Bulletstorm Skillisodes Have A Stupid Name

It has a gun which fires explosive cannonballs, you know. It's totally the Serious Sam of the '10s.

Bulletstorm isn’t getting a PC demo and we are ANGRY, yes, but then they release a trailer with a line like “pucker your butthole!” and all is forgiven. Now Epic have started releasing short videos detailing the various skillshots integral to the game, and they’re calling these skill-related episodes… skillisodes, a word that I can barely type without going and washing my hands. But then you actually watch them, and they’re awesome. Full game’s less than a month away now!

My excitement could be down to the fact that I played the Bulletstorm demo on my 360 device box. I know, I know, I’m dirty, but don’t worry. I’m playing through all of Daikatana in one sitting over the weekend in an act of digital flagellation.

But yes. You came for the skilliso

OK, turns out I can’t even write that word without throwing up in my mouth a little bit. You came for those skillshot episodes. Well, here they are.

Volume #1!

Volumn #2!

oVlume #3!

And here’s a multiplayer one where you use the energy lash thing to pull a dude apart.



  1. Darko Drako says:

    Not normally and fps fan, but this actually looks like fun.

    • Quintin Smith says:

      I think it’s looking great. Mainly the #BURN one in the third video.

    • Bungle says:

      Quintin, I can’t tell if you’re joking or not. I watched that video and all the guy did was shoot a shotgun that launches 4 shells at once. Zero aiming required. All you have to do is run around and mash the buttons. This is the opposite of skill play.

    • Pop says:

      Just like Street Fighter!


  2. Astatine says:

    Nice graphics and all, but I think I’ll be avoiding this one, even though I enjoyed Painkiller. It comes across as designed by hormone-swamped teenage males, for hormone-swamped teenage males. I know it’s meant to, but… why? Does that style really make all that many people want to play it? Also, isn’t it contributing to the negative image of gaming?

    It’s funny for about 30 seconds, and then I can’t take the sheer testosterone overload any more.

    • killmachine says:

      dunno if it has anything to do with testosterone, but i mainly agree.

      it looks fun, but after i did those kill shots a couple of times i guess it just gets boring. its not more than some action popcorn for a few hours.

      maybe im getting too old for “turn brain off” games.

    • Xercies says:

      I’m only 20 and i can’t stand the turn brain off games anymore

    • MikoSquiz says:

      I’m pushing thirty and love me some brainy-turny-offy, as long as it’s good.

      I would be twice as enthusiastic about this if instead of the deep growly “AW YEAHHH” noises the guy made “Oh, my.. *wry chuckle*” noises, though. That stupid “I have throat cancer” voice is barely tolerable. At least this doesn’t actually star Duke Nukem – that would be enough to put me right off.

    • Christian O. says:

      Not all games are intended to be a bastion of the gaming ideal. Some are just meant to be fun.

      The way I understand some of the following comments is that brainless is being equated with worthless and I think that’s doing a tremendous disservice to art in general. If we’re not talking logic or opinion, then an appeal to the base urges, emotions, moods etc. isn’t a bad thing.

    • steviesteveo says:

      I’m not a big fan of assigning behaviour to “testosterone” much beyond growing hair on your chest but I think this has to have been designed with a certain kind of male mindset in mind — groin shots that make you curl up and hold your genitals and say ouch because ow, it hurts to get kicked in the balls, with a gun, isn’t that funny, multiple-kill moves called “gang bang” and so on. The idea of teaming up with someone to pull an opponent apart is one of these things that really must get pretty old after the first couple of times.

    • jeremypeel says:

      If testosterone-blindness and stupidity-as-art weren’t appreciated, we’d never have had Pixies.

      Eyeballs would have been gouged.

  3. Gunder says:

    This game is going to be fucking awesome. I can’t stop replaying the demo to try and get a better high score.

  4. Gary W says:

    Besides, I’ve already played Vanquish and The Club.

  5. SuperChimpanzee says:

    Chalk, meet cheese.

  6. Gundato says:

    Game looks fun, but tried the demo on the PS3.

    Aesthetically, it has potential. It is just stupid enough to be endearing.

    But the guns themselves feel rather weak (which is a shame, since Painkiller was so fun because the guns had character).

