Game of the week #7/2011 – Bulletstorm

Yes, time for stuff. It does not happen very often that a videogame makes me laugh out loud and manifests a solid smile in my face while playing, but this week’s GotW is one of those. It’s ‘Bulletstorm’, the latest output by Cliffy B., realized with the Unreal engine III and developed by the guys from ‘People Can Fly’, that you might know from the ‘Painkiller’ series. ‘Bulletstorm’ is truely a FPS that puts the fun back into shooter gaming. After playing thousands and thousands of ultra-realistic first person shooters situated in a modern warfare scenario it felt like a kind of deliverance to play this particular game. I was a little sceptical before the release of ‘Bulletstorm’ if this game is not just only a pure feature-gadget-firework that lacks of fun in gameplay. I was seriously wrong.

First of all, for those of you who still don’t know, here’s short story introduction. You play Grayson Hunt, a space pirate from the black-ops squad called Dead Echo. After finding out that their squad was misused by the evil General Sarrano, who let them kill innocent civilians, the squad starts to revolt against Sarrano and calls for revenge. The real plot of the story starts with a crash landing on the planet Stygia and basically two things are left to do. Finding General Sarrano and kill him. And to escape from the planet.

During the escape you find lots of interesting guns and you also get a nice gadget plugged on your arm to grap enemies with a kind of tractor ray. You gain the most of the fun with the so called skillshot system. It’s not just only about fragging enemies it’s about fragging them with style. You can grab enemies with your little arm gadget. You can throw them in the air. You can push them into spikes. You can make them suffer on a slitted throat and gain points for ‘gargle effects’. You can shock them with electricity. You can shoot their balls off. You can slide them off. You can throw them off heights… etc. etc. etc. It’s just so much you can do, to frag your opponents with style and gain points for that. The earned points can be spent for new guns, ammunition and extra charge for your weapons. Each weapon has a secondary fire mode which is much more devastating, and fun, than the primary mode and mostly effective in boss fights. The boss fights itself are challenging, not too tough and of course a lot of fun.

The game is also rich of totally nice and funny events like escaping from a giant, I mean GIANT, mining wheel. Fighting a mechanical dinosaur in a miniature theme park. Fighting your enemies with the help of the mechanical dinosaur. It’s also nice to see, that the pace of the game is not always be held on high speed, and that it offers some moments to let you breathe. Which is actually good because the whole presentation of the game is just awesome. Even though it was made with the “old” Unreal Engine III, the game looks absolutely state of the art. It also does offer Physx, with some manual tweaks, and a DirectX10 render path, also with manual tweaks. For some unknown reason are the config files encrypted so you cannot simply edit them by using a standard text editor, you actually need a decrypter (!?). This seems to me, like the curse of the multi-platform development, hopefully we, the PC gamers, get rid of this with an upcoming patch.

To summarize, I want to recommend this game to everyone who is tired of the common, standard first person shooters stuff that gets released each and every day. This game gives you a fresh breeze into your face that soon becomes a storm of pure shooter fun that you haven’t experienced for years. ‘Bulletstorm’ has so many great ideas included and so many funny things either that your money is well spent on this game. I also want to mention again, this is not just a game that builts its innovation on a couple of newly introduced game gadgets. GO! BUY IT!

Links: Official website

Config decrypter

Duty Calls (commercial game)

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