Rips & Tears In Rain: Bulletstorm Hands On

By Quintin Smith on February 10th, 2011 at 12:59 pm.

The sexual violence is happening just off-camera, I think.

Following the recent wash of ingenious marketing and controversy it’s a little tricky to remember that Bulletstorm is simply an FPS from the Painkiller developers, coming out in less than 2 weeks. Will it be any good? At EA’s invitation I sat down for a lengthy hands-on. That’s the perfect set-up for a dick joke, by the way. My restraint knows no bounds.

“Sending ‘em up!” cries my real-life teammate from the other side of the room. On cue I send my character sliding into a corner, and watch as my friend uses his Lash to whip the ground with teeth-chattering force, sending all of our enemies tumbling into the air to freeze high above us, trapped in temporary slow-motion.

Everyone on our team takes aim and opens fire. For no good reason I pick an enemy directly between me and the sun, and try to draw a bead on his vague silhouette. It’s tricky. Eventually I take the shot, flinging two grenades attached to one another by a length of chain up towards him. It’s a hit, and the projectiles wrap neatly around his head. But something happens as I’m about to detonate them. Instead of falling down, out of the sun, he gets catapulted upwards. Someone else has hit him with the flare gun. Up and up he goes, before detonating in a shower of sparks.

(TEAM) SADIST 100PTS flashes up on the screen. That’s the skillshot for wrapping somebody up with the flail gun, then killing them before the grenades explode. I know somebody else got the FIREWORKS bonus for that flare, too. I’m elated, and I want nothing more than to high-five my teammates into space, but there’s no time. We’ve got 21 enemies (and 21 more creative kills) left.

The four of us were playing Bulletstorm’s Anarchy multiplayer mode, which is both ferociously ill-named and a functional antidote for anyone who claims Bulletstorm’s skillshots don’t change the game. In Anarchy mode you defeat 20 successive waves of enemies, but each subsequent wave only shows up if you got enough points on the round before. As much as you’re playing to survive, the real goal is to rack up points, and that’s a task that got considerably more interesting the moment my team figured out the secret. You can’t kill anybody by yourself.

You see, Skill Shot rewards get multiplied if they were the work of more than one person. It’s a science we didn’t quite figure out in our time with the game, but basically if you slide into an enemy, knock them off their feat, then lash them into a massive cactus or something then you’ll get a inadequate handful of points. But if your teammate knocks an enemy off their feet, then you bat them into a cactus, you’ll both get the bonus, meaning your score is doubled. If two of you neatly shred an enemy by pulling him with the lash from two different directions, that’s great. That’s good work. But it’s only half of what you’ll get if all four of you quarter the sucker by lashing him simultaneously.

So, that’s Bulletstorm. The FPS re-imagined as speed-carving a roast dinner. Simply killing an enemy is the last thing you want to do- that’s a disaster. What you need to do is dispatch enemies using any of the game’s 130+ predefined methods, yet these are still traditional enemies and you’re still at risk of death. As such, the Skill Shot system doesn’t ask the somewhat laborious question of “How can you earn the most points?”, but rather “How can you get the most points from this situation you’re in, right now? THINK, BABY, THINK!” And you think, and you say, “Uh, what if I kicked this explosive barrel over to him and then shot the barrel?” and the game says, “Well done, baby! Here are some points that I will shower upon you like gentle summer rain! Now, what are you gonna do in THIS situation?”

The genius of the Skill Shot system is that it inflates every single enemy with the possibility to either reward or demean you, depending on how many points you get. Because the points do matter. In singleplayer they’re what allows you to buy new ammo, unlocks and alternate fire modes, and in multiplayer the points are the point, so to speak. They’re all you’re playing for.

It’s a clever system. Whether it’ll have enough depth to carry the entire single player story is a question worth asking, but for now I’ll just step in here and say that I don’t think it has to. After playing the first four hours of the game, I’m pleased to report that this is some of the most bombastic and entertaining level design that I’ve ever encountered.

For starters the game does not open with your space pirate “Crashing his ship because he’s drunk”, as I’d heard from some people. It starts with you making a kamikaze attack on a ship a hundred times your size in an attempt to fulfil a grudge against the excellently hateable captain, with this grudge expliained via a flashback to an entirely different mission that takes place on the side of a skyscraper. Back in the present you fail at this kamikaze attack in a particularly imaginative way, crash land on the game’s mysterious planet and immediately go sprinting off to find a power cell to fuel your ship’s robot medic bed thing in order to save one of your crew. While you’re outside introducing yourself to the planet’s populace via the universal language of murder, that enormous ship you attacked comes ripping down through the atmosphere to crash land a few hundred miles away, meaning you’ve got a chance to kill that captain after all.

Did I mention that most of this scripted sequence is playable, rather than a cutscene? It’s playable, rather than a cutscene. In Bulletstorm’s opening ten minutes it smoothly provides this sequence that would serve as most games’ finale, and it’s only then that the game starts to get mad. In the first four hours that I played you can look forward to everything from unlikely weapons, to the cramming of two people into a tiny one-man helicopter, to learning about the ludicrous multiplier your skillshots get if your character’s drunk.

But there’s more going on here than Captain Swearword’s Big Fuckin’ Adventure. Bulletstorm’s planet is the single most beautiful location a game’s taken me to since Bioshock dragged me down to Rapture, and the game’s corridor-shooter design is careful not to make it any less believable as the holiday resort you quickly discover that it used to be.

What’s really interesting is that there are times where this concept of vacationing is also pursued in the level design. Without wanting to give too much away, those first four hours feature not just a train ride, but a water slide and a disco, and it’s all every bit as entertaining as it sounds.

I guess I should stop here, as this is all stuff I’d rather cover in more detail in a Wot I Think. I’ll just close by saying that prior to my hands-on, I had Bulletstorm down as either a dumb smart game, or a smart dumb game. Since then, I’ve changed my mind. A game which takes its irreverence this seriously, expecting you to co-ordinate your Double Entries and Gang Bangs with military precision? Do you know, I think Bulletstorm might be the smartest most dumbest game the world has ever seen.

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115 Comments »

  1. Hunam says:

    Can you confirm if you had any dangerous…. urges… after this play through?

    • Wolfox says:

      Well played. Well played.

    • Quintin Smith says:

      I cannot tell a lie. That very night I got myself drunk and took advantage of myself.

    • RaveTurned says:

      BAN THIS SICK FILTH!

      The game? No, I just meant Quinns. :D

    • DeathHamsterDude says:

      Yeah, but then, I have it from a reliable source that Quinns violated himself after playing Peggle . . . so maybe it’s just Quinns . . . dirty dirty Quinns.

      On a side-note about Fox-gate; I would really not like them to find out about some of the Japanese Rape/Sex simulators out there and think that is what us gamers play for giggleshits.

    • Xercies says:

      They already did didn’t they? I remember there was all that furore over that rape game a year back.

    • ANeM says:

      @Xercies
      I believe they may have, but the thing about Fox News is that every game they report about is the worst game ever, even if its not as bad as their last worst game ever.

  2. Malawi Frontier Guard says:

    That sounds good. Better than the impression I had after Giant Bomb’s quicklook of the demo, which curbed my initial enthusiasm a little.

    • Quintin Smith says:

      The demo doesn’t sell the game particularly well, I don’t think. It’s a jerky-like dry strip of action.

    • Dominic White says:

      Giant Bombs Quick Looks used to be decent, but now it’s just two guys who don’t seem to know how to play games, skipping tutorials and laughing at how much things suck when they keep running into walls.

      I’ve found that they’re a very, very poor representation of anything.

    • rayne117 says:

      On the contrary, Dominic, I believe Giant Bomb is a good representation on how not to preview games.

