Bulletstorm Shows Some Things Shooters Need To Change

Posted by believer258 (11563 posts) -

Go play Bulletstorm

Well, if you haven't yet anyway. I just wanted to make it clear that this is a fantastic game before I start really tearing into it.

Not to get too steeped into the history of this all, but here’s the short version: Polish developer People Can Fly made a low budget FPS a few years back called Painkiller, the kind of game that would normally have flown way under the radar had one Yatzhee Croshaw not found it in a bargain bin and subsequently declared it one of his favorite games. With a skyrocketed popularity level due to this one 5 minute review, Epic Games picked them up and put them to work on Bulletstorm, a new FPS with a similar type of attitude and several occurrences of made-up dirty phrases. I’ve recently made my way through this game and while it is a fantastic shooter that does things the industry could learn from (a blog on that later), it’s also got a few things about it that I found rather annoying and a textbook case of things shooters should really just stop doing. So, without further ado, here we go:

1) Weapon wheels

I can understand why a modern military shooter like Call of Duty or Battlefield would limit you to two weapons, and for Halo it was a stylistic choice that was pretty different at the time, but I can’t help but feel that there aren’t many games that can honestly justify a necessity for a two weapon limit. This is my single biggest issue with Bulletstorm and it’s one that has been growing on me a lot lately in other games, too. Singularity was in dire need of the ability to hold every gun, and even the Ur-example Halo could very well benefit from being able to hold every single gun in the entire game. But this game especially needs to allow it. Some of the worst parts in the game were the ones that just handed me a sniper rifle and told me that I had to use it. Sure, it’s technically feasible to get through those parts using your trusty pistol or, later, the drill gun thingy, but it’s far handier to use that sniper rifle. I should just be able to pull up the weapon wheel, whip out my sniper, pop a few noggins, and then pull out my trusty shotgun when I’m done. As it stands, I have to pick up this stupid rifle, use it, and then pick my other gun back up when I’m done with it. I don’t want to keep the damn thing, it’s only useful in certain situations anyway. The game’s skillshot system could make far more uses out of a weapon wheel than just three guns, one of them never changing. Imagine if one of the harder skillshots were to use the thumper to knock at least six dudes into the air, and then kill each with a different gun as he slowly falls to the ground. The sheer number of different ways to dispatch a group of enemies would increase by an order of magnitude if every gun were available at every time in this game. Some might say that this limit is for something like “balance” or “thinking ahead and using tactics to choose your weapon”. If you are that person, then place yourself in the shoes of Snow:

2) Health Systems

Someone just read that subtitle and thought “Yeah, FPS games really need health bars and medpacks!” Now, hold on, because that’s not what I’m saying. The health system itself is fine. Actually, I’d say that it would be cool if we could buy and/or find armor to go over our regenerating health. As it stands, though, we’ve got a perfectly functioning way of making sure that someone doesn’t walk into a big, act-ending fight with an immeasurably tiny sliver of health to make their way through on. That sort of thing is quite frustrating. No, what I’m mainly talking about here is the red fucking jam that feels the need to invade our television screens every time the player takes a virtual bullet. Again, there’s at least one (weak) argument that can be made for this red jam – it makes it easier to tell when you’re about to die, but if you say that you should also place yourself in the shoes of Snow, above. There’s no reason why we cannot have an actual bar tucked away in a corner of the screen that flashes red when a player needs to get behind something and get out the Band-Aids. Halo 2 did it. Halo 3 sort of did it but I believe it still had some red jam around the edges, though not nearly as much as any modern shooter. Hell, Halo ODST did the red jam to the extreme and that game has no refilling health. Yep, a few shots and you had a hard time seeing through that red filter until you found a health pack.

For the record, I’m still of the belief that every game is different and therefore there is no single “best” type of health system that everyone should use no matter the game. This means that regenerating health, health bars and medpacks, or the oft-praised but not often used hybrid health are all very much viable design decisions.

3) Bosses

There really isn’t much in the way of handholding in this game, but it happens a lot on what should be bosses. There is precisely one actual boss and two other “minibosses” – two other things are in the game which should be full-on bosses. The first is the Hekaton, which is essentially Godzilla. The player must defeat it by getting on a helicopter and shooting its weak point with a turret while some dudes yell at you. This ought to be among the game’s highest points and an incredibly memorable moment, but instead you’re left trying to aim properly while a helicopter swings about. At least in Modern Warfare the helicopter stayed still while you were shooting tiny targets – here, it’s a bit difficult and a bit infuriating to keep your aim on the Hekaton’s tiny red spot. Instead of this, a better scenario might have been to have you pilot a helicopter (preferably with some practice beforehand) to take it out, or maybe have you actually kill it on foot though I can see why that wouldn’t be preferable because you’d just be shooting at his toecheese (if you were on the ground) or just cleaning out the gunk between his teeth (if you were on a building). The second thing which should be a full-on boss is Sarrano himself, the General who you’re trying to get rid of. You beat him (not kill him) via Quick Time Event. After mowing, stomping, throwing, blasting, blowing up, and otherwise decimating your way through hordes of bad motherfuckers, you get to the baddest motherfucker and he (literally) throws you around a bit, knocks out the token girl, and kills (but not really) your best friend. This is right after you do the Modern Warfare 2 thing of pushing the left and right buttons to crawl to the nearest weapon, and it’s not fun. It wasn’t fun there and it’s just infuriating here. And what makes it worse is that the game essentially ends the boss fight for you! You have to push the leash button and the kick button and some of that to do a very specific series of events to kill him (not really). If by some odd chance any developer happens to read this, this is not fun. This is not satisfying, this is not interesting, this is not a good way to kill your big bad guy.

As for the above mentioned minibosses and the only actual boss in a game that should be full of them, they’re fine and fairly well designed and interesting but the game feels the need to make the other characters yell at you about what to do to beat them. Again, this isn’t rocket science. Kids have been figuring out how to kill bosses since the NES days and before, I’m pretty certain that anyone playing this game can figure out that “shoot the big red jello-y bits” is the right thing to do on the big boss. As for the minibosses, the first one has the player shoot a large enemy until he kneels down and the player then kicks him backwards, eventually into some spinning helicopter blades. The second is a similar fight and has the player knock him into some hanging electrical wires. These are fine, I just wish the game didn’t tell me what to do when I’d already figured it out.

