Bulletstorm review
Sarah Palin's Alaska: The Game


Well, guys, I got Bulletstorm in from Gamefly this past weekend, and I decided to give it a spin. After playing the game nearly nonstop for four days in a row and racking up them's killshots, I figured it deserved another hour so of my time for a review. Get ready to—DICKS, PUSSY, COCKSUCKER, *bleep* HAHAHAHAHA—in the detailed review...

Let me first get started how I always do, by talking about the graphics. This game runs off the good ol' Unreal engine, the engine used by games varying from the Rainbow Six games to Deus Ex to games as recent as Borderlands and Splinter Cell: Conviction. I will tell you right now, if you are a graphics whore, you probably won't be a fan of this game. This game does not in any way look bad or 'unplayable' as some would have it, but it certainly has its bugs.

There's not really too much detail to the world, just large canvasses that are used to make the game look vast and wide-open. This is obviously just a disguise, because this game is just about as linear as it gets (more on that later). However, the graphics do set the post-apocolyptic mood the game vaguely tries to set. Vegitation is growing out of buildings, cars, and walls, and everything is decrepit and destroyed. Many people (including myself) who played through Borderlands will find everything to be very familiar, and that definitely makes the game appealing for those who enjoyed that game. The surroundings are very eerie and unsettling at times, but it's nothing that any other game hasn't done before.

The character design, however, is where the game shines just a little bit. All the protagonists look extremely smooth, and I've never once had render issues with any of them. I don't really like how the female protagonist of the group is again over-sexualized (as in every game) for the sake of it, but that's probably only something that will bother girl gamers, so my fellow male gamers need not worry. The enemies did have some render issues, but they never lasted more than a few seconds. The boss designs are very sexy, and are certainly the best I've seen in any FPS in awhile. However, the mini-bosses have weirdly-designed asses. When you stun one of the mini-bosses and kick him from behind, their ass is exposed for you to pummel with bullets, and it just looks... odd. No ass is completely flat with the crack going completely up the back, but I guess that's just how it goes for the Skulls. Overall, I had only a few render problems with surroundings and objects, and very, very few with character models.

This picture portrays the Skillshot that pretty much describes all other Skillshots to a T.

Now for the audio and music. The dialogue is by far the most ridiculous thing about this game, so let me first talk about (and mock) that. You see, not only is the dialogue littered with incessant swearing and dick jokes, but it is also littered with Steven Blum. I'm sorry to all the Blum fans out there, but he shouldn't voice any main characters who talk almost all the time. But I digress, the swearing is a tad much. I am not one to bitch about swearing, but it is near-constant. How can you take a script seriously when the characters can't go five seconds without calling each other a cocksucker? Not only that, but sometimes the swearing makes the dialogue incoherent. WHY WOULD THE DEVELOPERS MAKE THE SWEARING SO CONSTANT THAT YOU CAN'T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING THE CHARACTERS ARE SAYING?

While the swearing is a bit too much at times, I have to say that I did like some of the jokes scattered around amidst the shitstorm of cursing. I'm a fan of uncomfortable *bleep* jokes myself, so maybe I'm a bit biased over the dick jokes, but there it is. Enough rambling about that; I still need to talk about the music.

The music is fairly epic, but not enough that you'll feel any different about shooting everyone in sight as you already do. There is a section where Disco Inferno plays for around 30 seconds while you gun away at bad guys, but it felt too brief for my taste. Fans of action games where commercial music is used throughout (such as Destroy All Humans! 2 and of course, the GTA series) will probably find that to be a neat extra, but you'll be disappointed at the lack of any other moments like this. Nothing about the audio or music really stands out at all, so I can't really elaborate much more. I don't really think most of you care about audio that much anyway, so I'll just move along.

Gameplay; one of the few things about Bulletstorm that make it fairy solid game. You see, an emphasized feature of the game are things called 'skillshots'. Skillshots are the unique kills you can perform on your enemies to gain more 'Skillpoints'. Skillpoints are used to buy ammo and upgrades for your weaponry (and leash) in 'Drop Kits'. Drop Kits are shops you come across in almost every other room you enter, which I find to be ridiculously cheap and easy, especially since my first playthrough was on Hard. What is the point of creatively killing your enemies if there's a resupply station around almost every corner? And before you say, "Well, Steve, you need more points to get the upgrades!", I have to call bullshit on that. The Upgrade system is TERRIBLE. TERRIBLE.