    • Olivaw says:

      I actually think Giant Bomb is an excellent representation of how to preview games for an audience, because they don’t obfuscate anything. Not how much they suck, now how much the game sucks, nothin’. It’s just pure gameplay footage, no nonsense, no editing and no PR guy leaning over their shoulder.

      RPS is the only other outlet I’ve found that’s as honest and opinionated in a preview. The only difference is that they do text rather than video, but that’s fine because I don’t know that I’d want to see Quintin’s terrible visage bore into my very soul.

    • Ubiquitous says:

      I agree, I used to find their quick looks to be entertaining little nuggets of gameplay footage. But I have sense grown a bit of a distaste for Giantbomb. It seems to me that they really don’t enjoy games all that much, and besides for that it is ever more apparent that they simply do not PLAY games.

  3. faelnor says:

    Bam! Rip and tear!

  4. Richard Beer says:

    I read this post while listening to the rather excellent and soothing works of Clint Mansell on Spotify, as linked from John’s post immediately preceding this one, and somehow it makes Bulletstorm’s skill shots feel a lot more artistic and less gratuitous.

  5. Axyl says:

    “No women were raped in the making of this article.
    One was rather aroused however…”

  6. noom says:

    That actually sounds pretty damn great. I am now sighty saddened at the direction they took the marketing in.

    Voting that we collectively ignore all the concern over crudity and just start looking forward to it.

  7. Crimsoneer says:

    Jesus, I hadn’t realised how pretty it was. Great colours! It’s nice to see a colour palette that isn’t brown.

  8. zergrush says:

    I liked the demo, it’s very serious sam-esque with some pretty cool weapons, despite the fact that the normal shots from the pistol and rifle were not very… boomy?

    Also, it’s written by Rick Remender, so it’s probably not as awful as the advertising made it look.

  9. Lars Westergren says:

    >Bulletstorm’s planet is the single most beautiful location a game’s taken me to since Bioshock dragged me down to Rapture

    Ok…. now I’m interested again.

  10. mandrill says:

    Its still got CliffyB’s fingerprints all over it. No Sale. Though I’m beginning to regret this principled stance after reading that… No. I simply refuse to fill that man-child’s wallet.

    • GamerOfFreedom says:

      Actually it got no Epic Games fingerprint over it except for the marketing and that they own PCF, but the game itself is 100% PCF

    • Mattressi says:

      Yeah, I couldn’t bear giving money to CliffyB. Then again, even though this mini-review seems glowing, I just don’t think I could get into a game which has its core based on swearing and general ‘look, I’m a grown up!’ kid mentality. Perhaps I’m jaded or cynical, but games like Duke Nukem have always seemed beyond retarded to me. Parody games can be funny, but games which remind me of Quentin Tarantino films (I hate that wanker; his films are lauded as works of art, when they really just seem like some violent, antisocial, masochistic, mentally deficient teen has been given a tonne of money to produce absolute crap) are a no buy for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against violent games (or films) – I just think that portrayals of violence as a child would express them really don’t appeal to me.

    • Barnaby says:

      What was it that CliffyB did that made people think he is such a gigantic dick? Back when I played UT99 I remember he was a respected map maker in the community until he got a job doing it professionally, which is when people started hating. People have always seemed sour about his success (I guess) and I’ve never quite understood why.

      Could somebody clarify why people consider CliffyB a douche bag?

    • Sigma Draconis says:

      @ Barnaby
      I’d also like to know about the CliffyB hate myself. I don’t quite understand it.

    • Sarlix says:

      Something about him trying to discredit PC gaming. I’m not to familiar with the particulars.

    • el_Chi says:

      If I remember rightly, he got his knickers in all sorts of twists, decided that the level of piracy of PC games meant it wasn’t worth developing for anymore and so he sulked and took his ball home.
      Thus, CliffyB = sagging, prolapsed vagina/whinging manchild.

      Meanwhile, the PC-gaming community gets mortally offended at Mr B’s decision, screams blue murder, weeps tears of blood and bile and has a mass angry-wank onto a biscuit shaped like CliffyB.
      PC-gaming community = a wounded and embittered jilted ex-lover who’s absolutely totally fine with the break up. Fine.

      CliffyB stands to make money from what looks to be a very good game which IS being released on PC.
      Not a complete U-turn on his part, but it’s still a Good Thing.

      Some PC gamers decide that others must be punished for being associated with CliffyB and vow not to buy a game which he has helped finance, which will in turn compound his views that OC’s not worth developing for.
      Thus, PC-gaming community = sagging, prolapsed vagina/whinging manchild.

    • gwathdring says:

      @ Mattressi: Seconded on Tarantino and Duke Nukem. I don’t care one way or the other about CliffyB … not even sure who he is, but it sounds like more of that classic PC vs. Console nonsense where the PC feels neglected and unloved because the Console is friends with all the “cool” kids.

      From this preview at least, the game sounds fantastic in most ways, but the general mechanics are still too grotesque for me. I lose interest when the gore gets distracting and limbs start flying everywhere. Maybe I’m a prude, but I’m just not into hyper-gore. Similarly, the skillshots sound like an excellent cooperative mechanic, but I still have little interest in their sadistic nature. Everything else in the preview makes me want to be excited, but I think I’d just find the basic gameplay enormously unpleasant.

    • Buttless Boy says:

      About Tarantino, Duke Nukem, and schlock in art:

      I had no concept that art could be interesting or beautiful until I saw the movie Evil Dead 2, which is a horror/comedy with literal gallons of fake blood, terrible dialog, and often laughable acting. It’s also slightly surreal, a bit absurdist, and features some of the best cinematography of any film I’ve seen before or since. I now find myself enjoying movies and other art that regular people find worthwhile, like Fellini or Van Gogh, but it’s because of Evil Dead 2 that I realized such beauty was possible and that I began to seek it out.

      Just because you find something silly or juvenile doesn’t mean that it’s not worthwhile, and it certainly doesn’t mean you should dismiss it offhand. Rarely is something violent in an attempt to appeal to sadism or sexual in an attempt to appeal to perversion, rather these elements allow for certain visual, jocular, and parodic elements in a work. Much the same way that someone unfamiliar with video games might find a game like Street Fighter – a game “about punching people” – offensive, you are missing the point. Street Fighter uses the violence to facilitate gameplay, it’s no more about fighting than Tetris is about falling blocks. Similarly a movie like Kill Bill is using the violence to facilitate intricate choreography, beautiful visuals, and over-the-top goofiness.

      You have every right to avoid things you dislike, but don’t attack them as inferior just because you don’t understand their appeal.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      If it were 100% PCF there would be health and armor pickups and no restrictions to the weapon slots.

    • rocketman71 says:

      @Barnaby: People don’t think CliffyB is a gigantic dick and consider him a douche bag. CliffyB IS a gigantic dick AND a douche bag.

      And this game is all PCF, despite CliffyB trying to take all the credit in the trailers.

  11. drewski says:

    The Painkiller guys really know FPS. They know it’s stupid, they know it’s over the top, they know it’s TIGHT. Bulletstorm promises to be all of these, dialed up to eleven. It’s the 80s hair rock of videogames.

    I wasn’t at all interested in this when it was announced (Gears of Painkiller, zzzzzzz) but the more I read about it, the more I play the demo on consoletoy, the more convinced I am this will be ridiculously entertaining.

    • bill says:

      if they really know FPS then why wasn’t Painkiller better?
      They know great set design, and weapon design. But they’ve yet to show that they know great level design and pacing.

    • SirKicksalot says:

      I love the “action bubbles” of Painkiller. Especially when you can move up and down a few levels, jumping off balconies and chandeliers like a retard while shotgunning frozen enemies. It was a series of small arenas tied together by calm corridors, and I was happy with that rhythm. It knew when to stop and let the player breathe, as opposed to another famous “mindless” shooter. It reminded me of Quake. Shame that the brand was ruined by JoWood, they announced another Painkiller just a few days ago!

