Set in the 26th century future, this high-energy first person shooter (FPS) focuses on strict survival and revenge as character wield considerable powers against their foes. Space mercenaries Grayson Hunt, voice acted by veteran Steve Blum, and his capable and more mature partner Ishi Sato, are ex-members of an elite military team called Dead Echo. The reasons behind this separation unfold in flashbacks among future events where these two parties clash again on the planet Stygia. Dead Echo’s leader, General Victor Sarrano, memorably voiced by Anthony De Longis, is the main antagonist while Dr. Whit “Mechanic” Oliver plays a father figure type character.
Game developers provide flashbacks and insight as the high violence levels packs a surprising dramatic punch. The oddly profane dialogue catchphrases, intimidation, and insults, usually involving male genitalia, produce more confusing bewilderment than story-character enhancing opportunities. Future linguistics have obviously not progressed very much in this world.
Everything is fast and violent, which accurately reflects these characters’ situation – stranded. There are some positive among the attacking mutants, plants, and giants monsters. A girl name is Trishka “Lovely Bitter” Novak, voiced acted by Jennifer Hale, who keeps up with the boys in fighting and foul language. The game does not take itself too seriously with lines like “Another racial slur and I will hurl you into that storm.”
The over-the-top combat moves and weapons are more than any normal person could handle – the perfect entertainment escapism scenario. The replay value hits high marks with awesome weapons amid a unique “skillshot” system. Players who know the moves get the rewards.
The catchy, common sense names include acid rain, breakdance, enlightenment, fireworks, flyswatter, graffiti, juggler, kick slide, machinist, minefield, pancake, parashoot, root canal, shish kebab, surgeon, touchdown, and vertigo. The weapons names include boneduster, bouncer cannon, flailgun, headhunter, screamer, and turret gun.
Revenge is sweet…and fun with the skillshot system, but these specialties overtake the story which limps a bit near the end. Orchestrating these manic motions and completing missions represent the main gameplay challenges. Item collection is on the low-end here and is often simplified with metallic, shiny visual prompts.
Interactive stations featuring turrets and other special weapons also factor in. More mayhem means more unlockables, weapons, and bonuses for even more special moves. One-shot moves are great; the controls work incredibility smooth; and the energy leash supplements the shooting weapons well. Using the L2 button, this leash pulls items and enemies into objects and close proximity to characters for the standard kick (circle button). The other familiar controls (square for reload, x to run, triangle to change weapons, R1 to fire weapons, etc.) mesh well with closely related moves like the slide (double tap x button).
The environments provide realism and depth while musical score composers Krzysztof Wierzynkiewicz and Micha Cielecki enhance the action even more. This highly recommended (***1/2 out of four stars) game is also available on PC and Xbox 360.
This Limited Edition (also available on PC) includes 25,000 experience points, Peace Maker Carbine, leash upgrades, bonus online game mode content, and special gear. The Bulletstorm Epic Edition is available on Xbox 360 and includes these same extras plus exclusive access to the Gears of War 3 multiplayer beta. Gamers who made pre-orders at GameStop get in on the fun this Monday, April 25.
The multiplayer action gets a nice boost from an essential multiplayer add-on content pack titled Bulletstorm Gun Sonata Pack(800 MS Points on Xbox Live and $9.99 on PlayStation Network – coming soon for the PC version). Three Anarchy multiplayer modes maps(abandoned Hotel Elysium, Sewers of Stygia, and open Villa spaces) and two Echo mode maps (Crash Site and Guns of Stygia) expand the experience in the respective teamplay (up to four players) and score tracking focuses.
Check out the dialogue scene after the game credits. It would be interesting to see an outside-looking-in type character join the mercenaries in a possible sequel from the development team (Epic Games, People Can Fly, and Electronic Arts). Expanding insight of this futuristic world from a different perspective would be a welcome addition.
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler