Bulletstorm was a testosterone-filled ride when it launched back in 2011. Sharing an aesthetic similarity to Epic’s Gears of War series, but feeling more like a twitch shooter with an attitude, this first-person killing simulator brought plenty of unique ideas, including colorful combinations of the English language. The remaster feels like it hasn’t aged a day, and players who missed out on this adrenaline-laced experience now have a second chance to see what all the fuss was/is about.
So what is included in this remaster? As is par for the course, Full Clip Edition includes the original game, all of its released DLC, and even some new maps and modes for the skill-based multiplayer. The game features both competitive and cooperative score challenge modes, as well as a new Overkill mode which unlocks all skill shots from the get-go, after completing the campaign of course. Another new addition, for those that pre-order at least, is the ability to play the entire campaign as Duke Nukem. This includes newly recorded dialogue from the original voice actor, and feels right at home with the tone of Bulletstorm.
Platforms: XB1 (reviewed), PS4, PC
Price I’d Pay: $39.99
Visually the game has aged well, and now running at 60fps on the Unreal 4 engine, it shines. There are minor instances of frame hitching during certain sequences, but the new lighting engine really showcases just how great this game looked, especially for how old it is. There are massive vistas to see, and this is the kind of game the screenshot function was designed for.
As I mentioned the shooting is fast and frantic. Everything is based around skill shots, which are specific ways to kill enemies. Early on the player gets a leash that can pull and grab objects and weapons, thus leading to new and interesting ways to kill enemies. Discovering new ways to maim enemies and chaining them together is the name of the game. Sure players can push forward pulling the trigger, but style is rewarded with points that can be used to upgrade the leash as well as the powers it wields.
It all combines to create a unique shooter, but some of the mechanics show their age. For example, the complete lack of a jump button, or the awkward way sprinting works feel like things developers have since sorted out. Also, some of the clever dialogue feels dated at times. Bulletstorm was unique when it originally launched, but some of its originality has since been surpassed.
While I enjoyed the heck out of this game in 2011, and again in 2017, my biggest issues comes in the form of the price. This is a fun game, but remasters rarely get off lightly charging full retail price. I think $60 for a few new features and Duke Nukem is a little much, especially considering the Duke Nukem Tour was only free for pre-orders, alone it is an extra $5 on top of that. The game would have been much more attractive at a discounted $40 level, because there is truly some fun to be had here.
Remasters are part of this generation whether we like them or not. Bulletstorm is a game perfect for this trend as a lot of players likely missed it the first time around. The addition of Duke Nukem and all the DLC is nice, but the sticker shock is real. This is the kind of game that would have done much better with just a little lower price of entry.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.