    • drewski says:

      @ bill – Painkiller’s perfectly stupid, mindless fun.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Ugh, Far Cry and Crysis have action bubbles, large free roam environments that allow you to approach them in your own way – using whatever tactics you want, stealth or loud-shooty-bang-bang.

      Painkiller is simply kill all the guys in the room then move on. I’ve never understood the love for Painkiller, the level design is admittedly gorgeous, but the game is incredibly generic and dull.

      Also, I’ve never been able to get past the 2nd chapter of Painkiller due to constant crashes, somewhere around there it always corrupts my save game.

    • skinlo says:

      You aren’t getting the point then. I don’t want to approach them from behind and snipe them, I want to get there, kick them in slow motion in the air then blow them up, preferably with lots of gore and blood.

  12. Pijama says:

    Glad to know. I, for one, I am in for the retarded glorious funny gaming. =D

  13. Mr_Hands says:

    This, all of this, all of this thing looks terrific.

    Can’t wait to call my ladyfan over to chief and then boom, get waist-deep in Captain Swearword’s Big Fuckin’ Adventure, and every time she asks what’s up, I just point at the screen.

  14. Oozo says:

    Oh. Surprised of just how much that article peaked my interest in the game.

    Maybe we can hope for something similar to what Mr Hoberman wrote about “Black Swan”?
    “Kitsch this bombastic becomes something primal.”

    Even though it would rather be: “Dick jokes this bombastic become something primal”, I guess.

  15. Tori says:

    Oh, how I want a good shooter, that’s not all brown and gray. And please, let the SP be longer then most moder FPS games!

  16. Flint says:

    This preview has actually made me somewhat interested in the game. Still not too sure about the whole skill shot system though. But I’ll definitely keep an eye on reviews about the game now, to see what the singleplayer campaign’s like. Could really do with a great, colourful sci-fi FPS.

    • psycho7005 says:

      The skillshot system looks like one of the best parts of the game in my opinion. Sort of like Unreal Tournaments MULTI-KILL’s, except much more funny and much more variety.

  17. Njordsk says:

    Just when I was absolutly sure it was panda poo marketed by alienated space monkeys… you confuse me.

    Not fair Mister, not fair… force me to reconsidere that game.

  18. Phinor says:

    I’ll give it a shot once they release a demo or when the price drops below 1€ in Steam sales, whichever comes first.

  19. Mashakosha says:

    Far too many good games coming out in the next 6 months. Sadly I won’t buy any of them myself due to needing to save pretty much every penny I can. But I still look forward to them nevertheless.

  20. Joe Maley says:

    I’ve been having a blast on the demo. I’ve played through it numerous times to achieve a mediocre score of about 18k (in comparison to the guys on youtube running through the echo with 23-24k).

    Needless to say, these ‘echoes’ have provided me with a lot of replay value. However, this anarchy mode concerns me. It really stops at 20 waves?

    I feel like it could have been much better with infinite waves, each wave requiring more points than the last.

    And Quintin, what platform did you play this on?

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Should probably note: we play stuff on PC.

    • Joe Maley says:

      I have to ask, did you have any problems with a low-field of view or lack of anti-aliasing?

      I have found that nearly every PC game using unreal engine 3 ships with a 60-degree FOV and no anti-aliasing support.

      Examples: Borderlands (Low-fov, no AA), Medal of Honor SP (Low-fov, blurred (as opposed to the blending algo) AA), UT3 (No AA).

      Counter-example: Bioshock supports AA and a higher-fov through the options, and GoW let me use anti-aliasing when in DX10.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I played the demo through once and found I had already got about as much fun out of shooting people as I was going to get. I suppose I’m just more interested in why I should be shooting people, not how.

    • ran93r says:

      I didn’t have any problems configuring the FoV in Borderlands to suit my needs, just bind a few console commands to keys. I assume as it’s the same engine the potential for tinkering will be similar.

