Recently I had some time to enjoy the latest demo from People Can Fly, titled Bulletstorm. It’s an apt title as gameplay centers roughly on a score-based mechanic of how “creatively” you kill the other guy. Numerous environmental traps are available for the assist such as impaling spikes, large drop-offs, and the occasional exploding container or barrel. You’ll also have access to an electrical grapple or “hookshot” (to steal from Zelda parlance) to grab enemies and bring them to you and release them in slo-mo– thereby increasing your fun and the amount of creative ways you can think of to destroy them. Gameplay looks kinda ripped from the Black playbook, a game that ranked you with points based upon how creative your kills were while you ran through levels. A more recent comparison would be to Sega’s rather under-rated The Club which had a squad-based approach, but the same type of scoring mechanics. Apparently folks didn’t like shooting up other folks for creativities sake, or they just didn’t like the full package of either of those games. Who knows…
Visually the game looks purty. Utilizing and being published by Epic Games has something to do with it–The latest version of the Unreal Engine is in full “bloom” so to speak with such graphical improvements like “god beams”, and accurate lighting penumbrae. Audio is good too–punchy shotguns and machine guns felt real and the amount of audio feedback was quite nice for warnings about ends of clips or incoming grenades. Both of these things I would expect as they are right out of the Gears of War playbook.
However, what is not or maybe sorta not is the raw amount of testosterone this game is meant to convey. Example: The word “dick-tits”. I think during the end of the demo in its closing video the main character make some comment about not sitting around like a “dick-tits”. I actually had no idea what this word meant, and the amount of new vernacular thrown at you during the course of a 10 minute demo was kind of ridiculous.
I’m not sure how effective it is because the last time I saw this much ridiculous masculinity was in Army of Two and I don’t think that did to successfully. I mean, how many of you had to think of just what the hell Army of Two even was after you read that? Exactly.
To jog your memories, I’ve embeded this handy YouTube video showing some of its finer moments below:
In the end, I had a decent time with it. It feels like a brighter, less depressing or apocalyptic Gears of War. Time will tell if it can be set apart, but the month of February sure looks pretty empty for video games in general. It might just provide the boost they need to get this thing off of shelves. So what are you waiting for “dick-tits”?
EDIT: 7:42 AM 02_06_11: Here’s some more videos on “creative killins” in Bulletstorm: