Un-Reality Not-TV: Bullet Run Goes Live

By Nathan Grayson on August 1st, 2012 at 11:00 am.

I honestly cannot figure out who's trying to fight whom in this screenshot.

Well, I suppose I have to give SOE and Acony some credit for their approach to gritty, ripped-from-the-headlines F2P shooter Bullet Run: at least they ripped it from a different part of the headlines. Specifically, top billing’s been given to Bullet Run’s “unique storyline” about a reality TV show on which insane people try to kill each other in stylish fashions to claim their 15 minutes of fame. DON’T WORRY THOUGH: there’s a magical “Synth” device that brings them back to life, so it’s all perfectly harmless. Or, you know, kind of really disturbing. But integrating a focus on style into the shooting is, at least, kind of interesting.

Specifically, here’s the bit that stands out to me:

“In Bullet Run, players are pit against each other in a reality TV show setting where performance is everything – simply gaining the kill does not win your character fame. Style and attitude, combined with a hair trigger and cat-like reflexes, will bring players, also known as ‘Contestants,’ the fame they crave. Through their showmanship, players will have the opportunity to unlock and/or purchase new weapons, weapon modifications and attachments, wardrobe items, accessories, and custom weapon decals — all contributing to thousands of possible combinations for customization of their characters.”

The rest, however, sounds and looks like incredibly standard multiplayer shooter fare. Let’s run down the list, shall we? You’ve got weapon-upgrading character progression, six “thrilling” maps that include an industrial complex and a desert, two whole modes (TDM and Domination), and an active reload system. Hooray.

But who knows? Maybe it’s far better than I’m giving it credit for. And it’s now officially live, so you can go find out for yourself and then – if I’m wrong – call me any number of incredibly rude, hurtful, and oddly personal insults. However, if I’m correct, I expect gifts. Also, I was hoping to present you fine and intimidatingly attractive folks with a new trailer, but then I realized the reel SOE loaded into its YouTube-puncturing image cannon today is the exact same one Adam posted about a couple months ago.

With this information, I can surmise one of two things: either 1) SOE’s not taking Bullet Run particularly seriously or 2) Adam’s some kind of time-traveling devil magician. Hah, and speak of the devil magician, he just appeared right behind me in a smokey burst of bats and locusts, brandishing a very impressive knife. Hmmm, I wonder what he wants. I hope it’s a hug!

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31 Comments »

  1. Flukie says:

    Okay so I’ve been playing Blacklight as my go to FPS for quick fun thrills recently, how does this compare?

    • Timmeister says:

      I wish i could tell you, but having spent 30 minutes trying to get it running, through stupidly long “connecting screens” and multiple crashes, I’v still not got it to work. Totally puts me off even bothering.

      • Shortwave says:

        I wasn’t sure if I was the only one!
        I was probably like one of the first people to get into the beta.
        Still, I’ve yet to play the game.. I wanted to! I tried to!
        But it wasn’t having any of it man, haha. I was trying for hours to play a single match.
        Tried again a few weeks later.. Same madness.. I gave up and moved out.
        I was too annoyed/busy with lffe to bother going to the forums to help figure out why.

    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      it’s a worse version of blacklight in just about every possibly way.

      • petermueller says:

        not true. the gunplay is a lot better than blacklights’

        everything else though…

        e.g.: you have to spend about half of the BR (currency) you earn on weapon repairs and even then you cannot fully repair your weapon with BR (100% repair only with paid currency) so it will degrade pretty fast to the point of being unusable.
        by that point you will not have earned enough BR to buy a new gun, so its either pay up or start over

    • Fenriff says:

      As someone who also plays a lot of Blacklight, I appreciate what Bullet Run is trying to do but it just all feels terribly done. The weapons all feel spready as hell even when firing in bursts with ridiculous recoil if going full auto, the marketplace is terrible, and it has some bad mechanics. A good TDM will probably net you 400 or so credits, the guns cost anywhere from 13k to 17k credits, and that’s just the base gun without any attachments to make it more accurate or to give you a scope. On top of that, last night I played enough games to gain around 2500 or so credits and then had to spend 2000 of them to repair my gun. Bad balance is bad.

  2. DuddBudda says:

    so, multiplayer bulletstorm without the irony?

    • Gap Gen says:

      As long as you have a Japanese cyborg guilt machine following you around, that’s good enough for me.

    • Flakfizer says:

      Or Carmageddon without the cars …

    • DrGonzo says:

      What irony?

      • DuddBudda says:

        Turns out BS was misrepresented by the marketing; trailers showed us something glorifying manshoots, when the game’s intent was satire. there was an article about it linked in a sunday papers a few months back

  3. Vorrin says:

    Adding in Style to the shooty bits… I think it’s been attempted quite a few times before (gunZ I think? A number of John Woo-ish mods for half life?) but I don’t think it ever turned out to be anything more than a little and somewhat uneffective gimmik…not holding my breath for this either

    • MuscleHorse says:

      You shush your filthy mouth, Action Half-Life was the shit!

      • Qazinsky says:

        Gems like Action Half-Life, Wasteland Half-Life and The Specialists are the only reason I bought Half-Life to begin with.

    • Rymdkejsaren says:

      AHL was incredibly good and The Specialists was not bad either. I do not have high hopes for this though, the days of good PC FPS gaming seem to have passed on by.

  4. Bostec says:

    Sounds like The Running Man, damn I haven’t seen that film in years, time to look it up! (I’ll pass on the game thanks)

    • mobbb says:

      You should read the book on which the movie is based (by Stephen King). It’s a decent read and by unwritten rule original books are always better than their movie adaptations. Plus it’s a relatively short book so it is not a problem if you do not read much normally. :)

      • xsikal says:

        I second the short story/novelette recommendation. The movie itself has not aged well at all.

        (Plus, the Running Man novelette comes in the Bachman Books which also includes The Long Walk, one of my favorite King stories ever)

  5. Tei says:

    If you say BR BR BR BR very quick, it sounds like a chinese-brazilian eathquake.

    Theres a intense lack of vehicles in this, but I am going to test it. Surely, It can’t be bad if the characters are well animated. People played Counter-Strike for years, and was just a mod.

  6. Jahnz says:

    I played in the beta on this one. It’s Blacklight, and War Inc, and all the rest of those samey F2P modernish combat shooters, but this one is a gameshow! There are no classes either.

    Style equals killing people with more expensive guns and unlocks, or flat bonuses for buying new clothes, hair, decals, and weapon skins. You don’t get bonus points for using a pistol or knife to kill someone with a minigun or anything else that I think would denote style of some kind in killing.

    I am told that in live you have to pay real money to repair your weapons. That’s right, as you use your guns they degrade and have to eventually be repaired.

    • pakoito says:

      ¡Or you can use 12 energy to recharge them! (disclaimer: you get one point of energy every two hours)

      • Jahnz says:

        Ah, I figured there was some other way of doing it. I assume you get energy even when not playing. That would be enough to keep one or two weapons in peak condition constantly I think.

  7. lowprices says:

    That lady in the picture is going to feel pretty silly when somebody shoots her in her bare, unarmoured shoulders.

  8. Carwash says:

    I just came to post that this sounds a lot like a game called ‘Hedone’, only to find out it is Hedone. didn’t know they changed the name!

    When I played it last year, it was “ok”, nothing special or great and needed a lot of work doing to it. Hopefully it’s been improved and polished.

    • Thunderkor says:

      I played it for a little while when it was still Hedone, and again recently as Bullet Run. It seemed exactly the same to me. And they didn’t even have any sort of AA, so it was pretty ugly. It’s actually kinda fun to play, but the cost to do anything seemed ridiculously expensive to me.

      I think I still have it installed so I may check it out just to see if they’ve somehow improved it over the last few weeks, but I doubt it at this point. Some of the skills and the gameplay is pretty fun, but when the only thing to set you apart from a crowded marketplace are ugly graphics and terrible prices, that doesn’t bode well for your future.

  9. Tei says:

    I tried to get in. ESC close the game. I can’t see how to change the resolution. Tryiing to join a game result on a lot of errors. Other players shows as PB394443, PB323244, and so on.
    Seems alpha-ish just now. Oh, finnally, I have found how to change resolution. Still the engine is in a early phase, need much more polish. Can’t even join a game.

  10. Qazinsky says:

    Ahem, let me put on my glasses and see if I can help you with who’s fighting who:
    The woman seems to be holding up a wall, the mohawk guy fails to notice an aircraft. One guy is guarding a car unsuccessfully as another guy is stealthily meleeing it and the blackhaired guy is shooting at an explosion.

  11. Gilead says:

    Unless the reality TV show was established by the Liandri Mining Corporation in the year 2291 in an attempt to control violence among deep space miners, I’m not interested.

    Also I demand an announcer who says things like ‘wicked sick’ even when everybody would rather he didn’t.

  12. thecaptain says:

    I worked on this in an early form in 04-05 (back before it was Parabellum, then Hedone, and when UE3 was new and exciting). I’m glad it’s finally shipped/live…. for the developers’ sakes.

  13. tybality says:

    Now that’s bulletshit…errors in menus, errors when joining servers…

  14. Andrew says:

    Pitted. Players are pitted against each other in a reality TV show setting.