    • Jharakn says:

      Trouble with borderlands FOV key binding was it reset everytime you got in and out a vehicle, which swiftly got so annoying i just gave up and left at the default, another thing i’d like to see which almost never makes it across from console ports is an option to swap toggle crouch and aim into hold instead.

  21. Reapy says:

    Anyone ever play the ps2 game “Shadows of Rome” ? It pretty much had the skill shot system except translated over to roman gladiators. There were a somewhat ridiculous amount of ways to kill other gladiators and you were awarded points and variations depending on how many of the ‘salvos’ you could acquire.

    I recall one of them involved cutting a man’s arm off and then picking it up and throwing it at someone. Sometimes, you could get other gladiators to wet themselves, you would get the “Urine trouble” salvo. Some others I remember were Juicy Tomato for bashing a head in, Red Volcano when you sliced a head off and got basically a red volcano.

    Anyway I recall taking turns with friends in the open gladiator modes just trying to get all of the different salvos. Most of the time it was pretty easy to eventually kill everybody, but to do it creatively for high bonus points really added a new dimension to the game.

    I imagine that the skill shots will add something here to bulletstorm I guess.

    • Dominic White says:

      You forgot the best Salvo in the whole game: ‘AERIAL CRUELTY TO ANIMALS!’

      Shadow of Rome was rather ace. Good replay value, too, as higher difficulty settings rejigged most of the missions.

    • DeathHamsterDude says:

      Eugh! That game!

      I admit the skill-shots were kinda cool, and weapons (ridiculously huge maces and helicopter-propeller like swords) felt suitably heavy and powerful, but everything else about it was pretty terrible. Especially when you’re living in a house with a friend who plays it on the only TV for hours on end . . . and isn’t very good at it. That game was NOT spectator-friendly.

    • Dominic White says:

      Haha. It was an old-school Capcom game through and through. If you were good at it, you could whirl through most levels in a storm of flying limbs. If you sucked, you died. A lot.

      The last Capcom game to really capture that style was God Hand.. Keep your eyes open for Anarchy Reigns on the horizon, too – more classic brawling from the God Hand crew.

    • DeathHamsterDude says:

      Yeah. He sucked. A lot.

      I played it a bit myself, hated the story and pretty much everything. But the arena-battles were pretty cool. It took a lot to take people out, especially those GIANT gladiators that were far bigger than any human ever has a right to be, and you had to be very careful of flanking too. You could chop people into little bits and more often than not they’d still come after you. It kinda reminded me of the Black Knight sequence from Monty Python’s The Holy Grail.

  22. Schmung says:

    This article has sent me from vaguely interested in Bulletstorm to Very Interested.

  23. DiamondDog says:

    I feel like this is appropriate:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFHlJ2voJHY

    • DeathHamsterDude says:

      Big McLarge Huge!

      Yes! Yes! This! I want a MST3K run-through of BULLETSTORM! It would be awesome.

      On another note – I downloaded the first season of Mystery Science Theater aaaaggges ago, I really need to get around to watching them. I would love to watch every episode ever made . . . but there are 198 episode at an hour and a half each . . . that’s 297 hours . . . that’s 12 3/8 days solid.

    • 7rigger says:

      12 3/8 days? It’s nice to know how long I’ve spent at least :P

      And I really wouldn’t recommend the first season, I don’t think it gets good until ‘Robot Holocaust’

      THICK McRUNFAST!

  24. bill says:

    So torn on this. The world sound interesting, the skillshot concept sounds fun, and the painkiller guys can do beautiful places.. but the ott violence, cruelty and jock-humor of it all is off-putting to say the least.

  25. cjlr says:

    Man, as much as I’ll be buying a copy anyway (probably not at release though because I’m cheap) I’d buy several copies if it was actually called Captain Swearword’s Big Fuckin’ Adventure. Hmmm. Actually I’ll probably end up with two copies anyway, PC and PS3, but only if I can get the two for less than what either would cost new at launch.

