Saturday, 5 March 2011

[Review] BulletStorm.

Bulletstorm shows us the true power of the Unreal engine, with its focus on skillshots. The more insane the kill, the more points you get. The more points you get, the more weapons you can unlock. The more weapons you unlock, the more skillshots you unlock. The more skillshots you unlock, the more fun we unlock. And more fun makes us happy, right? The gameplay is very fast paced, and may very well be overwhelming at some points. This game is unique in the way that it is focused around skillshots and the accumulation of points to further better your arsenal of weaponry. The sheer high you get when mowing down wave after wave of enemies feels well, great to put it simply. Don't get me wrong, its not a game where you can literally just run through, all guns blazing, and come out the other end without a single scratch. Afterall, we all run out of ammo at some point. Anyway, the new skillshot factor alone can kill us. I know, I know, it sounds strange, but it's true. Even on the easiest difficulty, when you find yourself focusing on a certain skillshot you often forget your surroundings, and you don't realise your being shot at into you're lying on the ground pumped full of lead. Anyway, onto the review!  

BulletStorm takes place at around the 26th century and revolves around Grayson Hunt, the main protagonist of the story who goes rogue after finding out that his commanding officer General Sarrano had lied about the targets and commanding them to kill innocent men and women. Years later, after an alcohol induced attempt to take out Sarrano, the two ships crash and the game takes off.

After his drunken thirst for revenge which ends up dumping him and Ishi Sato, his friend and crew member, on a nearby planet, Grayson voyages on a journey to avenge his friends and the innocent lives that had been lost at his hand in a desperate attempt to redeem himself. Ishi Sato is badly injured in the crash, and half of his body, along with part of his brain, has been replaced with mechanical parts. Ishi's struggle to compete against the AI that threatens to take over his body and Grayson's desire for revenge provide a gripping and intense storyline.

Presentation and Design
The game takes place on the former resort planet of Stygia, which is now inhabited by criminals, mutants, flesh eating plants and giant monsters. If the collapsing building hadn't given it away, Stygia is in pretty bad shape and ‘BulletStorm’ has done a great job presenting it as a planet of destruction. The environment compliments the destructive nature of the game with flesh eating plants, debris and other spiked objects that can be used to kick enemies into, allowing players to earn extra skill points for environmental kills.


BulletStorm focuses on rewarding players who maximize the amount of skill points from killing a mutant, criminal or monster in a specific way. For example, if you kick a mutant, shoot him and kill him before his hits the ground you will earn skill points for a 'Bullet Kick'.
There are various weapons upgrades, including an energised whip known as the 'Leash' which assists Grayson in moving heavy objects and pulling enemies towards him. Getting all the weapons and upgrading them is great, and with a list of skill points available, it's a lot of fun to attempt to execute the different kills.

The multiplayer mode in BulletStorm is fun enough, however it doesn't provide any competition between players. Rather than having every player for themselves, the four players must work together to make enough skill points to advance to the next wave of mutants and criminals. Although killing waves of enemies sounds like a lot of fun, the skill points for certain kills seem under-rewarded and at times it's hard to distinguish the end of a wave of enemies from the beginning. With no real competition it just feels like killing enemies for the sake it, making the multiplayer dull and repetitive.

Although the gameplay is great, it gets rather repetitive after a time, and the lack of a powerful multiplayer to back it up is rather dull.


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