These last three are very minor and aren’t necessarily things that are downright bad, just things that have the potential to make shooters more fun.

4) More open level design

Crysis got this one right, for one game at least. Linearity is by no means a bad thing and, really, many of the most beloved games of all time are uber-linear and ask certain things of you at times. Mega Man 2, Super Mario Bros., Half-Life, etc. are all quite linear. Still, these days even consoles have the power to make more open levels. Crysis is on the consoles if you don’t believe me. And, really, that’s the best example I have to give. I don’t necessarily need every game to be that open, but I would like to see more games give me a bigger battlefield to play on.

5) Movement speed

I don’t need Bulletstorm to move as fast as Doom did. Actually, that might be a bit too fast. Still, I would like to see FPS protagonists with the ability to put a little more giddyup in their step.

6) More varied enemies

Oh, come on. People can be creative. Everything in Bulletstorm save for the Hekaton and the plant-thingy is either human or human shaped. Why couldn’t we get to fight some crazy wildlife that had taken over the city?

And that’s all! Do you agree? Disagree? Anything you would like to add? Are some of these things you actually like and want to see more of? If so, why?

#1 Edited by believer258 (11563 posts) -

Go play Bulletstorm

Well, if you haven't yet anyway. I just wanted to make it clear that this is a fantastic game before I start really tearing into it.

Not to get too steeped into the history of this all, but here’s the short version: Polish developer People Can Fly made a low budget FPS a few years back called Painkiller, the kind of game that would normally have flown way under the radar had one Yatzhee Croshaw not found it in a bargain bin and subsequently declared it one of his favorite games. With a skyrocketed popularity level due to this one 5 minute review, Epic Games picked them up and put them to work on Bulletstorm, a new FPS with a similar type of attitude and several occurrences of made-up dirty phrases. I’ve recently made my way through this game and while it is a fantastic shooter that does things the industry could learn from (a blog on that later), it’s also got a few things about it that I found rather annoying and a textbook case of things shooters should really just stop doing. So, without further ado, here we go:

1) Weapon wheels

I can understand why a modern military shooter like Call of Duty or Battlefield would limit you to two weapons, and for Halo it was a stylistic choice that was pretty different at the time, but I can’t help but feel that there aren’t many games that can honestly justify a necessity for a two weapon limit. This is my single biggest issue with Bulletstorm and it’s one that has been growing on me a lot lately in other games, too. Singularity was in dire need of the ability to hold every gun, and even the Ur-example Halo could very well benefit from being able to hold every single gun in the entire game. But this game especially needs to allow it. Some of the worst parts in the game were the ones that just handed me a sniper rifle and told me that I had to use it. Sure, it’s technically feasible to get through those parts using your trusty pistol or, later, the drill gun thingy, but it’s far handier to use that sniper rifle. I should just be able to pull up the weapon wheel, whip out my sniper, pop a few noggins, and then pull out my trusty shotgun when I’m done. As it stands, I have to pick up this stupid rifle, use it, and then pick my other gun back up when I’m done with it. I don’t want to keep the damn thing, it’s only useful in certain situations anyway. The game’s skillshot system could make far more uses out of a weapon wheel than just three guns, one of them never changing. Imagine if one of the harder skillshots were to use the thumper to knock at least six dudes into the air, and then kill each with a different gun as he slowly falls to the ground. The sheer number of different ways to dispatch a group of enemies would increase by an order of magnitude if every gun were available at every time in this game. Some might say that this limit is for something like “balance” or “thinking ahead and using tactics to choose your weapon”. If you are that person, then place yourself in the shoes of Snow:

2) Health Systems

Someone just read that subtitle and thought “Yeah, FPS games really need health bars and medpacks!” Now, hold on, because that’s not what I’m saying. The health system itself is fine. Actually, I’d say that it would be cool if we could buy and/or find armor to go over our regenerating health. As it stands, though, we’ve got a perfectly functioning way of making sure that someone doesn’t walk into a big, act-ending fight with an immeasurably tiny sliver of health to make their way through on. That sort of thing is quite frustrating. No, what I’m mainly talking about here is the red fucking jam that feels the need to invade our television screens every time the player takes a virtual bullet. Again, there’s at least one (weak) argument that can be made for this red jam – it makes it easier to tell when you’re about to die, but if you say that you should also place yourself in the shoes of Snow, above. There’s no reason why we cannot have an actual bar tucked away in a corner of the screen that flashes red when a player needs to get behind something and get out the Band-Aids. Halo 2 did it. Halo 3 sort of did it but I believe it still had some red jam around the edges, though not nearly as much as any modern shooter. Hell, Halo ODST did the red jam to the extreme and that game has no refilling health. Yep, a few shots and you had a hard time seeing through that red filter until you found a health pack.

For the record, I’m still of the belief that every game is different and therefore there is no single “best” type of health system that everyone should use no matter the game. This means that regenerating health, health bars and medpacks, or the oft-praised but not often used hybrid health are all very much viable design decisions.

3) Bosses

There really isn’t much in the way of handholding in this game, but it happens a lot on what should be bosses. There is precisely one actual boss and two other “minibosses” – two other things are in the game which should be full-on bosses. The first is the Hekaton, which is essentially Godzilla. The player must defeat it by getting on a helicopter and shooting its weak point with a turret while some dudes yell at you. This ought to be among the game’s highest points and an incredibly memorable moment, but instead you’re left trying to aim properly while a helicopter swings about. At least in Modern Warfare the helicopter stayed still while you were shooting tiny targets – here, it’s a bit difficult and a bit infuriating to keep your aim on the Hekaton’s tiny red spot. Instead of this, a better scenario might have been to have you pilot a helicopter (preferably with some practice beforehand) to take it out, or maybe have you actually kill it on foot though I can see why that wouldn’t be preferable because you’d just be shooting at his toecheese (if you were on the ground) or just cleaning out the gunk between his teeth (if you were on a building). The second thing which should be a full-on boss is Sarrano himself, the General who you’re trying to get rid of. You beat him (not kill him) via Quick Time Event. After mowing, stomping, throwing, blasting, blowing up, and otherwise decimating your way through hordes of bad motherfuckers, you get to the baddest motherfucker and he (literally) throws you around a bit, knocks out the token girl, and kills (but not really) your best friend. This is right after you do the Modern Warfare 2 thing of pushing the left and right buttons to crawl to the nearest weapon, and it’s not fun. It wasn’t fun there and it’s just infuriating here. And what makes it worse is that the game essentially ends the boss fight for you! You have to push the leash button and the kick button and some of that to do a very specific series of events to kill him (not really). If by some odd chance any developer happens to read this, this is not fun. This is not satisfying, this is not interesting, this is not a good way to kill your big bad guy.

