If you ever played a campaign in any game and thought for a moment, “I kind of just want to shoot people. What’s this talking/generic story shit?” Well, then this game was made for you. Bulletstorm gives you an action-packed campaign filled with top-notch sequences that put you right in the action which are all during gameplay. And it doesn’t stop there, the Multiplayer is good cooperative fun, and the Echoes mode allows you to play the best parts of the campaign while trying to kill mutants in any way you see fit ranking up those points as high as you can get them. This game was made for the people who like to play the best parts of any game over and over again, and here’s why…
It all of course starts with the single-player. This campaign drops you in the story of Dead Echo, which is a special operations group that was betrayed by their leader, General Serrano. You then begin your quest for revenge as you fight with your teammates throughout the campaign. You also meet a female companion on the way that is fighting to avenge her father. The protagonist of this adventure is Grayson Hunt, a rebel that wants revenge on Serrano more than anyone, even enough to put his own friends’ lives on the line. Your right-hand man is Ishi Sato, a member of Dead Echo that is more robot than human and has to go through an on-going battle to make sure his robot side doesn’t take over and kills all of he cares for.
These characters will give you a comical time, as you find out how badass/lucky they really are when you play through this campaign, but that’s not the reason you’ll always be thriving to play till the next checkpoint. The prize of this game are the weapons. You will go through a long learning curve to see what each weapon of your arsenal can really do.
You will first start out with your trusty Peacemaker Carbine (PMC). This is your all-around good weapon. And like every weapon in this game, it has a special kick to it. Once charged up, you will unleash one powerful bullet that will rip through your enemies turning them into red skeletons. The PMC won’t be the most functional weapon you’ll always have on your disposal though, your main attribute is the Energy Leash, which can bring enemies from afar to right in your eyes in one second, this weapon also triggers most of the action sequences you’ll be experiencing in the game. The third main weapon isn’t really a weapon at all, it’s your always reliable boot. You’ll be kicking enemies into pikes, cactus, cliffs, rivers, electric signs, and much, much more.
You also have your handgun, the Screamer, that not only has a powerful one-shot, but once this weapon is charged, you can send your enemies into the air, eventually, and literally, becoming a firework. And one of the most original guns in this game is the Flail gun, which are two explosives that are attached with a band that can wrap around enemies bodies and eventually explode them into one-too-many pieces. These are only some of the weapons that will be available in the game, these range from a four-barrel shotgun to an explosive cannon ball that think it’s a bouncy ball.
One thing that all of these weapons has in common though are the charged up abilities. Every weapon has them and it makes these already badass guns into death raiding weaponry. But these charged up abilities are not just handed out like candy, you have to earn them through skillpoints. And the way you earn skillpoints is through skillshots.
Skillshots are why these weapons hold so much kick and you earn these skillpoints by killing your enemies in creative ways using your arsenal. If you kill more than one enemy with the Flail Gun, you just earned the ‘Gang Bang’ skillshot for 150 points, or you can earn the ‘Vertigo’ skillshot by kicking your enemies off a tall ledge into the abyss. There are a total of 135 skillshots in the game, which is a little more than the usual 2 in most shooters (Shoot, grenade). You will collect and then spend your skillpoints on upgrading your weaponry in the way you want it. And don’t worry, by the end of the game, you’ll have more than enough to upgrade all your weapons to full capacity so that you can cause as much destruction as a kid with legos.
The weapons are not the only thing that’ll keep you playing though, so are the action sequences. This is one of the few games that will keep you entertained throughout every second, and if not, you’re harder to please than a rich man’s daughter. Every action sequence are not only fun, and always in-game, but each one is varied and you’ll never see the same one twice. These sequences range from controlling a Tyrannosaurus Rex to being capsized by tsunamis.
Even though you can complete this campaign in an easy two days and the narrative is quite weak story-wise, this campaign always keeps you on your toes not through story, but through gameplay. But it doesn’t end after the credits, you also will have the multiplayer and Echoes Mode.
The multiplayer is a cooperative experience that puts you and your buddies into a map and sends an endless amount of mutants for you to kill in all creative ways using not only your weaponry, but the environment around you. Unfortunately though, this mode, Anarchy, is the only mode available in multiplayer and to play with your friends, which does bring a low-varied multiplayer experience, and the host quitting/ending game feature that was added, I could’ve done without. In Anarchy mode, in order to reach the next wave, your team has to earn enough skillpoints throughout the current wave. As you progress through the mutant onslaught, the waves get tougher until your team can no longer handle it and eventually die in the process.
The multiplayer also has a ranking system, in which when you reach a higher rank, you unlock more skins to your guns, suits for you player, and different color Energy Leashes to make your character unique and stand out from the community.
The graphics also don’t disappoint, as it is an Epic game and made from the Unreal Engine. There is a rich and varied amount of colors that fill in the tropical/infested planet you’re fighting on, and there’ll be a few moments in the game that’ll let you gaze out on the beautiful scenery of the planet. The audio is well and also has some good comical-like sound effects when you get headshots or when you do anything impressive with guns. The weapons don’t sound like paintball guns, but not like M16′s either, and the in-game dialouge never gets repetitive, for they rarely repeat catch phrases. And if you don’t count the dreadful and useless AI that you forget is there; during my play-through of the campaign and Echoes Mode, there were no bugs or glitches to be experienced.
The last, and certainly not least mode is Echoes Mode. This mode allows you to play through the best parts of the campaign so that you can rank up those skillpoints to the highest you can, and earn the max amount of stars for each Echoes level. The more stars you collect, the more levels you unlock. You can of course compare your scores with your friends or the globe in the leaderboards in all 25 Echoes Mode levels. And for anyone that owns the Xbox 360 version, Bulletstorm: Epic Edition, the gift will keep on giving, you will have access to the Gears of War 3 beta from April 18 – May 15.
Even though the campaign and Echoes Mode screams online co-op and this functionality is in many games that don’t need it, and it still isn’t there in here, this game is still top-notch fun. If you don’t care much about the usual ‘Save perfect USA or universe/generic’ story in most shooters and just want to have fun playing it, this game will satisfy those needs and give you more in the process.