There are two things you can upgrade on each weapon (excluding the leash). These things are the Charge Shots and Capacity. The first Charge Shot upgrade is just to unlock Charge Shots, and the next ones are—you guessed it—to upgrade the capacity of your charge shots. That means that both major upgrades in the Drop Kits are for capacity! When I first saw the Drop Kits, I was eager to upgrade my shit, and then I just found out that you can get almost every upgrade before you've gotten halfway through the game. Way to kill replay value there, developers. The Drop Kits are also used to check your statistics and the unique Skillshots you've unlocked. Pretty much, Drop Kits are a pause screen where you can resupply yourself. I can only hope that Bulletstorm 2 has Drop Kits that aren't absolutely worthless. Other than that, though, the Skillshots are extremely fun to try pulling off. And the satisfaction you get from pulling off a very tough Skillshot is worth playing the game in itself. However, alot of the Skillshots just dissolve into getting headshots or testicle-shots, which is kind of dull (the promos called the game a symphony of blood, whereas it's actually more of a duet where your variety on killing is more limited than you are led to believe).

Another huge problem I had with the game was the lack of extra Skillshots for the actual bosses. Why the hell aren't there extra Skillshots for taking down a main boss with the Bouncer only, or maybe ones for taking no damage in the battles? There's so much more they could've done with the Skillshots, and it just feels a tad half-assed (albeit fun as hell).

There are also collectibles strewn throughout the game in the form of things called 'Newsbots' and 'Electroflies'. Newsbots are just robots that report happenings of the game, and to collect them, you just blast them to hell with your guns. The Electroflies are just... electric flies (originality)... and you shoot each individual fly of a group to collect a swarm. There are also bottles of knock-off beer called 'Nom juice' (although I don't understand the reasoning for not just calling it 'beer' instead of 'Nom juice', seeing as everything else inappropriate in the game is exasperated to the fullest extent). You can either shoot or drink Nom Juice, and you only have to do it 20 times for either one. Luckily, the Nom Juice drinking/shooting stacks, so you can just reload a checkpoint that you got before you found a bottle, and shoot/drink it 20 times to get the collection done.

Oh, and before I move on, I have to touch up on the electro-whip, or lasso, or leash, or whatever you want to call it. It's a *bleep*ing electric whip that freezes people in the air; there's no need to be anal about the name of something so badass. You unlock this thing in the Second Chapter of the First Act, so you do have to play a bit of the prologue sans the electro-whip, but once you get it, the fun of the game really begins. You use the Electro-whip to pull enemies into environmental hazards, pull enemies closer to you to kick the shit out of them, or unleash a special Charge Shot of sorts that flings every enemy within radius into the air. Very lucrative weapon, but certainly not a turning point that every game is going to use from now on. And please don't trust people who say the leash is 'just as innovative as the Gravity Gun in Half Life 2', because they are just stupid. Moving along...


Now for the Storyline. The game begins with your character, Grayson, interrogating a bounty hunter on a spaceship with one of his crew members. They allude to a man named 'Sarrano' putting a hit out on them sometime in the past, and the bounty hunter informs them the bounty is twice the amount it was before (around half a billion dollars). After they kill the bounty hunter by shooting him into space through the airlock, they go to the cockpit, where another lead character, Ishi, is distraught. The crew (of around four people) assembles and see a large spaceship ahead of them. They refer to it as the 'Ulysses', and Grayson somehow knows for sure that Sarrano is on the ship. Grayson commands everyone to ready the ship for battle, and they attack the giant ship instead of warping away. Long story short, Grayson's ship gets all *bleep*ed up, so he decides to ram the hell out of Sarrano's ship in an attempt to kill everyone instead of dying in vain.The ship ends up bursting straight through the Ulysses, and both the ships end up crashlanding on an unnamed (well, unnamed as far as I know) planet. All the crew except Ishi dies, and then Grayson and Ishi start off on an epic journey to find a woman whom they believe can get them off the planet (Grayson tracks her with his newly-aquired Electro-leash). The storyline certainly isn't the best I've ever heard, nor is it the most thought-out, but it gets the job done. There's really no big twists or turns throughout the game, though, the story is just kinda... there. There's no elaboration on the characters' pasts other than a few select moments where you see them in their hayday of being assassins for Sarrano, which is a damn shame. In Bulletstorm 2, I am really hoping the ante is upped with the storyline so that you can actually feel a better connection to the characters.

