Bulletstorm First Impressions - Roid Rage!
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Setting is important. Rapture was a representation of Andrew Ryan’s failed objectivist ideology; Pandora’s wastelands showed greed corrupting the world at every corner; and now Bulletstorm’s Elysium is a detailed expression of how awesome a world would be if it were the destructive playground of a swaggering muscle man with enough brute power to kick a dude thirty feet.

Over the course of a gory presentation at EA’s spring showcase earlier this week, People Can Fly’s Creative Director, Adrian Chmielarz, put game hero Grayson Hunt through a murderous boot camp of unfettered testosterone so intense it was a miracle he left the stage without beating his chest and grunting a rendition of The Village People’s Macho Man. 

A generous pinch of hyperbole was to be expected, of course. People Can Fly’s previous game, Painkiller, had you playing as a gruff dude pruning the forces of hell with a gun that fired stakes and another which shot both shruikens and lightning. Bulletstorm, the developer’s new game produced in partnership with Epic Games, has you playing a gruff dude blasting away grumpy fauna and unlikable mercenary mooks whilst coming on to your sexy female sidekick. 

The two exchange pleasantries and blast away henchmen as foreplay. After a few exchanges of suggestive dialog, the sexual tension becomes so thick you could cut it with a knife and spread it on toast as an aphrodisiac. At one point the female sidekick quips that our hero will never find out what her tongue can do. Later on, Hunt can’t resist a juvenile remark after she observes how “man-eaters love tight spots.”

Eye rolling dialog, perhaps, but the whole idea is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously: the modus operandi being to have a bit of fun blasting away guilt-free meat puppets in a world of bright colours and juvenile comebacks. It’s gratuitous, gaudy, and goes completely against the grain of current shooter trends, with the only shades of murky brown you’d ever be likely to see being the colour of an enemy’s pants after you whip them in the air and then kick their head clean off.

We’re promised an ‘epic’ story, penned by comic scribe Rick Remender, but I get the distinct impression even Chmielarz doesn’t believe what he’s saying. The real meat of the game is surly one-liners and an innuendo-tinged over the top point scoring mechanism.

Shoot a guy and you get ten points. Stick a grenade to a trolley, kick it over into a pack of enemies behind cover, grab the ones that aren’t killed in the explosion with your energy whip and kick a guy in the meat and two veg and you’ll bag a few hundred. 

People Can Fly is calling it the Skillshot system, where more points mean more extravagant caches of impossibly destructive guns and outlandish acrobatics down the line. Levels are co-ordinated around potential high-scoring death-dealing capabilities, with much of the environment being more than happy to lend a hand.

The skillshot that stands out the most at the moment is “Mercy”, which starts by shooting someone in his reproductive organs and then dispatching him with a shot to the head whilst he groans and looks thoroughly upset. That’s 100 points in the bank, then.

There are plenty of guns to play with, but Hunt’s most powerful weapon seems to be his lower torso. He’s got more leg strength than GoldenEye’s Xenia Onatopp after three months solid training with a thighmaster, and he’s able to easily kick a guy into gibs after effortlessly sliding across the ground for fifteen seconds.

Hunt also sports a dapper energy whip which he can use to pull his foes towards him and also suspend them in a slow-mo bubble for a few seconds. It works as the middleman between skillshot conception and execution, allowing him to position foes and also shoot them in the right bits for maximum carnage and/or score.

These tricks might be fancy, but there’s still a hefty chunk of traditional gun firing. The demo showed off a couple of weapons; the first, a standard assault rifle – because you’ve got to, don’t you? Then there’s a grenade launcher that ties two grenades together with a chain, and can wrap itself around both live targets and static objects. Wrap up a target and kick him into his colleagues? That’ll dish out a good few points. Chmielarz promises the finished game will have a bevy of weapons that are as equally bombastic.

Elysium is also chock full of dangerous man-eating fauna, and the demo ends with Hunt fighting off a giant plant that could probably swallow something from Lost Planet 2 whole. The smaller plants also provide plenty of murderous opportunity: ones with spiky bits can be used to impale your foes, and the bigger, moodier cousins of the Venus Flytrap can happily chomp a guy to death.

