It’s the simple things in life that are often the greatest – Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition Review [PS4]
It’s kind of weird thinking about a game that came out in 2011 as a classic, especially considering it re-releases tomorrow on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC, but I believe Bulletstorm belongs in the conversation. Bulletstorm is being re-released tomorrow for the current generation of gaming machines as Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition, with some new features and upgraded graphics to let us relive the days of 6 years ago. Players play as Gray, a former black ops squad leader who seems more like a drunken outlaw than an expert soldier and assassin. Gray lead a squad that believed they were serving the greater good, but were, in fact, being used as a personal petty assassins group by General Serrano. Upon uncovering the troop, Gray lead his squad to freedom to escape no longer be Serrano’s puppets. However, this made him and his crew outlaws. As outlaws, the Gray and his crew raided Serrano’s forces, and in what they thought would be a final showdown, crashed into Serrano’s warship hoping to take him out with them. Sadly, they all crashed onto a planet, gravely injuring Ishi and losing the other two members of the squad. Now, Gray and a Cyborg Infused Ishi must rely on Serrano in order to escape this savage planet at war.
Bulletstorm‘s story is pretty basic. Amazing soldier finds out he was a puppet of an evil scheme, turns on puppet master to make things right. What I particularly like about this story is the dirty low road Gray takes. It’s petty, vindictive, and destructive on an emotional, physical, and metaphorical sense. Gray is crude, brash, vulgar, and prone to drinking. When the prone to drinking is more player choice than anything. Players can take the high road and be the soldier who is dedicated to the task at hand with renewed purpose, or the vagrant who is a complete waste of skill and potential lording his greatness over his enemies in an inebriated state. But in general, you’re a foul mouth jerk who wants payback and will pretty much sacrifice anything to get it. You may or may not having some saving grace, but once you become a foul mouth jerk, it never really goes away. It’s a simple and direct story that is crudely and vulgarly hilarious. It’s an absolute blast if that’s your type of humor.
Gameplay is the bread and butter of the game. You are judged by how you reign carnage on your enemies. You are given points for how you kill your enemies and how you react to moments in the game. If you do the same thing over and over, you will steadily earn fewer points for doing it. In order to get more points, you have to get creative. Quality and quantity are both important. The more of both the better. What is also cool is the game provides you with a list of trick shots you can do in each level and with each weapon. Thought the tricks shots are taught, their executions are entirely up to the player, allowing for an endless array of awesomely executed mayhem. Picture sliding down some steps, kicking an enemy up in the air, wrapping it in explosives, then kicking it into a large group of enemies. The enemy explodes, killing those in the immediate blast radius, expelling others into environmental hazards and face first into your now equipped shotgun. It’s a massive fireworks show of body parts, blood, and ammo, that just brings a twinkle to one’s eye. Combine the judgemental killing system with varied stages of danger, like a giant grind wheel chasing you down a railroad track, or taking control of an animatronic city-destroying monster, and the ways of having fun and causing havoc seem endless. It’s over the top action isolated at it’s core and magnified.
Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is a beautifully rendered game. The environments are postcard worthy, and if you take the time to slow down the carnage, it is a truly beautiful display of particle separation and crimson liquid splatter. The sound is also perfectly engineered to full encompass gamers. I played on my surround system instead of my Tritons because I’m a grown man who no longer lives at his parents’ house and can be as loud as I want. And it was GLORIOUS. Bullets dropping, liquid splatter, explosions, characters saying she’d kill my male genitalia. Pure high octane awesomeness. The point system is also very expertly designed to allow you to progress with the game’s wishes, and still feel it is perfectly in sync and rewarding to the effort you put in. The only downside is that there were times where I would get rendered into a floor and would have to load to a previous checkpoint. It only happened on elevators if I was in the way of the door opening. The lack of the jump button is also a bit weird, and the layout of the buttons didn’t feel too intuitive, mainly the running instead of jumping. It takes a second to get used to and just has an off feeling. It goes away, but not before noticing it.
Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is the extreme shooter I think we need as a palette cleanser. Some FPS games seem overly heavy and forcefully deep when sometimes you just need to go on a rampage. It has just enough depth to not feel like a completely mindless activity, but enough levity to not make it feel like you have to invest in something and probably shell out more for a season pass. Bulletstorm is a fun, vulgar, shooter that is great to just enjoy the moment. It’s like the beer of first person shooters. You can give it a lot of meaning and fancy yourself a connoisseur, or just chug it because someone threw a ping pong ball in your cup. It’s refined to your perception, and it need not be more or less. I give my Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition Review an 8.7/10
Be sure to check back for the Duke Nukem Bulletstorm Tour Review.
Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition Review
Developed by: People Can Fly
Published by: Gearbox Software
Available: April 7, 2017
Systems: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC