As the lights dimmed and we sat through the short tutorial video that explained what Bulletstorm was all about I couldn’t help but get excited, I felt like a kid again about to play with the coolest toy in the world.
For those not in the loop, Bulletstorm is the next game from the fine people at People Can Fly, if the name sounds familiar it’s because they are the team responsible for the insane and over the top Painkiller franchise. Just a shout out to all those Duke Nukem fans that were crushed by the cancellation of Duke Nukem Forever, you may take solace that everything you loved about Duke (sans the strippers) can be found in Bullestorm.
But you must be asking what the devil is he talking about? How can a game about some dude on a world full of crazy gangs and killer plants be like Duke Nukem? Well how about the best one liners you’ll ever hear in your life, like this gem. “You’re getting fat, because you’re eating all those bullets!”
The game is all about having fun with your kills, everything you do to end the life of some poor peon racks up more points. Your job is to combine the environment, your array of weapons and that oh so deranged imagination to create elaborate combos that will score the most points.
And let me tell you there are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to killing. Grenade launchers that expel dual grenades tied together with a chain that can bind an enemy. A gravity whip that allows you to throw groups of enemy into the air letting them enjoy a moment of weightless floating before meeting their end, and a cornucopia of melee moves that allow you to kick, trip and slide at your enemies. See a massive cactus and think it would look fantastic with a corpse impaled on it? Then kick some unsuspecting fool into it and rack up major points.
However the girth of ways to kill your enemy isn’t limited to just letting you get the highest score per kill, the developers also want there to be a level of strategy involved when handling different types of enemies. While this portion of the gameplay wasn’t really shown I am more than confident that it will turn out stellar in the end.
Lastly let’s talk about boss battles. The tragic reality is that for years boss battles have been slowly starting to vanish, most games don’t need nor want the enemy type and so they have become less a staple of games and more of an add on. Bulletstorm on the other hand hopes to make its boss battles some of the best parts of the game, and we were treated to an enormous Venus flytrap looking beast that had entrenched itself into a massive room, I don’t want to spoil what happens, but let’s just say things will get messy.
The game isn’t hard to look at either. The world is this wonderful combination of a crumbling buildings being slowly overrun by what can only be described as overly aggressive plants, something akin to the rude cousins of the plant from Little Shop of Horrors. For those of you who are unfamiliar with that classic film slap yourself for not being in the loop. Thankfully the violence very much has a comic style to it, more like Borderlands and less like Dead Space, you won’t be losing your lunch if you throw someone into a spike or turn him and his closest friend to flaming giblets.
While Bullestorm doesn’t appear to be a game that will tell a deep and moving narrative it does look like a wild action pack ball of fun, one that allows you sick and twisted people to express your darkest ideas in visceral fashion.