Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Bulletstorm - The Review

These aren’t the days where we’d want to see games featuring brutality and fun going hand in hand, basically because it’s controversial and perhaps even sadistic; People can fly’s Bulletstorm possesses those very elements and manages to leave us with a guilty pleasure while playing through the game. Here’s more on that -

The protagonist Grayson, a barbaric, trash talking soldier who happens to be a member of a team of assassins/elite squad called Dead Echo. Now, for years they’ve been following orders of their General Sarrano, killing numerous people without being aware of the fact that they were actually innocent, instead, they end up being ditched, betrayed and framed as the prime suspects of those murders. If you’ve managed to grasp that, you’ll be under the impression that the game is a quest for revenge which has gone horribly wrong due to some unforeseen circumstances.
                                                The game starts off with Grayson showing off his drunken thirst for revenge but soon ends up creating a mess. And it is at the price of his mistakes that he gets one of his team mates “Ishi” severely injured and the rest of his squad killed.
                                               The story isn’t really impressive and at the same time it isn’t abused with a predictable plot, shifting the concentration towards the multiplayer. In fact, one could also think of the story and its characters to be an effectual conduit to experience its amazing gameplay elements. The single player spans for around 6 hours, which has become more of a fashion in most FPS these days but the game features a “Dead Echo” mode which lets the players replay various events of the game and benchmark their performance, adding up to the replay value.

                              The unreal engine still manages to impress, even in a world where people have witnessed engines like “Frost Bite” and “Cry Engine 3” at work. What makes it amazing is the impressive attention to detail in the devastated surroundings of the city. However, most of the time I found my self immersed in the gameplay mechanics that admiring or inspecting the games visuals from time to time became a daunting task but thankfully, the game rewards you for your dexterity, in other words, how quick you react to certain events of the game, those events may involve buildings falling apart, environment blowing up or even bosses and because of that, players are given a chance to witness its gorgeous environment at many instances of the game. As crazy and insane as the games characters are, you get to witness a lot of commotion at every instance of the game – you might just find your self in the middle of a smorgasbord of enemies, performing sadistic feats to kill you in the dangers of being crushed to pulp; that should give you a gist about your experience in the game. Apart from a few texture delays, I have nothing against the game’s performance; it ran smooth at medium/low at 1280 by 720 on my primitive 9500gt.

                                        Three of the prime elements that make gameplay a blast are the ability to slide; pulling an enemy towards you making use of a leash and kicking!, as the names suggest – you get to slide in mirror’s edge fashion, only with an insane sense of speed; grab an enemy making use of a leash, hurl him towards you and kicking your enemies in the face/butt/you-name-it and marvel at their bodies floating as if in zero gravity. While the leash sounded amazing, I would’ve been a lot more amazed if we had the ability to direct as to where we could hurl the enemy.
                                            Apart from those, the game adopted certain RPG elements, you are rewarded a few “skill points” for killing an enemy and you will be rewarded even more, depending on how “awesome” or “surreal” your kill was; this is the reason the game can be regarded as having a sadistic touch. For example, killing an enemy in the butt grants you a bunch of skill points and also unlocks a skill shot, namely “Rear Entry”(see what I mean?); there are numerous skill shots associated with the weapon you’ve equipped(or may not be associated with any weapon at all), you can access the entire list of skill shots from the drop ships scattered through out the game making use of the leash which in turn happens to form a conduit or a key to upgrade your arsenal at the price of some skill points.
                                            A worthy mention would be the various weapons you get your hands on through out the campaign, they’re incredibly satisfying in a sense that they end up making a bloody mess or just aid in taking out hordes of enemies with little effort, plus, they can even be improved to a certain extent once you get into the business of earning and spending those skill points.
Bulletstorm is a fun game,  I could go as far as saying that it dared to be different from the rest of the FPS these days but if it only had a longer, say, a 12 hour campaign at-least, along with a better plot.
Pros – fun gameplay mechanics, beautifully detailed visuals, Dead Echo mode provides good replay value.
Cons - average plot, trash talking is an over kill, single player could have been stretched a lot longer.                       

Rating – 8/10                                        

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