E3 2010: Bulletstorm Hands On Preview - Punching Outrageousness In The Face, Feb 2011
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"Kill with skill" may be a simple tagline on the face of it, but after going hands on with Bulletstorm at this year's E3, that short tagline speaks a thousand words. For years we've been subjected to the same realistic shooters where it doesn't matter how you kill, just the act of doing it will suffice. That's not such a bad thing, but when a shooter comes along like Bulletstorm and throws something new into the mix - or particularly old skool - then we stand up and pay attention. We're simple folk, truth be told, but sometimes we like to kick off our shoes and get a little bit lairy - that in a nutshell is Bulletstorm.

In our first impressions from pre-E3, it was clear that Bulletstorm was looking to add outrageous back into the word shooter - no, we don’t mean "shoooutrageouster," although that's rather an appropriately rad term – yes, I just said rad. We simply mean that every kill is a kill with so many opportunities. In essence, Bulletstorm is a game that will leave you disappointed if you just get a headshot. Just get a headshot? It’s not very often you’ll hear me say that.

The controls are relatively, no, scrap that, super easy to get to grips with and you'll be combining Bulletstorm’s tools of destruction in no time whatsoever: the "leash," the big boot and the game’s insane weapons. The game goes fairly easy on you to start with, throwing the odd enemy at you until you've grasped that you can leash them over, boot them up in the air and then shoot the crap out of them. A mere minutes into the opening level - which incidentally was the same one we saw at the pre-E3 showcase (although now it was now hands on) - and the game suddenly decides that it's pussy footed around enough and starts to throw enemies galore at you.

The environment plays a key part in Bulletstorm and actually could be referred to as a weapon itself. Whether you're kicking hotdog carts down the hill and shooting the gas canister, shooting a huge clock down from its tower or pinging your foes into the level’s cacti and deadly Venus Flytraps that litter the walkways. The People Can Fly/Epic guys on show promised a ton of variety throughout the game in terms of environmental help as well and if they can mix it up from start to finish, then the gameplay is surely going to appeal to anyone whose middle name is "crazy ass fun" - in other news, it sucks for you if that's your middle name.

Upgrading your powers and weapons will obviously play a key part in the final game when it ships. Merely upgrading the leash early on gave us access to the "leash overdrive" which instead of leashing one opponent over to you, actually leashes all the opponents in the vicinity of where you are aiming up into the air. If a barrel or an explosive item gets caught in the path of the leash, then it's your lucky day as a well placed bullet or two could blow the whole group into a thousand pieces. Instead of tapping the left shoulder button to use the leash, to activate the leash overdrive you simply only need to hold it down.

As much as the leash and the boot are integral gameplay mechanics, the insane weapons are just as much part of the game’s core - especially their upgraded forms. The upgraded flail gun for instance - a gun that fires a couple of grenades linked by a chain - actually heats the chain up so it cuts through your intended target. Do that and aim for a head shot, and you'll completely chop your enemy's head off. To be honest though, it's much more satisfying wrapping a non-upgraded flail shot around their head and then pulling the right trigger again to explode it. Games don't get much crazier and over-the-top than this.

Worried it might be a little too fast paced for you? Fear not, the leash actually places your opponent in some sort of time stasis so it'll give you time to line up a trick shot, or even better, re-position yourself so that you can boot the enemy wherever the hell you want. Re-positioning yourself to boot them onto a cactus and/or wrapping a grenade around their head, leashing them and kicking them into a crowd are all real possibilities.

The controls of Bulletstorm are what you expect from a first person shooter running on the Unreal engine and the action is fast and frenetic. Bulletstorm is bringing back the high-score to shooters and then sticking a stick of dynamite up its ass just for shits and giggles. Explosive fun is a decent way to describe Bulletstorm. Bat-shit crazy is probably a better way, and our first hands on with the title left us hankering for another go to try and beat our last score. 3,020 if you're interested, but we know we can do better.

Bulletstorm is punching outrageousness in the face this coming February 22nd in North America and February 25th in Europe.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 741
Comment #1 by Axel Desade
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 04:35:42 PM
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Looking forward to this, hoping it's not a let down.

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #2 by oxoxo ash oxoxo
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 04:36:07 PM
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looking good

Forum Posts: 117
Comment #3 by Ratchet
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 04:36:17 PM
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Can't wait for this game.

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #4 by FrozenGearNinja
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 04:45:59 PM
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This game is gonna luke UT3 did

Forum Posts: 545
Comment #5 by lizard9979
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 05:31:58 PM
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Looks and sounds like crazy fun!!

Forum Posts: 86
Comment #6 by NerfTurbo
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 05:44:24 PM
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This game looks sick.. I really want this one.

Forum Posts: 14
Comment #7 by thRussted
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 05:48:22 PM
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If it's as good as Painkiller it will be one hell of a game.

Forum Posts: 29
Comment #8 by DN Deathrow
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 06:10:44 PM
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Looks amazing. Can't wait.

Forum Posts: 123
Comment #9 by CenozoicZombie
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 06:58:46 PM
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This looks like it'll be a good one. Might wait for a review when it comes out, just in case.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #11 by CheesyToast111
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 07:15:57 PM
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Will wait until closer to the time before I judge this, out in my birthday anyway, lot o' money.

Forum Posts: 1003
Comment #12 by Dr Popodopolus
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 07:31:38 PM
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The trailer made this look pants :( or whatever gameplay I saw :/

Forum Posts: 71
Comment #13 by flakeysuperior2
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 08:48:14 PM
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Cant wait.!!!!!!

Forum Posts: 509
Comment #14 by Facial La Fleur
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 09:13:13 PM
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The article in Game Informer a couple months ago first peaked my interest in this game but your little preview here pretty much confirms this as a must buy. Great writeup, Webb.

Forum Posts: 152
Comment #15 by DJSeth227
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 09:39:31 PM
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in the trailer they said the word Di*k* like 16 times in 5 min.
Whats up with that?

Forum Posts: 239
Comment #16 by SuperWoody64
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 10:26:39 PM
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Single player campaign? Pass.

Forum Posts: 47
Comment #17 by ZACK GSF
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 10:38:56 PM
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worth a rental, but I'm not convinced for a buy yet...

Forum Posts: 8
Comment #18 by Dudwood Fudwood
Thursday, June 24, 2010 @ 01:31:33 AM
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Looking OK so far. I'll wait for the reviews first though but defo looks like a rental at least.

Forum Posts: 2773
Comment #19 by jtr1gg3r
Thursday, June 24, 2010 @ 02:24:01 AM
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looks pretty good, hopefully theres a demo tho =P

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #20 by DG-3 x360a
Thursday, June 24, 2010 @ 02:54:49 AM
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Looks awesome!

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #21 by Rewave Acid
Thursday, June 24, 2010 @ 06:46:07 AM
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@5 splur, its being produced by epic?

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #22 by Rewave Acid
Thursday, June 24, 2010 @ 06:48:04 AM
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Forum Posts: 11
Comment #23 by DUGFINGER
Thursday, June 24, 2010 @ 06:57:55 AM
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This looks like a big barrel of awesomeness. Can't wait. So many good looking games coming in the next year or so.

Forum Posts: 38
Comment #24 by Aussie27Legend
Thursday, June 24, 2010 @ 07:27:07 AM
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Don't fuck it up, this looks friggin awesome! (I have faith in PcF, I mean, look what they did with Painkiller).

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #25 by TNT LotLP
Thursday, June 24, 2010 @ 09:32:03 AM
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painkiller was awesome, I believe in people can fly!

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #26 by Fata1Stryke
Thursday, June 24, 2010 @ 10:46:28 AM
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Voice acting was a bit crap from what I saw, and the dialogue was pretty cheesy, but gameplay-wise this looks great. I can't wait.

Forum Posts: 584
Comment #27 by CodSteaks
Thursday, June 24, 2010 @ 01:18:57 PM
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Awesome looking screens. Looking forward to a mixup of the shooter formula.

Forum Posts: 584
Comment #28 by CodSteaks
Friday, June 25, 2010 @ 01:08:50 PM
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"but sometimes we like to kick off our shoes and get a little bit lairy"
For an ignorant Yank, what does 'lairy' mean?

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #29 by 2ChopStick
Friday, June 25, 2010 @ 10:44:47 PM
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Str8 Sick

Forum Posts: 14795
Comment #30 by Webb [STAFF]
Friday, July 02, 2010 @ 06:07:32 AM
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@#28 - It basically means going loud and being uber confident.

Forum Posts: 200
Comment #31 by xdiamondxinfernox
Sunday, July 04, 2010 @ 10:59:00 PM
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looks pretty.... dumb

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Game Info
Electronic Arts


US February 22, 2011
Europe February 25, 2011

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