    As far as the skillshots go, it felt pretty awkward. There are a few I find myself continually using (the one where you pull and kick, shoot and kick, and pull and shoot), but the rest just feel tacked on. Maybe unlocking more will help, but as it stands, it just felt a lot like combos in fighting games.

    In a fighting game like Tekken (at least, Tekken 1 :p), your basic attacks tend to flow together into combos. Do a sequence of punches, and your shirtless guy will do a combo. It made sense and flowed.
    Whereas in a fighting game like Mortal Kombat (at least, MK2), your basic attacks felt completely unconnected. You had to go out of you way to do a combo. You would never really flow into one.

    Felt the same way here. I rarely flowed into more than one or two combos, and had to go out of my way to trigger them.

    I’ll probably wait for a 20-30 dollar price tag on this one.

    • Fetthesten says:

      I also tried the PS3 demo, and I got a different impression.

      The three guns in the demo were an assault rifle (which overclocked into a shotgun), a pistol that shot sticky firework rockets, and a sort of weird grenade-on-a-rope launcher that had the ability to tie enemies together with explosive cords. Considering that was just a small selection from the full game, I say things are looking promising.

      As for movement, combos and flow, I noticed the jump button doubled as a slide button, letting you slide across the ground for quick repositioning. Another console action title called Vanquish has a similar system, and it’s fantastic; easily one of the best action games I’ve played. I played through the demo a couple times, noticing how quickly I picked up on how the environment and the various encounters were designed to reward a certain play style. Sliding around while pulling off environmental combos and skillshots felt intuitive and fun.

      As for the script, it’s clearly intentionally over-the-top, and pretty tongue in cheek about it too. It’s not exactly highbrow, but if you accustom yourself to it, it’s funny in a stupid way. It’s both a pastiche and commentary on how little game narrative has evolved over the past couple of decades, and I liked it.

      Basically, there is very little originality in Bulletstorm, but the game is confidently and smartly constructed. Or at least the demo was. It won’t be a fresh new sensation that will attract huge crowds, but I’m betting it’ll provide shooter fans with plenty of entertainment.

    • Whiskey Jak says:

      Totally agree. I went from “I don’t care about this game” saw the goofy marketing videos and went to “This looks like silly fun” and then tried the demo and I’m “yeah, almost there but not for me”. I understand how some people will love it, but I’m not looking for that kind of action. I’m much more excited by Brink at the moment!

  7. Navagon says:

    This game veers between looking like it’s going to cause me brain damage and looking like it’s going to be so fun I won’t care about a few less braincells anyway. This stuff is more like the latter (name aside).

  8. Captain Hijinx says:


    Roll on Red Orchestra 2!

  9. Njordsk says:

    It’s grumpy. Not angry. Important I think.


  10. MadTinkerer says:

    I’ve decided I’m going to stop watching stuff about the skillshots, because I want to experiment with stuff on my own when the game comes out.

    By the way, does this game remind anyone else of Wild 9? You know: the old Playstation 1 game by Shiny where you could pick up enemies with your energy-grabby-thing and toss them into propellers and grinders and spikes and such, and not just for the hilarious slapstick but also to progress further (you can’t walk on the spikes, so you impale an enemy on them and walk over the body, etc.)?

    I loved that game, right up until the difficulty curve broke on one of the middle levels and I couldn’t beat it. I’m fairly certain it was a bug in the control system, one where you couldn’t release a held missile until a certain point in it’s arc, and combined with the attack timing of the enemies you would always take at least one hit per enemy in that part of the level. To be clear: in this game you have very few life points and most enemies have tactics you can use to avoid taking any damage, so it greatly encouraged skillful play. But I swear that one level / enemy / the code for missiles / something was outright broken and there’s just no way to patch a PS1 game. A real shame.

    But anyway: energy-grabby-thing + emphasis on skill + creative ways of doing away with enemies. Bulletstorm reminds me of Wild 9 a lot, in a good way.

    • Kits says:

      Was a fun game, as much as I remember. Hadn’t really made the connection though, since it’s been so many years since I played it, and I even had to ponder a moment to remember what it was.
      And mostly I just remember those “falling” levels. Plunging down huge holes, dodging pipes and slamming enemies into the wall with your lasso thing.

    • Bhazor says:

      Oh Shiny, what the hell happened to you? That has to be one of the worst falls from grace I’ve seen in the business.
      Sheer class for a decade going from Earthworm Jim, my favourite non-nintendo Snes game, to Sacrifice to MDK to Messiah to Wild9 and then going on to make four utterly naff movie tie ins in a row. It’s like yin and yang with one half delicious white chocolate and the other being made of human shit.

  11. Stijn says:

    So violent :(

  12. thesundaybest says:

    I look at this as a physics based puzzler where the puzzle is how creatively you can blow people up. I’m going to guess that’s pretty fun, mostly because I spent a lot of Borderlands shooting people after the fact to see if I could move them around.


  13. Pijama says:

    “SKILLISODES”, you say. S-K-I-L-L-I-S-O-D-E-S.

    Bloody motherfucking Odin on a jetpack, SOMEONE FETCH ME A SHOTGUN.

  14. Khab says:

    Tried the demo on the 360, was kind of funnish but failed to convince me it’ll stand out enough to warrant an early purchase. One to find on the cheap in the summer, methinks.

  15. Nova says:

    Ah yes suddenly every FPS has the sliding move from Brink. The devs are getting faster and faster with the “borrowing”.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Don’t you mean the sliding move from Action Half Life? (Probably something older too, but that’s the first game I think I played with it in.)

    • subedii says:

      They couldn’t have borrowed it from Action Half-Life, that was just a mod. No, I’m certain that they’re stealing it from FEAR and nowhere else. Definitely.

      Sarcasm aside, people have been experimenting with and looking to improve movement in FPS’s for a while, and sliding is something that you can do in First Person whilst still letting it have an effect and look cool.

      Earlier games experimented with it, AHL, FEAR, Mirror’s Edge (which Brink and Crysis 2 would appear to be taking a fair amount from as well, with their emphasis on flowing motion), and now everyone’s trying to adopt their own variation of it.

    • Nova says:

      But FEAR is oooold and even Mirror’s Edge has been released over two years ago. Brink on the other hand is all around at the moment. Suddenly both Crysis and Bulletproof show videos with a very similar sliding mechanic.
      Well they probably just want to ride the freedom of movement hype wave, too.

    • Bhazor says:

      Personally I’m getting a more Vanquish feel than anything else.

    • moosedown says:

      Development cycles go on a bit longer than you think.

  16. Pani says:

    What do we know about the multiplayer? Is it upto 4 player coop? Is there a versus mode? What? What?

    • pupsikaso says:

      We know that there is no mode where you can shoot pixel representations of fellow humans. Just AI.

  17. DrGonzo says:

    I found the demo almost unbearable. They don’t seem to understand how stupid the game they have made is. It would be fine if they were approaching it like Serious Sam or Duke Nukem, but I actually get the impression that Cliffy B actually thinks this game is cool.

    • AndrewC says:

      Have you…been watching the adverts? At all?

    • DrGonzo says:

      Yep I have, I thought they were going for a ‘comedy’ angle. But it doesn’t seem to be present in the demo at all.

    • Pantsman says:

      Are we then to conclude that the line “pucker your butthole” was meant with the utmost gravity and sincerity?

    • Dajaki says:

      Here’s to you, Pop Pop.

    • moosedown says:

      This may be the largest woosh moment in the history of the internet.

  18. Mist says:

    Meh. I don’t actually play FPSs for the “oh look at how gruesomely I killed that guy!”-factor (in related opinions, I also don’t like movies that primarily focus on loads of blood and body parts flying around, with perhaps an exception for “artistic” purposes, e.g. a WW2 movie made with integrity).

    Also… “kill with skill”? What do the Mercy and Gag reflex clips have to do with skill? One seemed to involve spraying bullets until one hit the neck due to random spread, and the other involves hitting the badguy in the “nuts” (could’ve sworn he hits him in the knee, but whatever), before taking 3 seconds to press the “kick this guy in the head” button.

    I actually liked Painkiller a lot, and would love to see another game in it’s style (fast, atmospheric, occasionally a bit silly). Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be one (don’t know if they intended it to be, but if so..)

  19. Mist says:

    Commenting system ate my comment?

    Anyway. The focus on loads of blood / “look at how gruesome this is!” isn’t my thing. Also.. how exactly are the Gag Reflex and Mercy things “kill with skill”? First seemed to be about just spray and pray until a bullet hits the neck. Second involved hitting the “nuts” (more like knee as far as I could see..), and then taking 5 seconds to hit the “kick this guy” button.

    I really liked Painkiller. It was fast, you could make it yourself difficult, and I really liked the whole semi-horror-but-not-too-serious vibe. I’d love a spiritual successor to it; this doesn’t seem to be it.

  20. Jim Reaper says:

    Console demo, but no PC demo means no sale. If you can’t even be bothered to release a demo on the PC, then what does that say about the quality of your port.

  21. hamster says:

    Some of the skillshots aren’t very skillful. Dousing a few guys with a chain grenade? Popping a few guys with a charged (aoe) shotgun blast? I don’t know, this seems like something you’d just do. I hope that not everything will be a skillshot. I was sorta hoping that some of the skillshots have real utility and need to be used against certain enemies, or are more effective against them, for whatever reason (that is intuitive).

    • Hatsworth says:

      That’s because they’re only there to appeal to (the mainly skilless to begin with)masses who are playing the game using a terrible input device. If it was actually hard, say like Painkiller multiplayer, it would be bad for sales.

  22. bildo says:

    I want to play Duke Nukem Forever. I do not want to play Bulletstorm. Maybe it’s because I decided to never play another Epic game again…but then again…Bulletstorm just looks like a Duke Nukem game without the Duke-type-humor (in other words: macho, violent and protagonists that say one-liners here and there).

    Sure, Duke can’t slide around and make combo-skill-shots, but he can engage the mighty boot!

    Seriously, though, I still can’t figure out why this game doesn’t seem interesting. God I hate Cliffy B.

  23. BobsLawnService says:

    I think I’ll be buying Duke Nukem instead. I’m all for adolescent humour but this seems like a one trick pony. An announcer trying to be funny and silly Unreal Tournamentesque skill shots? It just seems like the Duke is going to offer a bit more.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      No, actually Duke has the exact same retarded 2 weapon slot limit.

      Over which I am more than sadfaced panda.

  24. Bungle says:

    I see no skill here. This is nothing more than button-mashing, auto-aiming console fodder for the kiddies. The PC crowd will not fall for this lie.

    • Rhin says:

      I keep reading the L in your name as capital I. Is that intentional?

  25. boldoran says:

    The voice-over dud in the beginning has it all wrong. It should be I for immature.

    But seriously i don’t know about this game. It’s good that there are shooters that take them self less serious but this is a bit too much for my taste. I prefer my silliness TF2 flavoured.

  26. terry says:

    I played a bit of the demo and it felt like a weird cross between Painkiller and Unreal Tournament.

  27. Tetragrammaton says:

    I also like the part when it said ‘M for mature’.
    In all seriousness though this looks like a reasonably entertaining way to spend a couple of hours

  28. pupsikaso says:

    And THIS is getting people excited? What? Where is there any skill involved whatsoever? You just have a limited number of fancy ways to kill pixels, which will get boring less than half-way through the tiny campaign.

    Let’s bet on how long the campaign will be. I say around 3 hours.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      Also let’s not forget: a limited way with limited guns.

      Though I do believe the skill part comes in when you do things like juggles etc. Bit like in modern fighting/brawling games, ya?
      Timing and somesuch.

    • pupsikaso says:

      Oh I have NO doubt that hitting a large, slow moving target several times in a row is quite challenging on a console. But we play PC games here.
      With a mouse.

      Sometimes we even have to perform similar acrobatic feats out of game! Such as chasing down an elusive “X” on a naughty pop-up that just came up exactly at the same time as a family member walks into the room.
      I wanna see someone manage THAT with thumbwhatchamacallitsticks.

  29. wazups2x says:

    Why does it have to use GFWL? Why not Steamworks? Epic why have you changed so much? Why won’t CliffyB just disappear? Why!

    Ugh.. I really wanted this game. I guess I’ll just wait for reviews and see if it’s worth getting even though it’s GFWL. It’ll probably end up being a bad console port.

    • Creeping Death says:

      GFWL? Well there goes my enthusiasm…

      I thought people had caught on by now that its loathed? :/

    • moosedown says:

      Epic has a history of using Steamworks over GFWL, eh?

  30. RegisteredUser says:

    Who cares about them anyway. They mutilated a great developer (PCF) into yet-another-limited-weapon-slot-console-FPS churner and have actively and even FIERCELY suppressed free speech and discussion about this topic in their forum.

