Bulletstorm review – drown in a hail of bullets

Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition – Overview

I originally played Bulletstorm when it came out on the PlayStation 3 a few years ago. I enjoyed what I played of it, but I quit when I got to the part where the Burnouts appear. It just became a tiring, monotonous corridor shooter, after what was a fun first part. Enter room, kill everything until music stops, go to next room, repeat the process. It just stopped being fun.

Played it again with the Full Clip Edition, and it’s just as boring now as it was back then. The first part of the game is great, the interaction between Grayson and his team is good, the dialogue is genuinely funny at times, but then the second half seems like it was a completely different developer. The gameplay becomes boring and repetitive, General Serrano is the most annoyingly voiced character (for the time), and the dialogue as a whole just goes downhill.

The leash is undoubtedly the best part of the game, and you can really set up some interesting kills by leashing enemies, kicking them, and doing whatever you want. I really wish more games would take a similar approach and introduce similar concepts.

Graphically, the game looks fantastic, and you can definitely tell that it’s a remaster and not just a port of an aged console game. Environments are bright and pop out, the way the enemies move and react is great, and the overall look and feel is on point.

Sound design is terrific, from the grunts and groans to the explosions and weapons firing. Music is fairly repetitive, but there’s enough variety that you probably won’t notice it. Voice acting is, for most of the game, excellent, and the dialogue between Grayson and Ishi, as well as Grayson and Trishka. The other voice acting is meh.

Bulletstorm has some excellent shooting and some great set pieces, but also has some questionable moments. For example, when using the sniper rifle, how is it that every single enemy, no matter where they are, will always duck at the last minute, and they all duck in the exact same motion? Little touches like this really draw you out and make you wonder what happened to the development team, and why they lost their momentum.

Pros

  • Great shooting and variety of weapons
  • Leashing enemies into things is super fun
  • Dialogue is genuinely funny for the most part
  • Skill system is great and makes you want to do new things and earn points
  • Competent multiplayer co-op

Cons

  • Second half of the game, everything crumbles
  • Unnecessary forced slowdown at points so the game can play dialogue, despite one of the characters being far, far away from you, making the slowdown pointless
  • Story is cliche, forgettable and pointless
  • Checkpoint system is dumb. If you die after a scripted event, you’re forced to watch that event again. Why couldn’t they allow you to replay the scene itself?
  • It’s constantly holding your hand, showing you prompts and telling you where to go, right up to the final boss

Summary

Bulletstorm is a competent shooter. It has great action and sets, and will keep you entertained for a good four hours of it’s eight’ish hour campaign. Online co-op is also competent, but nothing spectacular.

Games like this make me wish there were a neutral vote for Steam, because it’s not a terrible game, but it’s also not a great game, so I recommend it as a purchase only when it’s on sale. With no discount offered to people who owned the original, and a fairly hefty price for a remaster, it’s best purchased when it’s at a discount. Multiplayer will not last long, I don’t think, and for that reason, a discounted campaign will be your best bet.

Recommend/Not Recommend: Recommended

Read more of my reviews here, or head on over to Steam to check them out.