When it first came out in 2011, Bulletstorm was a much-needed departure in a shooter genre filled with military shooters, many of which were focused more on offering the same multiplayer experience. Through it’s over the top story, colourful environments, and use of the skillshot system, Bulletstorm was an overlooked gem for those who wanted a shooter that didn’t simply rely on a heavy trigger finger or kill streaks, but rather challenged the player to focus on their environment, and find new and creative ways to use it to take down hordes of enemies.
The story never took itself seriously, and the characters were crass macho-men filled with crude one-liners throughout the campaign. In many ways, the characters feel like they were inspired or taken from the Duke Nukem universe. It’s no surprise then that we see the potty-humour protagonist from that series make a cameo appearance in Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition.
Released six years after its initial launch on Xbox 360 and PS3, Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is another in line of recent remasters of older games with a new graphical facelift. Is it a package worth re-visiting, or one that should be left as a fond memory?
Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition: Windows PC, Xbox One [Reviewed, PlayStation 4
Developer: People Can Fly
Publisher: Gearbox Publishing
Release Date: 7 April 2017
Price: £44.99 [Disclosure: Game Copy Provided by Publisher]
At its core, Bulletstorm is simply a tale of redemption mixed in with a bunch of epic action moments and cheesy dialogue. You play as Grayson Hunt, a former Confederate operative turned outlaw and leader of the Dead Echo squad. The entire squad finds themselves on the run after discovering that their unit was being used to assassinate innocent civilians by their leader General Sarrano. When a chance encounter between Dead Echo and Sarrano’s ship strands both their ships on the dystopian planet of Stygia, Grayson is left to find a way out of the planet for himself and Ishi (the only other surviving member of Dead Echo).
As the campaign continues along, Grayson finds a bevy of weapons to add to his arsenal, including a gun that shoots bouncing cannon balls, a flail gun which has bombs attached to a flail, a sniper that allows you to guide the bullets in slo motion, and a weapon that allow you to fire drills into an enemies skull. However, none of them as unique or as useful as the leash, which allows Grayson to latch onto an enemy and pull them towards you much like Skorpion from Mortal Kombat. The leash is the most effective weapon because it doesn’t consume any ammo, allows you to quickly separate groups of enemies from each other, and allows you to set up most of the more deadly skillshots when combined with other weapons or your kick.
Setting up the deadlier skillshots is important in the game because it rewards creativity by scoring you points based on how you kill your enemies. These points can then, in turn, be used at pods for more ammo, or upgrades to weapons giving them more lethal options. There are over a hundred unique skillshots available in the game, and it’s always fun to find new ways to dismember enemies through the new weapons, and during a new environment. The campaign and weapons are all taken from the original game though, so those who played Bulletstorm back when it first came out will not find any new weapons or skillshots to play around with, unfortunately.
The biggest changes in the Full Clip Edition come namely in the aesthetic area. The remastered version includes better texture resolution and a higher framerate, which makes the colours stand out even more from the original as well as improves the lighting during certain cutscenes. The remastered game also includes all the DLC that were added to the original game post-launch, which adds more value to the multiplayer, which is strictly co-op. Additionally, there is an Overkill mode, a mode that unlocks after beating the campaign and enables all the weapons and skillshots from the start.
The other big addition is the ability to play through the campaign as Duke Nukem rather than Grayson for those who pre-ordered the game or are willing to spend an extra five dollars. While the idea sounds interesting at first, the cameo is merely a model and voice change.
Duke’s model replaces Grayson’s in the cutscenes, and the voice is taken from the same actor (Jon St. John), but there aren’t any gameplay differences between the two and characters will still refer to Duke as Grayson (which leads to some funny reactions). The lip-synching is also quite laughably bad for Duke as well for some reason, as his lips will move in a way that doesn’t match the words he’s saying, which takes away from the experience during serious emotional moments.
Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is the definitive edition of the classic arcade shooter. The improved visuals and smoother 60fps makes all the over the top and ridiculous set piece and frantic action moments stand out more than the previous version. The unique scoring style that promotes creativity over itchy trigger fingers still feels unique and fresh from other shooters in the market. Being able to play through the game as Duke Nukem is a nice bonus as well, although problems with the voice synching during cut-scenes can be a bit jarring.
Those who may have missed out on this game when it first came out owe it to themselves to check out Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition. However, fans who have played the game when it first came out may find themselves rather disappointed in the lack of any substantial new content in this remaster, especially when you consider the retail price point.