    Epic Games needs to go away. They have forgotten that shooting stuff on the PC was supposed to be a fun, gun toting rampage, and that the gun toting part was what made it so.

    Not buying or supporting this in any way.

    P.S. Dear god, that game looks so ultra SLOW! As in slow moving protagonist, slow moving cross-hairs, slow EVERYTHING. I am getting a migraine just watching it. Is this because on the console the fail is so hard that you cannot expect people to aim at all and move at the same time, as controls are just plain unuseable sh*t for FPS? Oh wait. OF COURSE THEY ARE. – Or did the guy just forget to press the turbo button or something?

  31. Dajaki says:

    I can’t believe most of these comments. Limited ways to kill things with limited guns? If you were watching, the guns are for once, unique. Wrapping a flail grenade around someone’s noggin? An acid spewing shotgun? A flare shooting super pistol? And 135 different ways to kill things for points beats anything Halo, CoD or Crysis ever offered me. It’s basically an action movie with controls. And I’m just a bit too young to have played Duke Nukem when it was new, and going back and having played it a few weeks ago, it seems very much like this. The games industry needs a bit of balls out ridiculousness after the shitstorms that were MW 2 and Black Ops

    • RegisteredUser says:

      Since you already provided the perfect examples:
      Halo, CoD, MW and Crysis all suffer from being the polar opposite to what the original Duke 3D was: unlimited weapon slots, an open and free way to approach most levels, secrets to discover, and basically an epic amount of felt freedom to not just explore, but also to gore, all the while ENJOYING YOURSELF while doing it.

      The modern DNF, Bulletstorm, and all the other crippleware modern consolized shooters have gone for slower control, auto-aim like gameplay, while restricting your choices(weapon slot limit) as much as possible because they think that your puny gamer brain won’t hurt as much then, and linearizing levels. I.e. a total retardation of everything that is fun.

      Bulletstorm is in the same “less less less” vein as the rest of the crap bunch. I would have thought you, too, coulld spot the difference after playing one of the classics of the _real_ PC FPS genre.

      It’s all rather depressing if you grew up with actually fun shooters to come into an age of THIS.

    • hey_Im_Wyatt says:

      Totally agree, seems as though this is a fresh look at the FPS

    • Dajaki says:

      I disagree, in that Bulletstorm is restrictive for a purpose, unlike CoD and company. Linear levels, a 3 gun limit and the points system indicate to me that this is meant to be replayed, which doesn’t mean that it is a ‘total retardation of everything fun’ but rather pursuing an older kind of fun. Challenging yourself to be more creative in completing a level seems to me a lot like replaying parts of DN to see how else you could finish it.

      Bulletstorm seems to me an altogether different beast compared to CoD and company, and in a way it’s very much like Duke done differently. There’s no point bemoaning the glory days that are gone, rather Bulletstorm should be celebrated for finally having a purpose in it’s restriction, unlike the others.

  32. Stephen Roberts says:

    I don’t see why Cliff Belinski has become such an iconic figure of varying levels of antagonism. Sure, his PR was awful concerning the lack of a PC demo and that will clearly be reflected in sales but look – the game is not him. The lead singer from any given band you listen to could be a total arsehole but it’s the music you enjoy and love. There are probably comedians that I wouldn’t want at my dinner table but their comedy is exceedingly good.

    I’m definitely going to outfit my war suit with multiple tiny wheels on the back. That sliding looks fun.

  33. FluffyM says:

    Where’s the “skill”? All I see are a bunch of instagib abilities and aiming down the sights, as if that ever was a good mechanic. Nty.

  34. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    “You shot the dick off me!” — last words of the guy in the second bit of the first video.

  35. hey_Im_Wyatt says:

    I have not played the demo but I think games should be entertaining and I think games should also have purpose and meaning. And yeah Bulletstorm might not have the latter it looks really entertaining and fun though, which is good enough.

  36. po says:

    Should have an achievement called ‘Red ring of death’.

  37. JonMinton says:

    “Rated M for Mature”. Yes, very mature.

  38. kennycrown says:

    I know it’s meant to, but… why? Does that style really make all that many people want to play it? Also, isn’t it contributing to the negative image of gaming?