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Bulletstorm PS3 Review - -

Gameplay 9.2
Graphics 9.0
Sound 8.5
Value 9.3
Distributor: EA Games
Review Date:
Feb 2011
Andrew Bistak



Bulletstorm is indeed one of the world’s craziest first person shooters which is created by developers People Can Fly and focuses on the customisation of killing. That’s right, when it comes to dispatching your enemies to the never world, Bulletstorm gives full control to the player which can at times be considerably quite violent and bloody.

Called skillshots (kill with skill), players are awarded for how well they dispatch an enemy and performing these outrageous finishing shots, you are given points which can then be used to upgrade your weapons and unlock additional moves. Crazy talk! At times, Bulletstorm reminds me of Serious Sam meets Duke Nukem due to its outlandish gameplay and story but somehow it works. There is even a twinge of Force Unleashed and Prototype due to the sometimes superhero like powers.

The story of Bulletstorm revolves around Grayson Hunt, the leader of a gang of mercenaries who are being hunted by bounty hunters across the star system. Their mistake was to cross their corrupt General and from it, they have become marked men. The story begins like a Hollywood action film as these band of mercenaries dispatch the last of their bounty hunters who want their head.

From there, it goes from bad to worse as Hunt's team has an encounter with the general’s warship and from there, Hunt decides to ram his ship in order to take him out. By crashing his ship, not only does it take down the general (allegedly) but it forces them to crash on an abandoned resort planet which is overrun by crazed madman. The introduction of Bulletstorm is setup well that include flashbacks to your past and some great character dialogue between Hunt and his partner, Ishi Sato who acts as your wingman in the game.

The storyline behind Bulletstorm is entertaining, although clichéd but rather supports the gameplay as opposed to hinder it with its believable characters and sometimes over the top gaming moments. You also have some AI buddies in the game that generally stand around but every now and then, they will perform something. It would be better if they were more interactive as opposed to riding on your coat tales. As usual, it falls upon the gamer to finish the job. Although the futuristic atmosphere of the game is quite out there from silly to sadistic, the main feature is the skillshot system as mentioned.

At its core, Bulletstorm is a first person shooter but with a unique twist. Just a like a fighter (e.g. Tekken or Street Fighter), players have access to a skillshot menu thanks to an illegal military type device that becomes attached to your body.  The skillshots behind Bulletstorm is definitely open up to interpretation because there are so many different ways to perform a skilled "kill" shot. The mechanics behind the skillshots are linked to the various weapons in the game which truly cause havoc on your enemies.

There is also an overcharge mode that works in conjunction with the skillshots that increases the scope of these shots. Whether it's pulling someone over with your electric whip, then kicking them in the air and then shooting them in the head or  or kicking someone into an electric fence... you get the idea, there is a wide myriad of entertaining finishing manoeuvres. Thankfully the game has a list of these in order for the player to perform and best of all, the game keeps a track of it. The best part of the skillshots is that killing someone with just a gun or a machine gun is no far anymore and you are always searching for new ways to dispose of your enemies. Thankfully an element of Matrix bullet time is involved with skillshots that does allow you to pause and think... how am I going to make this suckers life even worse. Another positive about skillshots is that they flawless work with the control system of the game and this is the highlight of Bulletstorm.

The environments that you visit range from abandoned cities to jungles and even a cool Godzilla type area were you run rampant through it with your guns and skillshots. Quite a bit of gaming love has gone into this title and it really shows with the end results. There some almost quick-time events in the game as well which are generally for boss battles or involve timing like climbing across a canyon or forcing you to look in a particular direction. Bulletstorm has this real 80's feel to it from its excessiveness and over the top battles, just like a classic Arnold Schwarzenegger film.

The control system of Bulletstorm works well with the PS3 DualShock controller and navigating this world and your powers is relatively easy. However as you do progress, trying to master those skillshots do become more difficult. The only hassle I had with the gaming engine is that sometimes the title stops like pushing X to climb over something or climb a ladder. The game did lose a little of its fluidity here. Some more cover mechanics could have also been employed better. My favourite part of the controls is the slide which allows you to slide on the ground or down slopes at insane speeds.

Bulletstorm supports some entertaining multiplayer modes as you take on never ending hoards of enemiess. Anarchy is my favourite mode that is reminiscent of Gears of Wars hoard mode as you attempt to kill the enemies cooperatively with three other players. One twist to multiplayer is echoes that basically removes the story aspect of the game of thoroughly focuses on your score that in turn is recorded on a leaderboard. It's definitely great for those competitive gamers and it opens up some great replay value as you attempt to break your own scores and attempt to better others. Even thought I enjoyed multiplayer, you cannot beat the single-player mode of Bulletstorm, especially some of those epic boss battles! Wow.

Graphically, this is one good looking game on the PS3 with some amazing backgrounds, character designs and special effects. This futuristic alien planet that you visit looks great as are the claustrophobic corridors of the space ships. The Unreal 3 engine is still looking good and there's plenty of eye candy to be found in this game. Voice acting is professional, even though it is a little over the top and there are some very funny “swearing” moments in the game plus some great banter between Hunter and Ishi. The soundtrack really didn't play a part for me that much but if you listen, it's there as are all the background sounds of this alien planet.

At first, Bulletstorm didn't immediately give me the wow factor but as I played, this game just got better and better. It's probably one of the most original first person shooters that I have played in quite some time and really unleashes the hidden killer in you. The game always keeps challenging you and adding new ways of dispatching foes or some delicious upgrades to your weapons and skills. Go out and do yourself a favour and check out Bulletstorm now, you will not be disappointed and if a game can always attempt to me to come back for more, it's definitely doing something right!


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