As for the above mentioned minibosses and the only actual boss in a game that should be full of them, they’re fine and fairly well designed and interesting but the game feels the need to make the other characters yell at you about what to do to beat them. Again, this isn’t rocket science. Kids have been figuring out how to kill bosses since the NES days and before, I’m pretty certain that anyone playing this game can figure out that “shoot the big red jello-y bits” is the right thing to do on the big boss. As for the minibosses, the first one has the player shoot a large enemy until he kneels down and the player then kicks him backwards, eventually into some spinning helicopter blades. The second is a similar fight and has the player knock him into some hanging electrical wires. These are fine, I just wish the game didn’t tell me what to do when I’d already figured it out.

These last three are very minor and aren’t necessarily things that are downright bad, just things that have the potential to make shooters more fun.

4) More open level design

Crysis got this one right, for one game at least. Linearity is by no means a bad thing and, really, many of the most beloved games of all time are uber-linear and ask certain things of you at times. Mega Man 2, Super Mario Bros., Half-Life, etc. are all quite linear. Still, these days even consoles have the power to make more open levels. Crysis is on the consoles if you don’t believe me. And, really, that’s the best example I have to give. I don’t necessarily need every game to be that open, but I would like to see more games give me a bigger battlefield to play on.

5) Movement speed

I don’t need Bulletstorm to move as fast as Doom did. Actually, that might be a bit too fast. Still, I would like to see FPS protagonists with the ability to put a little more giddyup in their step.

6) More varied enemies

Oh, come on. People can be creative. Everything in Bulletstorm save for the Hekaton and the plant-thingy is either human or human shaped. Why couldn’t we get to fight some crazy wildlife that had taken over the city?

And that’s all! Do you agree? Disagree? Anything you would like to add? Are some of these things you actually like and want to see more of? If so, why?

#2 Posted by falserelic (5277 posts) -

Yeah I thought bulletstorm could have been better too.

#3 Posted by believer258 (11563 posts) -

@falserelic said:

Yeah I thought bulletstorm could have been better too.

I don't mean to imply that it wasn't a great game - it was - I just think it follows some lamentable patterns in shooters. In the grand scheme of things, these are fairly minor complaints for the game.

#4 Posted by falserelic (5277 posts) -

@believer258 said:

@falserelic said:

Yeah I thought bulletstorm could have been better too.

I don't mean to imply that it wasn't a great game - it was - I just think it follows some lamentable patterns in shooters. In the grand scheme of things, these are fairly minor complaints for the game.

The game wasn't bad I enjoyed it. But the way the developers made it out to be, fell very short on my expectations. It felt very similar to other linear modern first person shooters. It did some things interesting but not much. It was short and lacked content. On top of that it felt like it was trying hard to be funny.

#5 Posted by Shookems (474 posts) -

I thought bulletstorm was extremely boring. Maybe that's just me.

#6 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@falserelic said:

@believer258 said:

@falserelic said:

Yeah I thought bulletstorm could have been better too.

I don't mean to imply that it wasn't a great game - it was - I just think it follows some lamentable patterns in shooters. In the grand scheme of things, these are fairly minor complaints for the game.

The game wasn't bad I enjoyed it. But the way the developers made it out to be, fell very short on my expectations. It felt very similar to other linear modern first person shooters. It did some things interesting but not much. It was short and lacked content. On top of that it felt like it was trying hard to be funny.

What? It didn't feel that way to me at ALL. I guess in the over all structure, but I had too much fun with the combat puzzle to pay attention to that. Even totally fucking broken, that game is super fun on PC. Looking forward to replaying it on my new rig at crazy framerates.

@believer258 said:

5) Movement speed

I don’t need Bulletstorm to move as fast as Doom did. Actually, that might be a bit too fast. Still, I would like to see FPS protagonists with the ability to put a little more giddyup in their step.

WHAT ARE YOU SAYING RUNNING 90 MPH IS THE BEST PART OF DOOM. Talking shit about Doom won't do, won't do at all!

I think the movement speed is fine in Bulletstorm given that when you need to for tactical reasons, you can haul ass in a number of ways. I also think that it's silly with how much realism is put into especially the presentation of games today to expect a soldier bearing around 80-100 pounds of gear to run around like a chicken with his head cut off. I guess it could have been faster but it was never an issue for me because the sprinting/sliding was plenty fast.

#7 Posted by EquitasInvictus (1947 posts) -

I saw so much promise in Bulletstorm, and as much as I enjoyed the mechanics and scoring system for a unique variety of kills, I agree that it could've been even better. It could've been revolutionary, I think, if they polished up some of the aspects you brought up in this post.

I, for one, do enjoy the movement speed, though! That's one thing I'm cool with.

Otherwise I totally agree with several of your points. As much as I wanted to like Bulletstorm I couldn't revisit it after my one playthrough.

#8 Posted by falserelic (5277 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos: If you like bulletstorm that's fine. But to me the game looked like it had potential.

#9 Posted by believer258 (11563 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos said:

@falserelic said:

@believer258 said:

@falserelic said:

Yeah I thought bulletstorm could have been better too.

I don't mean to imply that it wasn't a great game - it was - I just think it follows some lamentable patterns in shooters. In the grand scheme of things, these are fairly minor complaints for the game.

The game wasn't bad I enjoyed it. But the way the developers made it out to be, fell very short on my expectations. It felt very similar to other linear modern first person shooters. It did some things interesting but not much. It was short and lacked content. On top of that it felt like it was trying hard to be funny.

What? It didn't feel that way to me at ALL. I guess in the over all structure, but I had too much fun with the combat puzzle to pay attention to that. Even totally fucking broken, that game is super fun on PC. Looking forward to replaying it on my new rig at crazy framerates.

@believer258 said:

5) Movement speed

I don’t need Bulletstorm to move as fast as Doom did. Actually, that might be a bit too fast. Still, I would like to see FPS protagonists with the ability to put a little more giddyup in their step.

