Doesn’t every little girl dream of the exciting life of being a space pirate? Flying in space in really cool although constantly needing work ships, looting other ships for booty, seducing anyone you want? Sounds great. But reality sets in and those fantasies get replaced like all other childhood dreams with responsibilities. The creative team at EA, Epic and People Can Fly haven’t forgotten that dream and with their game Bulletstorm it’s time to let those fantasies come out to play.
In this game, you play Grayson Hunt, a former member of an elite military squad but now a space pirate with a hefty bounty on your head. You find yourself in a position to take out the man who betrayed you thus starting your life of piracy. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned and you find yourself stranded on a resort planet. That sounds great except for the fact that the inhabitants, both animal and vegetable, have experienced dramatic mutation. The only way to survive is by helping the very man you were trying to kill.
The story is truly a basic one and fairly short. It doesn’t take that long to go through all seven acts. There are some really great one liners between the characters or even from the resort ads. The truly entertaining party of the game , though, are the actual kills. The more unique the kill the more points you get, which gives you more opportunity to buy guns and bullets. If you don’t get enough points you can’t buy bullets, which can cause problems. The solution to that problem is kill the enemy and take his bullets or just use environmental kills and environmental kills will get you more points so you can get bullets next time. To give an example, a plain bullet kill gives you 10pts while a headshot gives you 25pts. However, kicking a guy into some exposed rebar will get you 100pts. Not all of the skill kills are environmental, most of them do involve the guns, and that can get tricky to accomplish. The guns are standard, assault rifle, shot gun, sniper rifle, pistol but there are some fun guns such as a flail gun, grenade launcher, and even a drill gun!
The overall controls are what you expect but sometimes you can get caught on nothing. There is no jump capabilities so sometimes even though you are a big hulk of a badass you can’t walk over a simple rock or root. The run feature is there and it was a bit easier to control than the run in some other games. The slide feature was fun and it helped you with enemies and skill shots. The trouble with slide is sometimes those cracks that you can’t jump over will also stop your slide and they aren’t always obvious.
Something I found interesting was that there is a part where you essentially go through a simple maze within a time limit. If you don’t make it before the time runs out and you have to redo the maze, the way out that you found the first time isn’t going to be the way out. The maze wasn’t hard but that was a nice touch. When this game sets time limits on getting through a part of it, you really have to get through in that time. I know other games do that, but it seemed like so many were just doing the “we’ll make it seem urgent that you get through but really there is nothing happening until you hit the check points so don’t worry about it.” On a personal preference, there were a couple of spots where you did nothing really from checkpoint to checkpoint. It seemed like you might have something to deal with but it was taken care of in a cut scene so you just guided Hunt through the level and you didn’t even have a time limit.
Once you finish the campaign, there are other modes to play. There is the Echo mode which takes various maps from the campaign and drops you in it. The objective is to score as many points as possible. This is obtained through those skill shot kills that you were learning through the campaign, and by beating it within the par time. This is the opportunity to show off to friends (because there is a leader board) or to be embarrassed if you can’t keep up.
Then there is multiplayer. The multiplayer can be with strangers or just a private match with friends. The team is made of up to four people and you have to work together to get enough points to complete the wave so you can continue to the next wave. It is very much like the hoard mode from Epic’s Gears of War 2. The enemies from the campaign come at you, with each wave different and more difficult to kill. They even throw a special enemy that has to be killed by the team in a certain way. This is easy to do with two people working together, but I had trouble getting the four of us to get it. The live players I was partnered with just couldn’t get it together and wouldn’t listen to directions. The joys of online gaming!
The achievements have been very straightforward and easy enough to get. They just take a little time and perhaps a couple of friends for the multiplayer ones. There haven’t been any that were out of the way difficult or any secret ones! The most problematic is just getting all the points in the Echo modes and all the skill shots.
This game is fun to play and with the various ways to kill people it does have some replay ability. The multiplayer can get monotonous but with the right party it is fun. I could see there being a sequel made with these characters on a different planet; although, it will be more of just the same. But then, many games have been very successful with that concept. It is a fun game that is quick to play and doesn’t get bogged down.
I give this game a 4 out of 5.