"I'm *bleep*ing killing your *bleep*ing dick you *bleep*ing cocksucker! Piss, asshole, *bleep*, *INSERT DICK JOKE*!"

There are two separate attempts to add replayability to the game other than collectibles. These attempts are Echoes Mode and Anarchy Mode. Echoes Mode is a mode that has you relive the moments of the singleplayer campaign, but in a Spec Ops-esque fashion. Pretty much, you are thrown into one of the missions from the game with bare-bones equipment, no Skillshots unlocked, and a Timer at the top of the screen. The goal of this is to complete the mission while getting as many Skillshots as humanly possible wile rushing yourself for the time bonus. After you complete the mission, you get ranked on a basis of Skillpoints earned from Skillshots and kills as well as the extra Skillpoints earned from the time bonus. The ranks are 1 Star, 2 Stars, and 3 Stars. If you get a high enough score, you'll get the very sexy 3 Stars, and you'll be closer to the Achievements or Trophies for Echoes Mode if you're into that. When you get Stars in the Missions, you unlock more of the Missions (reminds you of Spec Ops quite a bit, eh? Unfortunately, there isn't any multiplayer option for Echoes Mode, though). This is pretty neat and all, but there's really not that many missions included, so it's not going to last you long. However, it's a solid effort at replay value that will keep you playing for a little while longer. Echoes Mode gets you two thumbs up from me, People Can Fly Studios. And then Anarchy Mode is the online multiplayer of the game. I haven't played any Anarchy Mode yet, but that's solely because the damn matchmaking take FOREVER, and when I got placed into a match, I got kicked immediately because the match supposedly 'ended'. I did notice that there are no 'Team Vs. Team' or 'Every Man For Himself' kind of multiplayer gametypes here, just a regular Co-Op experience. That's kind of cool for those of you who don't like Call of Duty or Halo or any other competetive online multiplayer games, but for us COD gamers, it's sort of a let-down. I would kill to kick my friend's asses by tossing them into a cactus or fiery pit with an Electro-leash. Still, a solid mode for any Nazi Zombies fans out there who want to kill Skulls and Creeps instead of zombies... that's probably only one person.

That about wraps it up for people who don't have ADD, so let me wrap this up for the people that do. Bulletstorm is a solid game with a fairly short singleplayer campaign and two extra modes that are meant to keep you playing for a bit. The Graphics and Audio are both dull, but neither of them should be a problem for people who can play games without whining about graphics or sound. The Story is pretty good for what the game is, but it isn't going to win any awards anytime soon. I'd say that you should rent the game if that option is available to you, and then judge it for yourself. If you can't rent, and want to know if you should buy it right now, I'd say get another FPS like Killzone 3 or Black Ops or wait for Duke Nukem Forever, RAGE, or Brink. Definitely not worth the buy unless you find it in a bargain bin somewhere or have $60 and feel like spending $20 on a quality product, but also feel like tossing that other $40 in the garbage. Also, spoiler-alert, Ishi is an atheist. Bulletstorm for the PS3 gets a 2.0 out of 5.0.

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1 thumbs!
Paradox Apr 3, 11
I loved this game, though I see why you didn't like it. The game isn't meant to be serious, it's filled to the brim with Epic's type of humor. The game never took itself seriously, and I loved how the gameplay was a breath of fresh air from the Call of Duty-esque FPS's.

Isn't really geared towards your review, but the others reviews are complaining about the story where there really wasn't supposed to be one. It's as much as a joke at Duke Nukems. I do agree it wasn't worth the 60 dollars though, I only really bought it for the Gears 3 beta

PS3 is definitely the worst version, it has a lot of bugs and framerate issues.
0 thumbs!
Ditnopota Apr 3, 11
Well, I did actually have a very, very fun time playing the game. I just didn't want to give the game more credit than it deserves because I had a little more fun with it than most other games I've been playing.
1 thumbs!
Lukas Apr 3, 11
In a sense, the story did have potential to actually be funny and prety cool, not just unserious and fillerific. I can't really speak for anybody else, but yeah, I know I went too far with the complaining about the story.

I always thought the PC version of this game was the worst, or are PC fanboys just bigger whingers?
1 thumbs!
Paradox Apr 3, 11
The controls for PC are supposedly wicked bad, but the PS3 version has a lot of bugs and doesn't really look good graphically. I was actually going to buy it for PC but though against it because of all of the complaints about the controls.

To be honest I was disappointed with this game as well, Painkiller (people can fly's first title) is one of my favorite games so I was expecting something close to that.
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