The demo for the highly anticipated Epic Games/People Can Fly title Bulletstorm was released today, giving players the chance to run through one of the levels and get a feel for the game. With a release date set for February 22nd, 2011 for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, this demo came at just the right time and should create even more buzz for Bulletstorm. Read on as I take a look at this ball-busting, blood-spewing, trick-shooting demo.
Let me get the only negative thing about the Bulletstorm demo out of the way right now: it’s REALLY short. I’m aware that it’s just a demo, and most demos are short; but this game is so mindblowingly crap-your-pants-amazing that it left me wanting more. To truly get a feel for the game, I ended up running through the single available level quite a few times. That being said, the time I’ve spent with the demo so far was some of the most fun I’ve ever had playing an FPS. ‘The game mechanics and encouraged creativity promote a sense of replayability, even in the demo. Repeating the one level numerous times wasn’t the least bit annoying or repetitive, and I found myself forgetting the fact I was seeing the same enemies and scenery over and over again. If the demo is at all indicative of what to expect in the full game, I’ve got a feeling Bulletstorm is going to stay in heavy rotation for most gamers, if for no other reason than it never gets old.
The Gears of War series has already proven that Epic Games has a knack for developing visually stunning titles, and Bulletstorm is no different. In the demo, players are introduced to the slick, high definition visual mastery that has come to be an Epic standard. The level is gorgeous, with a serious dose of stylized environmental effects. At times throughout the level, I’d stop and just marvel at the overly detailed piles of rubble, broken doors, and running water. On top of the level looking mighty fine, the ammunition and explosion effects are just as eye-poppingly awesome. As long as the rest of the levels in Bulletstorm look this good, the game is worth a purchase just to sit and stare at it.
While pretty visuals are important, they don’t make or break a game; the gameplay does. Thankfully, the gameplay in Bulletstorm is top notch, and quite frankly some of the most entertaining I’ve ever come across. I never thought I’d find a game where creatively killing your enemies was so highly encouraged, and so fun to do. Bulletsorm calls this “killing with skill” and as you progress through the level, you get rewarded with points for how much skill you kill with. So as not to spoil the surprise for those who haven’t played the demo yet, I won’t go into too much detail as to what the skill killing entails, all I will say is that my first kill in the game had me lifting an enemy into the air with a “leash” type attack, pulling him towards me, kicking him in the face, and then shooting him in the family jewels all while he remained in the air. Now imagine that type of creative, over the top, sometimes hilarious, killing for an entire level; you’re bound to find creative ways to do it. There were times during the demo that I would stop and purposefully try and maim my currently targeted enemy without killing him, just so I could figure out new ways of inflicting damage. As messed up as that sounds, torturing nameless characters in Bulletstorm is one hell of a good time and I can’t wait to see what other “skill kills” will be at my disposal in the full game.
While it’s a bit unusual, I’d like to take a minute to focus on the opening tutorial/cut-scene of the Bulletstorm demo. There were a few things that really stood out to me, like the game breaking the fourth wall and addressing the fact you would be playing as the character who’s walking you through said tutorial (Grayson Hunt). On top of letting you know that they know you’re playing a game, the opening scene also informs you about kicking someone in the “poop passage”, and manages to call you “dick-tits” all in the same breath. On top of the juvenile and incredibly hilarious name-calling, the tutorial shows you that shooting someone in the ass or crotch gives you extra points. Yeah you read that right, one of the key features is shooting people in the ass or naughty bits. How awesome is that? One last note, as the tutorial finishes, Grayson says to you the player “the game isn’t going to pre-order itself”.
I suggest you follow Mr. Hunt’s advice and pre-order your copy of Bulletstorm today, because if the demo is any indication of this games level of awesomeness; Bulletstorm is going to be one hell of a game when it’s released on February 22nd. Also, make sure you download the demo, so you too can be called “dick tits” and be told to kick someone in the “poop passage” …oh and you know, enjoy the crap out of it.
Kyle joins us from Minnesota, where he has been gaming almost his entire life. He is awesome and will be regarded as such.
Twitter – @Kmanchester