While I imagine it would be a hoot in co-op, Bulletstorm is being billed firmly as a single-player experience, although I’d wager some online leaderboards will help collate who can rack up the most elaborate killing sprees.

The dialog might have left me feeling a bit cold, but Bulletstorm looks set to conjure up a style of gameplay that’s becoming increasingly forgotten:  travelling to exotic new worlds and having fun as you kill everything you meet when you get there.

Bulletstorm is slated for a 2011 release.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 205
Comment #1 by jmannx
Friday, May 14, 2010 @ 11:17:43 PM
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Sounds better than when I first looked at it.

Forum Posts: 17
Comment #2 by vVv Fang vVv
Friday, May 14, 2010 @ 11:25:04 PM
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Looks awesome!

Forum Posts: 26
Comment #3 by Dark Killa94
Friday, May 14, 2010 @ 11:44:13 PM
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sounds like barrels of fun

Forum Posts: 13
Comment #4 by Ninja_Daemon117
Friday, May 14, 2010 @ 11:50:16 PM
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Sounds pretty sweet.

Forum Posts: 82
Comment #5 by dementedlullaby
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 12:08:12 AM
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Looks fun, but quite ridiculous lol.

Forum Posts: 881
Comment #6 by BlindxLink
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 12:52:50 AM
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Looks pretty interesting. I'll have my eye on it.

Forum Posts: 11
Comment #7 by TF141 ECHO
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 12:56:54 AM
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never got to play painkiller. could never find a copy anywhere. but this looks good. what's cliffy b's involvement?

Forum Posts: 67
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 12:58:40 AM
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Is this borderlands cross team fortress? Sounds like fun

Forum Posts: 1119
Comment #9 by CONKER1182
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 01:07:01 AM
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This games looks pretty cool.

Forum Posts: 298
Comment #10 by ViNyLek
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 01:19:10 AM
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Disappointing it has no co op play.. But I like the dialogues. Kinda like dirty version of prince and Elika^^

Forum Posts: 10
Comment #11 by BrookeTF
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 02:14:41 AM
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Yawn. Oh my good god, yawn.

Forum Posts: 31
Comment #12 by sufferKATE
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 03:48:51 AM
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Looks pretty awesome, have to keep my eye on this.

Co-op will be included at some point, seems like a game that was tailored for co-op.

Forum Posts: 18
Comment #13 by CKresAIX
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 05:11:56 AM
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It does remind me of Serious Sam. That game at the time was also pure fun and at times hilarious. Anyone remember the suicide guys running towards you while screaming their lungs out? It's out on XBLA if anyone is interested. Is even today a lot of fun. And I expect Bulletstorm being exactly that, pure over the top silly hilarious fund and action shooting galore that's not taking itself too serious. Could be a winner :-)

Forum Posts: 20
Comment #14 by SHIMA 41
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 05:29:14 AM
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this sounds cool. will keep my beady eyeball on this one.

Forum Posts: 186
Comment #15 by Floodclaw
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 05:44:46 AM
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#7: ...I don't think CliffyB is doing much for this game. He's not the physical manifestation of Epic Games, you know. :P
Besides, he's probably working on Gears of War 3.
On-topic, this game is shaping up to be quite a bit better than when I first looked at it.

Forum Posts: 38
Comment #16 by Aussie27Legend
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 06:52:36 AM
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If its anything like Painkiller, it will be fun as hell.

Looks real interesting.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #17 by The Revolution
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 07:33:59 AM
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Lools really... different. Rental

Forum Posts: 797
Comment #18 by FYC Punker
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 08:10:29 AM
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@12 there is no co-op its already been confirmed but they havent revealed what kind of multiplayer is in it.

@15 you couldnt be more wrong,Ciffy B is one of the first people to start designing games for Epic and is the 3rd person to actually join the Epic team,he met Tim Sweeny as he was creating Epic Games,and is the design director of Bullet Storm.

Forum Posts: 110
Comment #19 by nathanshown
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 08:15:23 AM
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This game so reminds me of that game, "The Club" Just with physical aspects thrown in.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #20 by Joe Funky
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 08:27:19 AM
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#8, you are incorrect, if you want Borderlands crossed with Team Fortress 2, look up Brink. I think Brink is awsome. This game looks alright, I'll watch what happens.

Forum Posts: 99
Comment #21 by blkalleykat
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 09:10:34 AM
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EA likes making a new i.p. every year or so. I'll keep an eye on this one

Forum Posts: 198
Comment #22 by The Betrayer142
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 09:33:56 AM
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@21 EA doesn't make the IPs, they are the publishers. But I'm sure you meant they like having their various developers make new ones every year or so right? ;)

OT, I think this game looks like a definite rent, if not to spend 30 minutes impaling dudes onto spiky plants.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #23 by FERNANDO
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 09:50:21 AM
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looks like a gow in the first image it looks like baird and dom

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #24 by xboxfan22
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 12:13:59 PM
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Sounds like a fun new shooter. Something interesting to play.

Forum Posts: 1059
Comment #25 by Hitchman
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 12:15:43 PM
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this will be a blast to play. cant wait to try out a demo for it.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #26 by Acid Mother
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 12:27:22 PM
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Between Serious Sam HD and Bulletstorm the 360 is finally getting some psychotic-speed FPS action, and honestly it's about damn time.

Painkiller was the first FPS that I truly 100%, to this day I still can't believe that I collected the entire Black Tarot.

People Can Fly are amazing developers, if Painkiller is anything to measure by. That game ran smooth as silk with hundreds of enemies on-screen. If Bulletstorm plays anything like it it'll be a day-one purchase.

Forum Posts: 107
Comment #27 by Gilganomics
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 12:33:12 PM
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I'm interested, hope I can get a demo.

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #28 by ColtmanA7X
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 01:35:39 PM
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Yeah cliff is overseeing this project as well as gears this game was clifs idea y would he not be designing it :P

Forum Posts: 239
Comment #29 by SuperWoody64
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 01:44:06 PM
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No co-op? This'll be a bargain bin buy for me then.

Forum Posts: 11
Comment #30 by JuiceboxHero
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 02:37:40 PM
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it's like gears of war, bioshock and borderlands had a baby.

Forum Posts: 186
Comment #31 by Nero Mystyraa
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 04:13:11 PM
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"At one point the female sidekick quips that our hero will never find out what her tongue can do."

I'd like to find out what her tongue can do LOL

Forum Posts: 137
Comment #32 by Bloody Sky
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 04:21:08 PM
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Looks interesting. I love doing random shit and getting rewarded for it. Seriously, I spend hours on games doing completely unnecessary random stuff in a lot of my games. This is why most games take me 5-20 hours more to complete than most people.

Anyways, this game looks like it might reward players for doing crazy/random stuff. And if it's fun enough, this game can have me hooked for hours on end.

Forum Posts: 12
Comment #33 by Uberbeard
Saturday, May 15, 2010 @ 04:42:40 PM
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The trailer did it a lot more justice than the screenshots in this month's Edge.

Forum Posts: 1003
Comment #34 by Dr Popodopolus
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 09:02:48 AM
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No co-op!

What a shame. Looks so good.

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #35 by Fata1Stryke
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 07:44:05 PM
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Looking pretty awesome, I'm liking the tongue-in-cheek attitude.

Forum Posts: 584
Comment #36 by Blah 2k
Monday, May 17, 2010 @ 08:41:39 AM
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Yes! No co-op is a win for me, been waiting for a decent single-player shoot-em-up.

Forum Posts: 33
Comment #37 by Pyrlaster
Monday, May 17, 2010 @ 11:57:44 AM
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Forum Posts: 200
Comment #38 by xdiamondxinfernox
Monday, July 05, 2010 @ 08:12:32 PM
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this game looks stupid as hell

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Game Info
Electronic Arts


US February 22, 2011
Europe February 25, 2011

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