WHAT ARE YOU SAYING RUNNING 90 MPH IS THE BEST PART OF DOOM. Talking shit about Doom won't do, won't do at all!

I think the movement speed is fine in Bulletstorm given that when you need to for tactical reasons, you can haul ass in a number of ways. I also think that it's silly with how much realism is put into especially the presentation of games today to expect a soldier bearing around 80-100 pounds of gear to run around like a chicken with his head cut off. I guess it could have been faster but it was never an issue for me because the sprinting/sliding was plenty fast.

All right, I guess that one makes sense. Still, I'd have liked to have been a touch faster.

But I am reminded of that one elusive complaint that I couldn't remember as I was writing this. Somehow you've boggled my memory. Thanks!

#10 Posted by OneKillWonder_ (1691 posts) -

I think most of Bulletstorm's problems are pretty easily forgivable given that it was a somewhat ambitious new IP. You can't expect the first shot at something like that to be perfect. But the core mechanics of that game were fresh, surprisingly solid and a ton of fun from beginning to end, and it was still easily one of my favorite games from last year.
 
I think if given the chance, People Can Fly could make a stellar sequel. Unfortunately, since people apparently don't like to buy good games, that probably won't happen for a good long time, if at all.

#11 Posted by AlexW00d (6168 posts) -

Serious Sam has fast moving and all of the weapons.

#12 Posted by believer258 (11563 posts) -

@AlexW00d said:

Serious Sam has fast moving and all of the weapons.

I know, but all I've played of that is the demo. It's pretty fun!

#13 Posted by SomeDeliCook (2203 posts) -

@AlexW00d said:

Serious Sam has fast moving and all of the weapons.

And its a game you take in small doses. I can't play any SS game for too long before I get fatigued and partly bored.

#14 Posted by BraveToaster (12590 posts) -

I haven't played Bulletstorm in so long that I forgot about most of the stuff that you listed. However, I do remember having fun with the game, but the novelty wore off before I finished my single player campaign.

#15 Posted by Brodehouse (9519 posts) -

Red jam or pulsing or whatever actually is super necessary. It's way better than having to watch bars. The use of it negates the need for a health bar, clearing up screen space as eliminating unnecessary HUD elements.

What I hate is jam that actually jams my view. Pulse red, let me know I'm in danger, but do not cover up my screen when I need it most.

#16 Edited by ImmortalSaiyan (4673 posts) -

@OneKillWonder_ said:

I think most of Bulletstorm's problems are pretty easily forgivable given that it was a somewhat ambitious new IP. You can't expect the first shot at something like that to be perfect. But the core mechanics of that game were fresh, surprisingly solid and a ton of fun from beginning to end, and it was still easily one of my favorite games from last year. I think if given the chance, People Can Fly could make a stellar sequel. Unfortunately, since people apparently don't like to buy good games, that probably won't happen for a good long time, if at all.

What is wrong with expecting high quality from a new IP? Vanquish and Demon's Souls come to mind as two new IPs that try new things and succeed. I don't think the problems of a game like BulletStorm or Mirrors Edge are as forgivable as you say. I appreciate the ambition but I wish they succeeded even more.

#17 Posted by OneKillWonder_ (1691 posts) -
@ImmortalSaiyan said:

@OneKillWonder_ said:

I think most of Bulletstorm's problems are pretty easily forgivable given that it was a somewhat ambitious new IP. You can't expect the first shot at something like that to be perfect. But the core mechanics of that game were fresh, surprisingly solid and a ton of fun from beginning to end, and it was still easily one of my favorite games from last year. I think if given the chance, People Can Fly could make a stellar sequel. Unfortunately, since people apparently don't like to buy good games, that probably won't happen for a good long time, if at all.

What is wrong with expecting high quality from a new IP? Vanquish and Demon's Souls come to mind as two new IPs that try new things and succeed. I don't think the problems of a game like BulletStorm or Mirrors Edge are as forgivable as you say. I appreciate the ambition but I wish they succeeded even more.

What I was getting at is that Bulletstorm's problems are pretty minor, and that it IS a high quality game. Vanquish and Demon's Souls aren't without their problems, either. But again, they're fairly minor in the grand scheme of what those games were trying to achieve. It's easy to look past and forgive shit like that. In the case of Mirror's Edge, that game had a lot of fundamental design flaws that made playing it a chore and were beyond the scope of Bulletstorm's issues. So no, there is nothing wrong with expecting high quality from new IP's. You just can't expect the same level of design finesse as you can with an established franchise (most of the time, at least), because the original product still remains to be criticized and have its flaws pointed out.
#18 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@ImmortalSaiyan said:

@OneKillWonder_ said:

I think most of Bulletstorm's problems are pretty easily forgivable given that it was a somewhat ambitious new IP. You can't expect the first shot at something like that to be perfect. But the core mechanics of that game were fresh, surprisingly solid and a ton of fun from beginning to end, and it was still easily one of my favorite games from last year. I think if given the chance, People Can Fly could make a stellar sequel. Unfortunately, since people apparently don't like to buy good games, that probably won't happen for a good long time, if at all.

What is wrong with expecting high quality from a new IP? Vanquish and Demon's Souls come to mind as two new IPs that try new things and succeed. I don't think the problems of a game like BulletStorm or Mirrors Edge are as forgivable as you say. I appreciate the ambition but I wish they succeeded even more.

A few things. First off, Vanquish did jack shit on the market, and secondly, Demon's Souls was hugely flawed, riddled with bugs and exploits and glitches, and other issues. Is it still a great game? Probaby, I didn't play it, but I know from people who do that it had at least as many issues as Bulletstorm, which I never had any issues with beyond the PC version being broken for me for a long time. Thirdly, Mirror's Edge isn't nearly as flawed as you might say, that game is amazing and considering most of the complaints were "the guns were dumb" when you weren't supposed to really use them and it was too demanding of players when you brought up effing Demon's Souls, and when it wasn't ever really unfair or janky is a bit unfair. I loved that game, and never had the issues most people had with it. Maybe the game just clicked with me, but it was crazy fun and the movement in that felt a million times better than Assassins's Creed ever has for me. Assassin's Creed can be downright broken with the bullshit jank you encounter with movement, Mirror's Edge just required timing and quick thinking.

#19 Posted by believer258 (11563 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

Red jam or pulsing or whatever actually is super necessary. It's way better than having to watch bars. The use of it negates the need for a health bar, clearing up screen space as eliminating unnecessary HUD elements. What I hate is jam that actually jams my view. Pulse red, let me know I'm in danger, but do not cover up my screen when I need it most.

I hate red jam a whole lot. What I suggested, or at least meant to suggest, was a bar in a corner or on the top of the screen that flashed red when you were low, not the entire screen. That's still pulsing red, but only covering a small part of the screen and not really getting in my way. I don't see how red jam is a good idea at all, and I much prefer having a health bar that tells me exactly how much health I have left instead of having to approximate it from the level of jam on-screen.

#20 Posted by Brodehouse (9519 posts) -
@believer258

@Brodehouse said:

Red jam or pulsing or whatever actually is super necessary. It's way better than having to watch bars. The use of it negates the need for a health bar, clearing up screen space as eliminating unnecessary HUD elements. What I hate is jam that actually jams my view. Pulse red, let me know I'm in danger, but do not cover up my screen when I need it most.

I hate red jam a whole lot. What I suggested, or at least meant to suggest, was a bar in a corner or on the top of the screen that flashed red when you were low, not the entire screen. That's still pulsing red, but only covering a small part of the screen and not really getting in my way. I don't see how red jam is a good idea at all, and I much prefer having a health bar that tells me exactly how much health I have left instead of having to approximate it from the level of jam on-screen.

Nah, man, I need a pulse or something that is plainly visible without me needing to 'check up' on my periphery. I don't scan my HUD unless I actively require that information, even if it just showed up on the side when in danger, it needs to _appear_ in such a way that it informs me rather than giving me the opportunity to inform myself. It's a strange distinction to make I know. And a pulse is better than the Zelda noise.
#21 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4673 posts) -

@OneKillWonder_ said:

@ImmortalSaiyan said:

@OneKillWonder_ said:

I think most of Bulletstorm's problems are pretty easily forgivable given that it was a somewhat ambitious new IP. You can't expect the first shot at something like that to be perfect. But the core mechanics of that game were fresh, surprisingly solid and a ton of fun from beginning to end, and it was still easily one of my favorite games from last year. I think if given the chance, People Can Fly could make a stellar sequel. Unfortunately, since people apparently don't like to buy good games, that probably won't happen for a good long time, if at all.

What is wrong with expecting high quality from a new IP? Vanquish and Demon's Souls come to mind as two new IPs that try new things and succeed. I don't think the problems of a game like BulletStorm or Mirrors Edge are as forgivable as you say. I appreciate the ambition but I wish they succeeded even more.

What I was getting at is that Bulletstorm's problems are pretty minor, and that it IS a high quality game. Vanquish and Demon's Souls aren't without their problems, either. But again, they're fairly minor in the grand scheme of what those games were trying to achieve. It's easy to look past and forgive shit like that. In the case of Mirror's Edge, that game had a lot of fundamental design flaws that made playing it a chore and were beyond the scope of Bulletstorm's issues. So no, there is nothing wrong with expecting high quality from new IP's. You just can't expect the same level of design finesse as you can with an established franchise (most of the time, at least), because the original product still remains to be criticized and have its flaws pointed out.

I understand what you are saying now and agree. I thought you were saying Bulletstorm was in the Mirrors Edge category of flawed ambition. I never actually played BullerStorm myself and was basing my point on what I inferred. My mistake.

#22 Posted by believer258 (11563 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

@believer258

@Brodehouse said:

Red jam or pulsing or whatever actually is super necessary. It's way better than having to watch bars. The use of it negates the need for a health bar, clearing up screen space as eliminating unnecessary HUD elements. What I hate is jam that actually jams my view. Pulse red, let me know I'm in danger, but do not cover up my screen when I need it most.

I hate red jam a whole lot. What I suggested, or at least meant to suggest, was a bar in a corner or on the top of the screen that flashed red when you were low, not the entire screen. That's still pulsing red, but only covering a small part of the screen and not really getting in my way. I don't see how red jam is a good idea at all, and I much prefer having a health bar that tells me exactly how much health I have left instead of having to approximate it from the level of jam on-screen.

Nah, man, I need a pulse or something that is plainly visible without me needing to 'check up' on my periphery. I don't scan my HUD unless I actively require that information, even if it just showed up on the side when in danger, it needs to _appear_ in such a way that it informs me rather than giving me the opportunity to inform myself. It's a strange distinction to make I know. And a pulse is better than the Zelda noise.

Then I propose an entirely new solution: options! Put a health bar in there and make red jam a toggle option in the menu. That way we're both satisfied and it can't be that hard to put this in there.

#23 Posted by Scrawnto (2433 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos: I loved Mirror's Edge, but I have "parkour vision" developed through practicing parkour in the real world. It made finding my way through the levels pretty intuitive, even with the red highlighting turned off.

@Brodehouse said:

@believer258

@Brodehouse said:

Red jam or pulsing or whatever actually is super necessary. It's way better than having to watch bars. The use of it negates the need for a health bar, clearing up screen space as eliminating unnecessary HUD elements. What I hate is jam that actually jams my view. Pulse red, let me know I'm in danger, but do not cover up my screen when I need it most.

I hate red jam a whole lot. What I suggested, or at least meant to suggest, was a bar in a corner or on the top of the screen that flashed red when you were low, not the entire screen. That's still pulsing red, but only covering a small part of the screen and not really getting in my way. I don't see how red jam is a good idea at all, and I much prefer having a health bar that tells me exactly how much health I have left instead of having to approximate it from the level of jam on-screen.

Nah, man, I need a pulse or something that is plainly visible without me needing to 'check up' on my periphery. I don't scan my HUD unless I actively require that information, even if it just showed up on the side when in danger, it needs to _appear_ in such a way that it informs me rather than giving me the opportunity to inform myself. It's a strange distinction to make I know. And a pulse is better than the Zelda noise.

I agree with Brodehouse here. I play games like Battlefield 3 on Hardcore mode, with nearly no HUD at all. Having the desaturation and noise dampening effects is vital in that circumstance. And for me, having to approximate it is part of the challenge. Risk/reward and all that. It's basically the same as not knowing how many bullets are in my magazine.

Of course, both ways are valid design decisions. I play TF2 as well. That game would not be served by a lack of HUD, health or ammo counters, at all. The important thing is to match the execution to the game you are making.

#24 Edited by living4theday258 (678 posts) -

@Scrawnto said:

I agree with Brodehouse here. I play games like Battlefield 3 on Hardcore mode, with nearly no HUD at all. Having the desaturation and noise dampening effects is vital in that circumstance. And for me, having to approximate it is part of the challenge. Risk/reward and all that. It's basically the same as not knowing how many bullets are in my magazine.

I never worry about how many bullets are in my gun when im playing a shooter, out of habbit i reload as soon as im done with a firefight and even then i still find myself hitting the reload button a couple times when i don't have to.

As for the red jam/health bar issue I couldn't care less about it so long as I know my health is low, though if I was given an option I would go with a health bar that beeps or something when im low on health.

Online
#25 Posted by believer258 (11563 posts) -

@living4theday258 said:

@Scrawnto said:

I agree with Brodehouse here. I play games like Battlefield 3 on Hardcore mode, with nearly no HUD at all. Having the desaturation and noise dampening effects is vital in that circumstance. And for me, having to approximate it is part of the challenge. Risk/reward and all that. It's basically the same as not knowing how many bullets are in my magazine.

I never worry about how many bullets are in my gun when im playing a shooter, out of habbit i reload as soon as im done with a firefight and even then i still find myself hitting the reload button a couple times when i don't have to.

As for the red jam/health bar issue I could care less about it so long as I know my health is low, though if I was given an option I would go with a health bar that beeps or something when im low on health.

Couldn't care less. You couldn't care less.

#26 Posted by NTM (7234 posts) -

I'm not going to disagree with you about what should or shouldn't be in games, but I will say that I personally didn't enjoy Bulletstorm.

#27 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -

Bulletstorm was just so good. It was too short, and it had some problems. One of these problems was trying to mash their seemingly old-school design with some modern shooter patterns. I was not confortable at all with the three weapon limit, because THEY HAVE A WEAPON WHEEL. If you press Y, it shows up. But yeah, the game was great.

#28 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

I really would like a more old school shooter like Unreal Tournament to be made, or hell, just a reboot of Unreal Tournament.

I think UT has the best weapons in any shooter and I loved being able to carry all of them at once.

#29 Posted by believer258 (11563 posts) -

@MikeGosot said:

Bulletstorm was just so good. It was too short, and it had some problems. One of these problems was trying to mash their seemingly old-school design with some modern shooter patterns. I was not confortable at all with the three weapon limit, because THEY HAVE A WEAPON WHEEL. If you press Y, it shows up. But yeah, the game was great.

When I mean "let me hold all of the guns", I usually just call it a weapon wheel because that's how they usually organize it, at least in my experience. I guess it is a bit of a misnomer since they do have a weapon wheel (and I know this, I just never used it).

@NTM said:

I'm not going to disagree with you about what should or shouldn't be in games, but I will say that I personally didn't enjoy Bulletstorm.

Might I inquire as to your reasons why not? I'm curious, I don't see how anyone who enjoys shooters in the slightest couldn't enjoy this particular game.

#30 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -
@believer258 said:

@MikeGosot said:

Bulletstorm was just so good. It was too short, and it had some problems. One of these problems was trying to mash their seemingly old-school design with some modern shooter patterns. I was not confortable at all with the three weapon limit, because THEY HAVE A WEAPON WHEEL. If you press Y, it shows up. But yeah, the game was great.

When I mean "let me hold all of the guns", I usually just call it a weapon wheel because that's how they usually organize it, at least in my experience. I guess it is a bit of a misnomer since they do have a weapon wheel (and I know this, I just never used it).

Yeah, i know. I hope Doom 4 let me hold all the weapons.
#31 Posted by mandude (2667 posts) -

I think I cried when I found out Max Payne 3 has a three-weapon weapon-wheel. Wait, no. I just got angry and punched my girlfriend, who then proceeded to cry. Anyway, they are a pox on gaming and need to be removed.

I would welcome the return of health bars (or at least the option, as you said), but I also think that regenerating health is the shittiest thing to happen to shooters. Yes, it does prevent you from walking into an important fight that you have no chance of winning, but you know what else does that? Meticulous placement of med-packs, painkillers, and other various health restoring items. If a developer doesn't want the player to be low on health before they waltz into that room with Dr. McBossman, they can just as easily put a medicine cabinet right next to the door that leads to him.

As it stands, when I'm playing a shooter, I run into every room with reckless abandon, make-or-break style, because I know that no matter how badly I do, as long as I come out even slightly on top, I can walk into the next room just as confidently and without any penalties. You are no longer rewarded for performing well in a gunfight and the prestige in not taking a single hit is gone.

#32 Posted by Raven10 (1703 posts) -

I really agree with your first comment. No, it isn't realistic to have 10+ weapons on you all at once, but from a gameplay standpoint it is vastly superior. Look at Resistance 2 vs Resistance 3. The second one was a game that tried to be a lot like other shooters and as a result wasn't nearly as good as the first. The third used a weapon wheel and by the end it gave you so many more options than most shooters that it was almost overwhelming. Also, Painkiller was a game that let you use a ton of different weapons and I really enjoyed it. The bosses in that game were also epic which made the lack of massive boss battles in Bulletstorm kind of a downer for me.

#33 Posted by believer258 (11563 posts) -

@mandude said:

I would welcome the return of health bars (or at least the option, as you said), but I also think that regenerating health is the shittiest thing to happen to shooters. Yes, it does prevent you from walking into an important fight that you have no chance of winning, but you know what else does that? Meticulous placement of med-packs, painkillers, and other various health restoring items. If a developer doesn't want the player to be low on health before they waltz into that room with Dr. McBossman, they can just as easily put a medicine cabinet right next to the door that leads to him.

I've heard this argument before and I think it's pretty valid; however, I like running into a room and blasting things away like a madman. If I play well and play quickly, then I can just dodge around all over the place instead of having to rush for cover every 5 seconds.

Still, like the option for having a refilling bar or just the regular old jam, there's a middle ground here and I kind of mentioned it. Far Cry 2 used it, so did FEAR 1 and Just Cause 2 and Resistance 1. A hybrid system where your health is split into sections and each section refills - that way, you can have the satisfaction of knowing that you just performed some great gunplay and perfect dodging with a full health bar, while I can be entirely certain that I won't die from an accidental elbow to the face in the next skirmish.

