creating complex blood ballets in no time and as the players skill set expands and new weapons open up, your style continues to evolve right throughout the game. In saying this however, new gamers or console owners without a good grounding in FPS should probably avoid this game. It does require a relatively strong understanding of first person mechanics from the word “go”. Some of the less hardcore players may find themselves giving up due to it’s hit-the-ground-running approach.
Outside the gameplay itself is where Bulletstorm‘s few blemishes begin to show. Though it does seem odd to be criticising a game like this for it’s story, when it comes to mindless action, adding confrontation and feelings can really throw off the games general purpose. Bulletstorm’s story bipolarishly switches from crass humour to intense drama every few minutes, causing a serious buzz kill after sections of awesome action. No one wants to go from piloting a giant remote controlled T-Rex to a heavy one on one between your characters.
All this being said the game can easily be enjoyed by those willing to overlook it’s flaws. If you keep in mind that the game, though simple and a tad repetitive, will give you a solid six hours of single-player gameplay, a horde-esc mode, plus a timed challenge mode, most will get the money they paid for it. Bulletstorm is a non stop action spectacular, a must for people sick of genre generic shooters and those willing to give it a try shockingly might even have fun.