Bulletstorm shocked and awed us, but does it have staying power?
Author: Scott Rodgers
Published: March 9, 2011
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The FPS genre is one littered with repetition. If it’s not space marines than it’s a human in a special suit that enables them to be a one man army. If it’s not preventing a nuclear warhead from being launched than it’s stopping a maniacal leader from taking over. Single player campaigns are usually thrown together at the end while multiplayer is the focal point. I’ll never say that developers have gotten lazy, but with first person shooters there is definitely a sense of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Then again, why would you? Call of Duty sells millions of copies every year by just existing. No one here around the offices can shut Ryan up about Battlefield 3.

So when February 22nd rolled around, I think everyone around here was giggly about Killzone 3. I played that game first and I can honestly say I enjoyed it. It’s just when Bulletstorm came in everything changed. I went from playing three to four hours of Killzone multiplayer to just wanting to play, gasp, a single player experience. As Aram always points out, you can’t really compare the two titles. They’re two totally different experiences aimed at different audiences. From experience, however, when two games release on the same day people are always going to compare them. Most have to choose whether to play game X or game Y. For the sake of giving Bulletstorm its due credit, I’ll stop the comparisons here, but I just wanted to start out by saying it completely surprised me and took me away from (and effectively ruined) a gigantic first party title for my favorite console. That’s no small task no matter how you slice it.

Back at last year’s E3, Bulletstorm did little to grab me. The presentation for the game didn’t grab me, whether it was the title itself or the presenter’s over-the-top and forced, edgy banter, I don’t know. When the demo came out I winced a bit that the dialogue seemed forced and plain stupid. Still, I tried to block that out when I started reviewing the final version. I have to say the first thing I noticed is that while the dialogue is full of over the top cursing, it’s hilarious. It kind of shocked me to see how well written and fleshed out the dialogue was. Instead of the standard “badass with a mysterious past,” Bulletstorm takes it to another level. Instead of groaning at cutscenes (or entirely skipping them), I looked forward to each and every one. Rather than tuning out the chit-chat my character is having with his on-screen partner, I actually listened in. I really can’t say enough good things about the team over at People Can Fly. Every person who had a hand in writing this game and voice acting in it deserves a raise.
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