#34 Posted by NTM (7234 posts) -

@believer258: I just thought it was kind of boring. I didn't care for the trick shot game play. The one thing I did kind of like in it though, was the setting. That was OK. I've wanted to go back and play it again to see if my opinion might change, but ever since I heard that they don't have a sequel planned, it made me lose interest in doing that. I think almost everyone thinks as you just said, the whole "I don't see how anyone who enjoys shooters in the slightest couldn't enjoy this particular game." But in the end, it's all just opinions, no matter what. I mean, I would say I don't really care for stuff revolving around zombies, and then someone could say "How can you not be into zombies!?" and I'm just not. I don't think the game is terrible, I just didn't find it that fun in the one sitting play through I did, and trying to do it on hard didn't do it for me either. You could argue the draw for the game play is the trick shots and using it creatively with its wide variety, but I would have liked it if just the main shooting was funner, but to me it's not.

#35 Posted by believer258 (11563 posts) -

@NTM said:

@believer258: I just thought it was kind of boring. I didn't care for the trick shot game play. The one thing I did kind of like in it though, was the setting. That was OK. I've wanted to go back and play it again to see if my opinion might change, but ever since I heard that they don't have a sequel planned, it made me lose interest in doing that. I think almost everyone thinks as you just said, the whole "I don't see how anyone who enjoys shooters in the slightest couldn't enjoy this particular game." But in the end, it's all just opinions, no matter what. I mean, I would say I don't really care for stuff revolving around zombies, and then someone could say "How can you not be into zombies!?" and I'm just not. I don't think the game is terrible, I just didn't find it that fun in the one sitting play through I did, and trying to do it on hard didn't do it for me either. You could argue the draw for the game play is the trick shots and using it creatively with its wide variety, but I would have liked it if just the main shooting was funner, but to me it's not.

Oh... well, perhaps the reason I liked it so much was because I never, ever went through a firefight without killing at least half the baddies in an unconventional way. I was always a bit disappointed with myself when someone just died, I had to see them electrocuted or vaporized or their top halves removed from their bottom halves, or maybe impale them on some spikes or kick them off of a very high ledge, or watch that one drill gun press them into a wall and then violently spin them until all their extremities were just blood-splurting stum...

Wait, why are you looking at me funny?

#36 Posted by mandude (2667 posts) -

@believer258: Yeah, I actually liked it when games had regenerating segments. Even more so than the games that had no regeneration at all. Still. I do think it's in part to one being easier to develop than the other. With regenerating health, you're not forced to make sure your game is extremely well balanced, so I actually think it became the status quo, simply because it's easier rather than necessarily better. Not that it's worse, mind you. Just different.

#37 Posted by Gringus (64 posts) -

@believer258: That is exactly the reason why I think bulletstorm is probably one of the most refreshing games of this generation, especially fps-wise. They took killing and pretty much made it into a humongous fucking awesome puzzle. Trying to figure out what weapons and what combinations lead towards the most points and/or coolest deaths was so damn fun. Just like you I got super disappointed whenever I was just shooting bullets at someone normally and I would be sad that I wasted all those possible points.

#38 Posted by Guided_By_Tigers (8060 posts) -

@Shookems said:

I thought bulletstorm was extremely boring. Maybe that's just me.

Nope its not just you, I found it to be boring too.

#39 Posted by AssInAss (2528 posts) -

The worst thing about Bulletstorm is putting out that Duty Calls video which became an ironic parody of their own game instead of just the tropes of Modern Warfare. BLOODY SCREEN SO REAL

#40 Edited by BitterAlmond (401 posts) -

I hate to be that guy, but I disagree with every one of your points. I honestly think you're playing the game wrong. Crank up the difficulty to the max and then figure out what works and what doesn't. You might be surprised.

1. Part of the appeal of Bulletstorm was the idea that you were this unstoppable one-man force, picking up guns and dropping them for new ones constantly, like any good action hero. I rarely reloaded my weapons in Bulletstorm; I just swapped it for a new one. You don't have to be tactical, and the shotgun is useless because you are always wielding the most powerful close-combat weapon known to the video-gaming man: the Duke Boot. By the time you've put a couple upgrades into it, it becomes your strongest weapon, at least when used in combination with other weapons. Once you get the leash, you should barely be shooting any regular bullets.

2. Red jam is annoying when it blocks your view. I agree. However, it also adds another level to the challenge: the ambiguity of not knowing exactly how many hits you'll take before death. It's part of the fun, and at least its not the God-awful blood flecks from Fallout 3 that actually did hinder your vision. If it really gets in your way, turn up your FOV so you can see more.

3. Hekaton: just aim better, duder. I hate to tell you this, but developing half-decent aim is part of playing shooters. Play with the sensitivity if you can't get comfortable.

Sarrano: You didn't find that kill incredibly satisfying? This one may just be opinion, but I'd rather the final blow be heavily scripted and almost a cutscene (in a game as linear as Bulletstorm, anyway) in order to achieve maximum impact.

4. This goes back to the first point: you're not really supposed to use the guns as much as I assume you did. Opening up the levels would interfere with the boot-and-leash mechanic that drives the game. The beginning levels were more open than the later ones, and I'm guessing it has to do with the increasing importance of your close- and mid-range combat abilities. The game is all about juggling your enemies, and keeping them immobile (or on the other side of some cover) long enough to give them a push into nearby electricity/fire/spikes/etc. The game rewards you more greatly with upgrade points for non-gun-related kills, so why would you use them?

5. If the player moved faster, the enemies would too. Once again, this would mess with how the game moves. I could see it being fun, but you'd have to alter the structure of the game so much (I imagine a much greater emphasis would be placed on jumping; the levels would all need to be changed to match) that it would feel entirely different. It would stop being Bulletstorm and feel more like Quake and Quake II.

6. Humanoid enemies are the bread-and-butter of over-the-top violent games like Bulletstorm. They're more (perversely) satisfying to kill. Sure, there could have been more variety in skins, maybe even in the size of the enemy models (taller enemies, shorter enemies), but levels full of non-humanoid enemies aren't what People Can Fly games are all about. edit: I forgot to mention that removing humanoid enemies would also limit the player's ammo supply, unless the plants/aliens/other-nonhuman-enemies just dropped ammo and guns anyway Borderlands-style.

