There are multitudes of first person shooters out there that have a similar style. A gray colored fighter fights gray colored enemies in a gray colored spaceship. “Bulletstorm,” produced by Epic Games and People Can Fly, is a shooter that provides a decidedly different FPS experience. Released on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, “Bulletstorm” has been in the media lately for its controversial play style and language, but, at least for me, this game lives up to the hype.
After a rather cliche opening space battle between a drunken space pirate and a corrupt government official that leaves both parties stranded, the action picks up pretty quickly. The story, coupled with entertaining dialogue, is what makes this game so interesting. The dialogue suited the pirate, and there was so much cursing that I feel like I learned a few new words myself. Changing how the dialogue is used, from just a way to progress the story to an entertainment medium, really helps you get into the game. With multiplayer, single player campaign and echo mode, there is a lot of content that will keep you coming back for more. The only thing that constantly struck me as being slightly buggy was how players react with walls. If you are not lined up almost exactly perpendicular to the wall, the option to jump over it isn’t available.
Sporting only eight weapons, many players may feel like there aren’t enough, but each weapon is equipped with a special charge that alters the weapon’s function. For instance, the four barreled shotgun, called “Boneduster,” shoots out a wave of super-heated gas, when charged, that can kill enemies behind walls. There is also the very unique Energy Leash which allows you to yank enemies closer to you for a kick or into another deadly object. The leash, when used, causes the affected enemy to slow down in the air, making “Bulletstorm’s” other unique attribute, skill shots, more accessible. Players are given points according to how well they can kill their opponents. Head shots grant you 125 points, and the mercy skill shot, which is first a groin shot and then killing the enemy, grants you 500. The irreverence and the entertainment factor of these outlandish kills are what make the other part of single play important.
Echo mode allows players to replay important sections from the game without the story mode elements. This mode gives you access to the same weapons that you had access to during the story, but the focus is to try and acquire the highest skill point total possible. I found this mode extremely entertaining, and when completed you can compare your scores with the world and your friends to see how well you did.
The online multiplayer is more akin to a game like “Left 4 Dead” than to a game like “Halo.” The cooperative anarchy mode puts you in a group of up to four players, and the goal is to grind away at wave after wave of enemies while executing team based skill shots. The challenge advances in difficulty as your team gets a higher score, and at each level you are required to get a certain number of points to advance. If you fail, you repeat the same difficulty.
This game is not for those that do not like gore, violence and vulgar language. If you are tired of the same old FPS game that has come out twice a year for the past half a decade, pick up this title and have a new experience.