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Just another shooter - or perhaps not?

Just another shooter?

So, what does the beginning of the year 2011 have in store for us FPS fans? People Can Fly, a Polish video game developer known for their first videogame Painkiller and Epic games, best known for their Unreal Engine technology are working on an upcoming first-person shooter called Bulletstorm. Now, my initial response was skepticism, for Bulletstorm seemed like just another FPS trying to follow in the footsteps of Halo or Call of Duty. However, after seeing the previews and the E3 2010 demo, Bulletstorm definitely sparked my interest and now I feel that this game might have a lot more to offer than just reducing your enemies to ash.

The storyline does not seem very original or complex: set in the far future, it tells us of the misfortune of the members of Dead Echo, which is a band of mercenaries who protect the political formation knows as the Confederation. The plot thickens as Dead Echo members Grayson Hunt, voiced by Steve Blum, and a cyborg named Ishi Sato discover that they have been siding up with the wrong guys. They betray their commander, which has disastrous consequences for they end up being exiled to the far end of the galaxy. The player takes the role of Grayson Hunt who in the meantime becomes a vulgar, macho drunken space pirate with a twisted sense of humor. After a space crash and a forced landing to a seemingly abandoned planet, he finds his old friend Ishi Sato (nope, there seems to be no co-op here unfortunately), but also discovers that this planet is filled with gruesome mutants, various monsters and cannibal gangs. Their mission is to stay alive, blasting to bits everything that appears to attack them, get off the planet and take revenge on the evil bastard who sent them there. So, after reading through that, you might ask what it is that makes this game promising?

‘You scared the d*** off me!’ - over-the-top creativity and humor

Bulletstorm is not just about staying alive for as long as possible. That survival is to be done with style using the masterfully done Unreal engine, in a world of detailed and colorful settings made possible by high-quality graphics and excellent sound effects. Yes, you appear to be shooting everything that moves; however, the game utilizes a skillshot combo system that enables you to receive points and upgrade your character, perform the most amazing creative moves and unlock various big weapons needed to send those mutants to Neverland. You can choose to do a variety of things, like use your energy whip to manipulate your enemy, pull them close, slam them onto a surface or launch them up into the air; or, you can choose to use the flail gun consisting of a chain and two grenades tethered together to wrap someone up like a Christmas present and then blow them into bits. If you choose, you can also push them off various ledges or impale them on a cactus-like plant. The bosses also look promising in this mega-charged shooter: the game demonstration allows us to see a huge Venus flytrap plant-thing that definitely requires careful tactical planning and creativity to be beaten.

Another aspect which made me impatient about this game’s release are the humorous one-liners, which are not surprising considering that the script was written by Rick Remender, a comical mastermind who made the Fear Agent Series and the End League. For example, if you kill a group of enemies with a single explosion, you have performed a ‘gang-bang.’ Grayson Hunt, the testosterone-charged action hero echoing Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis’ action movie characters, also makes hilarious comments depending on the situation, like:

‘You scared the d*** off me!’
‘Last train from explosion town! Move you sh**!’
Ah great, where did this giant d*** come from?
‘I’ve predicted imminent detonation within the gravity core generator.’ – I’ve predicted imminent getting the f*** out of here!’

Promising mix of good ingredients

The developers’ intention was to create a game that will be like Duke Nukem, Firefly (deemed as one of the best sci-fi shows ever) and Burnout (a frantic racing game) put together. By the looks of Bulletstorm, it seems to have the humor, wide range of monsters and ammo, futuristic setting and over-the-top energy and speed which are the main attributes of the above-mentioned three. All in all, this game might prove to be much more than just another FPS, so all you can do is be patient and stay tuned for additional information as more details about the game come out!