Bulletstorm Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PC

Bulletstorm tells the story of a futuristic confederation protected by an elite band of mercenaries.

Review Verdict Read Review
9Out of 10
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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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User Comments

GeNeCyDe1993's Avatar

GeNeCyDe1993@ Woffls

I will be joining you ;)

My brother has already pre-ordered this, glad it looks like it has lived up to all the hype. Will be playing through it whenever i can get a chance!
Posted 00:26 on 23 February 2011
Woffls's Avatar


Might as well give it an 8; they'll react the same way.

But if Skyward Sword gets less than a 9, I'm taking a trip to Croydon. And I wont be bringing biscuits.
Posted 00:20 on 23 February 2011
Bloodstorm's Avatar


Oh yea, can you give Uncharted 3 a 3? Make the Sony fanboys heads explode.
Posted 00:06 on 23 February 2011
Jamin's Avatar

Jamin@ ghostdog25

My play-through of the game took me just shy of eight hours, a fact that I referenced in my review with the sentence -- "The eight hour-odd campaign is fantastically well paced." Anybody completing the game in five hours will have (probably) played on easy, and not taken their time to 'collect' all the Skillshots.

There is indeed 'real' multiplayer too, it exists, and I've played it. It's just not the tried and tested deathmatch style of play you are perhaps accustomed to. It is, however, fantastic.
Posted 23:02 on 22 February 2011
thompo555's Avatar


Mussttt... Proteccchtttt.. SooOnyY..

No, I jest.
What I will say is:
A remote controlled cyborg-dinosaur that shoots lasers from his eyes? SOLD! Why hasn't someone got a real one of these?

Great review there Jamin! Certainly going to be at leas playing this over the coming months! No idea when though! It's on my mental list along with games like Dead Space and Arkham asylum!
Posted 21:34 on 22 February 2011
CheekyLee's Avatar


Aaaah, the good old Sony Defence Force. Give it a rest, eh, droids? Nobody here cares for your whining.

I wasn't sold on the demo, but I have to admit that this has pricked my ears up somewhat. In particular, the multiplayer aspect pleases me a lot, and is probably the reason I'll end up buying this game. Also, I am a fan of any review that pisses the droids off, so all in all - Good work, Jamin!
Posted 21:21 on 22 February 2011


The review of Killzone 3 was of the single player only not the online. What has been said many a time is that, Neon will review the multiplayer of Killzone 3 when the public servers are out and then adjust the score then.
Posted 21:14 on 22 February 2011
ghostdog25's Avatar


a 9??? LMFAO LOL... WAIT WAIT.... LOL! So Killzone get's a 7... this gets a 9 with a 5hr campaign... no real multiplayer, tongue and cheek story, and pinball machine type shooting of enemies? Also you scored Killzone 2 a 9 and Killzone 3 a 7? LOL wow
Posted 21:11 on 22 February 2011
Bloodstorm's Avatar


I'm still not convinced......wish that PC demo would hurry up.
Posted 19:42 on 22 February 2011
LadyGoth's Avatar


Good review, I thought the demo was pretty funny so I'll be picking up the game. That said, the ending reminds me a lot of a piece I read over on FPS Tribe recently...

Posted 19:37 on 22 February 2011


Epic edition pre-ordered. Should be fun.
Posted 17:51 on 22 February 2011
IndoorHeroes's Avatar


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
Gollum_85's Avatar


Great review Jamin, i may have to pick this up when the price drops in a few weeks.
Posted 17:45 on 22 February 2011
RecoN's Avatar


Have you guys played the PC version? I heard that if you turn the AA upto x8 that the game struggle with frame rate issues :S
Posted 17:41 on 22 February 2011
dazzadavie's Avatar


This is so on my wish list, great review. One question though, did it make you want to go out and rape someone? :)
Posted 17:20 on 22 February 2011

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Out of 10
  • 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: 1,301 166
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