    I love the tapestry of obscenity this game weaves. It’s so self-indulgently crude and stupid. Reminds me a bit of my dad. “Cold enough outside to freeze a whore’s cunt shut,” he’d say. Which I’m reminded of by the fact that I had to walk to school this morning and it was -18 before wind chill. I love winter.

    • DeathHamsterDude says:

      Yeah, as an Irishman I think I can appreciate the subtle complexities of swearing. As a people, we are very adjective-and-metaphor heavy with our swears! Look at Father Ted or Black Books etc.

      Or Beckett or Wilde, now that I think of it.

    • Waltorious says:

      You beat me to it! I also think that Captain Swearword’s Big Fuckin’ Adventure is a far superior title for this game.

      Also, I was not really interested in the game but now this article makes me kind of interested.

    • fupjack says:

      “Captain Swearword’s Big Fuckin’ Adventure” is definitely a good title, though if you maybe emphasize the wrong words, it sounds like a porn game.

  26. Flint says:

    Oh, if I might ask – does the skill shot system add anything to the singleplayer besides some arbitrary score counter?

  27. Hunam says:

    Kinda want this now but… GFWL. It really does put me off games.

    • DarkSolstice says:

      This is GFWL? Are you sure? Please tell me you are joking.

    • Hunam says:

      It’s a confirmed GFWL game.

    • Jharakn says:

      But I’m sure someone said its going to steam too, so even if I do have to put up with GFWL at least I can enjoy sticking it in my steam library and not have to bother with loosing my cd (like I always end up doing)

    • suibhne says:

      Well, it’s been available for pre-order for awhile now and still isn’t on Steam, so I’m not betting any money that it’ll be there.

      The pain and horror of multiplayer matchmaking in GfWL is enough to turn me off a purchase, so I’ll be watching this with some trepidation.

  28. Turin Turambar says:

    This is a nice article, Quintin. Good structure, opening from the multiplayer to the crazy campaign, and sharp writing (“Here are some points that I will shower upon you like gentle summer rain! ” or “While you’re outside introducing yourself to the planet’s populace via the universal language of murder”).

    • Mr_Day says:

      Nice comment, Turin. Short and to the point, praising but no hyperbole. Good use of excerpts from the main article.

      Ok, I’ll stop.

  29. aeromorte says:

    So like when do you start raping and all that crap? ;p

  30. DrGonzo says:

    Does anyone else really dislike points in games? I’ve never been a fan, the unnecessary competitiveness actually puts me off playing them. It’s OK in something like a puzzle game, but in a first person shooter with a narrative it seems completely out of place to me.

    • dhex says:

      think of it in this case as both a metagamey stick and the “numbers go up” carrot that compels us to march forward in search of that next little tidbit/upgrade/loot drop/etc.

    • Dominic White says:

      Given that the game has a strong competitive, ‘strive for perfection’ leaning here, a complex scoring system seems perfect.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Yeah, it probably just shows how crap I am at games and that may be why I dislike it!

    • MrSelfDestruct says:

      It kind of makes sense in this game I think.
      Like he said in the review thingy, they don´t want you to just kiil the enemies. They want you to make a spectacle out of it.
      I want this game, like…nao. Although I´m pretty sure that I won´t be able to buy it until summer or so. Too many things to do, games to play and to much money spent in said games. Especially now with my brand new PS3. And Steam, damned Steam.

    • Shih Tzu says:

      Media is like, “Bulletstorm gives player mega-points for brutal “Gang Bang” kills!” And we’re all rolling our eyes like, “For God’s sake, get out of the eighties, Grandpa, games don’t ‘give you points’ these days — oh wait, this one does, actually. Dangit.”

    • Veracity says:

      Depends on the game, but I’d sometimes agree. Descent had points, lives, and save anywhere. The scoring wasn’t remotely interesting and the lives were redundant. Seemed vestigial, as though they’d been put in just because these are things video games are supposed to have.

      Don’t think it’s necessarily tied to narrative, though. Devil May Cry has a story (you didn’t say it had to be a good narrative) but the heart of those games is their ranking rules. Isn’t Bulletstorm just doing for shooters what DMC did for brawlers (or whatever you call DMC)? Instead of making enemies that are really hard, but possible, to fight – which is hard to do and alienates a lot of potential customers even if you manage it well – it tasks you not just with surviving, but showing off. I suppose incorporating a bombastic announcer in a shooty game suggests you’re already heading in that direction.

  31. Dominic White says:

    Now, the question is whether this can dethrone Vanquish as the best over-the-top score-attack shooter. Vanquish was seriously tight in its design, so it’ll be a hard act to follow. As cool as the Bulletstorm guns are, can they beat rocket-sliding up to a giant robot, slow-mo backflip kicking off its face, and finishing it off with a missile before you touch the ground?

    • Quintin Smith says:

      Hmm. You know, I wouldn’t want to compare them. Bulletstorm has multiplayer, more variety, better writing and it’s much more fun to just look at, but Vanquish has a purity of vision- it’s really trying to do its own thing, a thing including sweat and adrenaline. I’d be quicker to compare Vanquish to Devil May Cry or Bayonetta.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      Rogue Trooper still holds a place in my heart as the most over-the top FPS that took itself seriously.

  32. immerc says:

    Is anybody else concerned with the hunchback in the screenshot?

  33. shoptroll says:

    Great writeup. I’m still waiting on reviews for this game (plus I’m annoyed with EA not putting up a pre-order on Steam), but it’s sounding really promising.

    Also, this article made the multiplayer decisions “click” in my head . Everything in this game keeps coming back to the skillshot system like a snake eating its tail. Any other developer would just put a bullet point in the back of the box stating “100+ methods of killing enemies” and call it a day. But no, PCF has to make a vitally core mechanic built around the concept.

    Utterly sublime.

  34. BobsLawnService says:

    I like the look of this but I have a horrible feeling that a childish narrator spewing garbage about gangbangs and cumshots every few minutes is going to start annoying me somewhat sharpish. Nothing wrong with a bit of mindless fun but it doesn’t have to be obnoxious about it.

    • Dominic White says:

      I’m fairly sure it’s not a narrator spewing this stuff. You just see the specific name of the kill you performed appear by the enemy you killed, along with the points popup.

  35. Sarkhan Lol says:

    I totally thought they were flying an Ork chopper in pic 4.

  36. Krixodus says:

    I liked Painkiller from PCF, and I thought I was gonna get at least a bit of a kick out of Bulletstorm and get it when it’s down to like 15 bucks. But after reading this it seems like a product worthy of paying the full price, can’t wait. :D

  37. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    Sold! To the squig in the green shirt

  38. Wraggles says:

    Hrm, a game mode forcing players to work as a team, this intrigues. It seems familiar to how my LAN buddies and I fixed Black Ops. We made assists score 100 points and actual kills score 5. As if by magic everyone was all of a sudden using flashbangs/concusion grenades, trying to help one another rather than hog kills, campers were non-existent because they would score jack all.

  39. RegisteredUser says:

    This positive impression – which I was actually expecting – just makes it over 9000 times more sad that they chose for no reason whatsoever to castrate the PC weapon arsenal that you can carry, only because they felt it was necessary for console(http://forums.epicgames.com/showpost.php?p=27273029&postcount=24 “We did it so you can easily execute weapon combos when using gamepad”).

    This is not going to get my financial support, so as not to give any publisher the impression that I want my PC games to be simply ports and initially geared towards a different platform.
    Or that I am willing to accept restrictions that have no reason other than “well this other platform had it”.
    Or that less choice/freedom/arsenal might be something I want as a FPS gamer as opposed to more, more, more.
    And so on, and so forth.

    I see this development as a threat to the PC FPS genre as a whole, and I don’t want it to suffer/wither/die.
    I won’t financially stand for it.

  40. Dances to Podcasts says:

    In honour of the whole FOX hoopla they should call one of their skillshots ‘If it bleeds, it leads’.

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