Hot Shots, Spaceballs, Naked Gun, Scary Movie… all these movies contributed to the altar of our amusement. If you haven’t seen them yet, go and face the corner for 15 minutes, because you’ve missed probably the best parodies of heroism, fear and SF; but you’ve probably played Serious Sam, if we move onto the interactive land.
Today we’ll talk about such an idea, because Bulletstorm is a real killing machine. One so fun that you won’t even see your target amidst the blood. But don’t worry, Blind Fire is also rewarded, especially if you’re gently touched by severed limbs, arterial blood and roasted brain pieces.
Leashing the enemy
General Sarrano should receive the Nobel Prize for literature. The colorful one. During the game I think I’ve heard dozens of insults that will make even Duke Nukem blush. Besides calling his soldiers with various sexual names, our general is also the leader of an assassin group named Dead Echo. On the other side is Grayson Hunt, now only Echo and pretty much dead if he finds himself facing Sarrano, against whom he rebelled. And for good reason, if you have the patience to listed to the empty dialogues. However, these two end up meeting each other in orbit of the planet Stygia, they destroy their ships and forcibly land in a luxurious, but dangerous environment.
Yet too much dirty talk can be a bad thing too, and after two hours you’ll probably be fed up with all the „f..ck” and „dick” combos; so much so that you’ll wish they’d just shut up. Moreover, the story is a soap opera that you can ignore, even if Ishi, for example, could have been a very complex character thanks to his fight against the AI that tries to control him. Hunt also has depressive and guilt-ridden moments, but he only ends up being annoying, come on, get on to the next slaughter house already.
And what’s the business with the leash? Well, this little gadget turns Bulletstorm from a stupid shooter into a game that can entertain you far more than the single-player campaign. The leash is attached to Hunt’s hand and acts like a chameleon’s tongue. It stretches, catches the prey and brings it to you, only it’s not a delicious insect, but an enemy to tear to pieces. Mix this with weapons, environments and a boot kick and you’ve got the art of killing people in the most spectacular way possible.
The 6 or 7 hours of story just throw at you hundreds of angry mutants, armed to the teeth and smart enough just enough so they won’t place themselves in front of your gun. And since this is all you do, kill, kill, kill, I was already bored around chapter 4, but I just kept on going.
131 reasons to kill
Why did I stick to the campaign? Because all the murdering is quantified in Skillshots (131 of them) that are unlocked as you use new weapons and a healthy dose of imagination. Almost any object can become an indirect weapon: spikes make a Voodoo Doll out of a monster, while a cactus counts for Priked; water and electricity areas beg for a leash to make the enemies burning skeletons; the boot kicks send a mutant flying so you can shoot it, but a Bulletshot is way too common to be interesting; you can go on kicking them until you get Graffiti on the walls. An exploding barrel spreads tons of blood on the screen, perfect for an Enviro-Mental-ist, and you can also get some Double Penetration action together with the AI or a friend in multiplayer.
If something sounds fishy with the last example, I’m not finished. We’ve also got Rear Entry, if you shoot the monster in the butt; Mercy means a bullet directly in the… crown jewels, then a Headshot to spare him the pain. Such names only link to the „f..ck” language and with the whole gameplay that doesn’t take itself too seriously, unlike the story. We’ve also got carnivorous and poisonous plants, so it’s useful to let the monsters kill each other and you just get in to rip off the rewards. You can always slide to them, a useful move to get to them faster and then kill them in 131 different ways. And to further emphasize the “seriousness” and “realism”, you can also slide upward. At a respectable speed. On stairs.
I haven’t forgotten the weapons. Eight of them, including the leash, each has charger upgrades and a charge shot, which is a very powerful special hit. The leash has a Thumper, akin to a chain lightning, that once activated throws the enemies into the air and paralyzes them, after which you just pick them one by one. True, of all the weapons available I mostly used the rifle, although you need to employ the whole arsenal to unlock new Skillshots.
The assault rifle and the shotgun work pretty much as expected, but the flail gun stands out. It throws 2 grenades on a chain, just like the projectiles that destroyed sails on ships (chain shot); the chain immobilizes the monster and grenades go boom for the kill. I also liked the sniper rifle that not only helps dispatching the high placed monsters; once shot, the bullet must be controlled to the running target, and a hit results in a slow motion scene with exploding limbs. If you get a headshot, even better.