Bulletstorm Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PC

Bulletstorm is: a bromantic comedy starring two meat-heads and a chick with huge norks; a lesson in creative swearing and vulgarity; an interactive compendium of interesting things you can do with a gun; a middle-finger to the current customs and conventions of the FPS genre; and a shout out to its peers: "Hey! Assmaggots! Why you all gotta be so serious!?"

And they are. Killzone 3 might be technically flabbergasting, with glorious environments and reload animations that could make a grown man cry, but it "lacks heart". From the word go Bulletstorm is different. The opening scene finds mercenary captain Grayson Hunt swigging on a beer, staring through a wobbly haze of inebriation as he attempts to shoot a bottle off the head of a captured enemy. Alcoholism is one of a long list of character flaws afflicting our wannabe William Tell, but it doesn't take long to grow attached to the brute regardless. His loose tongue and quick wit make for entertaining banter, which shines brightly during the frequent exchanges with his facially disfigured squad-mate, Ishi Sato.

Like everything else that goes wrong in the game, Ishi's face is Grayson's fault - caused in the ramifications of a drunken decision to start a fight with the vastly superior space cruiser of nemesis General Serrano. Revenge drives the remainder of the plot, and while you might not expect a game of Bulletstorm's nature to offer much in the narrative department, the strength of its characters and comical situations turn out to be one of the title's strongest assets.

Those with sensitive ears might find the game to be crude and vulgar (which it is), but the use of profanity really is masterful. As well as dropping plenty of f-bombs, Bulletstorm combines words such as 'dick' with other anatomical lovelies - like 'tits' - for a brand new swearing experience. Chances are you've heard dick-tits already, but the wonderfully cobbled together 'fungal rim-job' is perhaps the best of the bunch. Not far into the story, Trishka gets in on the verbal sparring matches, at which point you'll realise it's not just the men that need their mouths washing out with soap.

After escaping from their burning vessel at the start of the game, Grayson and Ishi (with his face patched up) find themselves in some backwater corner of the galaxy. It's on this paradisiacal planet that the majority of the game takes place; a world populated with palm trees, waterfalls and dazzling pink sunsets. Oh, and mutants. The hooded freaks, gang members and hideous abominations that stroll about decaying architecture are a striking contrast to the landscape itself.

Disposing of them is a violent and bloody affair, largely defined by the game's Skillshot system: 131 specific ways in which you can kill your enemies. It's the mechanic behind Bulletstorm's Kill with Skill! slogan, the sentiment that if you put some creativity into your gun-slinging, you'll be rewarded.

Bulletstorm contextualises its main mechanic with the Leash, a rope of energy that grades your performance as you fight, with those who make use of Skillshots getting resupplies via shops scattered about each level. This Darwinian approach to battle actually makes quite a lot of sense when you think about it - survival of the fittest and all that. These shops not only offer upgrades and power-ups, but feature a database of every Skillshot in the game.

At first you'll rely heavily on the bullet kick: a sturdy boot to the face which sends an enemy flying into the air in slow-motion, at which point they're ripe for pumping full of lead. You could even choose to yank them back with your trusty Leash and kick them again, if you fancied. After time, however - once you know your weapons and surroundings - you'll be making use of far more entertaining executions.

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Highest Rated Comment

IndoorHeroes's Avatar

IndoorHeroes

Does it make me want to rape? Hell, I'm rapin' right now. I'm rapin' everyone up in here...

Click for Image
Posted 17:48 on 22 February 2011

User Comments

Bloodstorm's Avatar

Bloodstorm

Oh man, the multiplayer is so much fun, especially with friends and not elitist twats.
Posted 12:21 on 22 March 2012
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee

I paid £2.98, and feel guilty about that. Should have paid more, and will definitely buy the online pass as soon as I have ANY money to spend on ANYTHING.
Posted 11:42 on 22 March 2012
pblive's Avatar

pblive

Just a fun little game that tries something a bit new. Not outstanding, but certainly great fun from what I've played so far.
Posted 11:13 on 22 March 2012
Bloodstorm's Avatar

Bloodstorm@ draytone

Yes, it was DEFINITELY worth the £15 i paid for it.
Posted 11:12 on 22 March 2012
dudester's Avatar

dudester

Thats all down to opinion for me no it wasn't but worth playing for 97p absolutely.
Posted 11:05 on 22 March 2012
draytone's Avatar

draytone

Thanks to the demise of GAME I picked the Limited Edition up for 97p yesterday... is it as good as Jamin's review makes out?
Posted 10:41 on 22 March 2012
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams@ EISPower

Jesus, that's high praise indeed.
Posted 07:31 on 13 March 2011
EISPower's Avatar

EISPower

The best game i have ever played on PC,could have topped Mass Effect but i wish it would have been a bit longer.
Posted 06:35 on 13 March 2011
Bloodstorm's Avatar

Bloodstorm

Ishi alone has more character than anyone in Killzone 3.

It's an amazing game and it's DEFINTELY worth a 9.
Posted 04:22 on 25 February 2011
EverTheOptimist's Avatar

EverTheOptimist

Good review. I'm still not prepared to throw down my cash for this yet though, I'll probably grab it when it goes cheap.
Posted 12:36 on 24 February 2011
p0rtalthinker's Avatar

p0rtalthinker@ RecoN

I've heard from a couple of people its a bug in the game. It'll lag with anything above AAx4 no matter what kind of a rig you have.
Posted 00:01 on 24 February 2011
joe7's Avatar

joe7

Regarding the scores: is a hiccup in the system, the correct scores/values got overriden temporarily by some unrelated data. Shall be fixed shortly.
Posted 17:44 on 23 February 2011
RecoN's Avatar

RecoN@ p0rtalthinker

My Pc version has come :D Ive installed and sadly I can only run the game smoothly on AAx4 and rest on high setting (1680x1050 res)

I have XFX 280GTX XXX in SLI on a Quad core. Good game so far, shame that this game struggles badly with frame rate issues above AAx4 =:S
Posted 12:15 on 23 February 2011
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee@ Jamin

Wasting your time, Jamin. Sony droids never bother reading things. All they ever see are numbers that aren't 10 and then moan about them. Your score was fully justified in your review, you do not need to defend yourselves against those idiots.

Current metacritic of 85 has it higher than Killzones 3's 84, as well. VG is not alone in thinking it is a better game.
Posted 12:07 on 23 February 2011
p0rtalthinker's Avatar

p0rtalthinker@ Bloodstorm

I'm waiting for the demo as well; but for now this is definitely going on my wish list. The visuals looks amazingly fantastic on PC.

Great review Jamin. You've really made me want to pick this up...
Posted 02:00 on 23 February 2011

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Bulletstorm
9
Out of 10
Bulletstorm
  • Skillshot system is inspired
  • Fantastic script
  • Plenty of memorable moments
  • Occasional technical let-downs
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 25/02/2011
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: People Can Fly
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: First Person Shooter
Rating: PEGI 18+
Site Rank: 1,914 15
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