I'm glad you did like Bulletstorm, though. I've said to many of my friends it's the game Duke Nukem Forever should have been.

#41 Posted by believer258 (11563 posts) -

@BitterAlmond said:

I hate to be that guy, but I disagree with every one of your points. I honestly think you're playing the game wrong. Crank up the difficulty to the max and then figure out what works and what doesn't. You might be surprised.

1. Part of the appeal of Bulletstorm was the idea that you were this unstoppable one-man force, picking up guns and dropping them for new ones constantly, like any good action hero. I rarely reloaded my weapons in Bulletstorm; I just swapped it for a new one. You don't have to be tactical, and the shotgun is useless because you are always wielding the most powerful close-combat weapon known to the video-gaming man: the Duke Boot. By the time you've put a couple upgrades into it, it becomes your strongest weapon, at least when used in combination with other weapons. Once you get the leash, you should barely be shooting any regular bullets.

2. Red jam is annoying when it blocks your view. I agree. However, it also adds another level to the challenge: the ambiguity of not knowing exactly how many hits you'll take before death. It's part of the fun, and at least its not the God-awful blood flecks from Fallout 3 that actually did hinder your vision. If it really gets in your way, turn up your FOV so you can see more.

3. Hekaton: just aim better, duder. I hate to tell you this, but developing half-decent aim is part of playing shooters. Play with the sensitivity if you can't get comfortable.

Sarrano: You didn't find that kill incredibly satisfying? This one may just be opinion, but I'd rather the final blow be heavily scripted and almost a cutscene (in a game as linear as Bulletstorm, anyway) in order to achieve maximum impact.

4. This goes back to the first point: you're not really supposed to use the guns as much as I assume you did. Opening up the levels would interfere with the boot-and-leash mechanic that drives the game. The beginning levels were more open than the later ones, and I'm guessing it has to do with the increasing importance of your close- and mid-range combat abilities. The game is all about juggling your enemies, and keeping them immobile (or on the other side of some cover) long enough to give them a push into nearby electricity/fire/spikes/etc. The game rewards you more greatly with upgrade points for non-gun-related kills, so why would you use them?

5. If the player moved faster, the enemies would too. Once again, this would mess with how the game moves. I could see it being fun, but you'd have to alter the structure of the game so much (I imagine a much greater emphasis would be placed on jumping; the levels would all need to be changed to match) that it would feel entirely different. It would stop being Bulletstorm and feel more like Quake and Quake II.

6. Humanoid enemies are the bread-and-butter of over-the-top violent games like Bulletstorm. They're more (perversely) satisfying to kill. Sure, there could have been more variety in skins, maybe even in the size of the enemy models (taller enemies, shorter enemies), but levels full of non-humanoid enemies aren't what People Can Fly games are all about. edit: I forgot to mention that removing humanoid enemies would also limit the player's ammo supply, unless the plants/aliens/other-nonhuman-enemies just dropped ammo and guns anyway Borderlands-style.

I'm glad you did like Bulletstorm, though. I've said to many of my friends it's the game Duke Nukem Forever should have been.

Oh, goodie! A proper argument!

First things first: if you're having fun, then there isn't a "wrong" way to play a single player game. I don't want to delve into the topic of cheating your way through a game, but suffice it to say that "fun" is the most important part of this type of game to me and if that includes cheating, so be it. I just wanted to squash that particular bug before it got brought up too much again - it's a much broader topic and I'd rather keep this one focused on Bulletstorm. Multiplayer's a different story but that's not even what this blog was focused on. Anyway, now on to the disagreeing proper.

1) I said in my original post that there is no reason that I can't hold all of the guns, and I will stand by that one. Joe Capelli, the Doom marine, the Quake guy(s), Gordon Freeman, the dude from Painkiller - all of these are some great action heroes of first person shooters and all of them can hold all of their guns at once. Running around picking up other guy's guns wasn't really my problem here, it's that there is such a great variety of weapons in this game that not being able to hold all of them is a shame. You can go on about the leash all you want to, but I didn't want to use that all of the time. I liked using it, certainly, but I used it in tandem with my weapons and not nearly to their exclusion like you claim to have done. I also mentioned in my original post that the entire skillshot system could have been so much better if you were able to hold all of your guns. Beyond general abilities, though, there were several sections of this game where I was expected to pick up the sniper rifle and replace an entire valuable weapon slot with it. It's fine if a game is asking you to snipe, or giving you the opportunity to use one of your guns to its fullest potential, but making me drop a weapon I really liked and pick up a weapon I really don't is not good game design. It would hardly be an issue if I were just able to whip the weapon out, do the sniping segment, and then put it back. Instead I have to drop the gun that I actually want, pick up this stupid crappy sniper, kill some dudes, and then hunt down my old gun again. It sounds like a minor complaint but in the grand scheme of things it's a representation of taking variety and options away from the player and making him do one specific thing in one specific spot. The ability to hold all of the weapons at once gives the player a bunch of variety and options and only asks that they go nuts with it. I just feel like FPS games in general are heavily limiting themselves by saying that you can only have two guns at any given time, and really there's not much you can say against this. Explain to me exactly how limiting weapons makes a game better - it doesn't increase tension, it doesn't increase challenge, it only makes me curse because I see an opportunity to do something awesome that I can't do because of some stupid limitation.

2) Playing the guessing game about how much more you can take before you die isn't fun, either. Dying because it's impossible to know exactly what you can do in any given situation because the developers didn't implement a good way to give you that information only increases dislike of a game.

3) The Hekaton. Right. If you haven't noticed already, I'm pretty bugged when a developer takes the long-since established reigns away from me. Like the "proper way to play a single player game" thing above, I don't want to delve into this topic too much because it's incredibly broad, but a game should set the ground rules early on and then never deviate from those rules. The Hekaton fight isn't "awesome", it's part of a theme park ride that the player only aims and shoots in. I've seen that a million times before, and it's only made worse by the fact that the helicopter is swaying back and forth for the entire fight. Yeah, I was aiming, I beat it the first time, and that was not satisfying in the least. I felt like I'd done what the game told me to in the proper order instead of feeling like I'd defeated the Hekaton with the rules set down by the game in the first place. It's like if you played through five different Pac-Man mazes and the final one was just a straight line where you had to tap the direction up and gather all the pellets, then the level ended.

The Sarrano boss just... uh. That one boss delivers every last thing that I hate about quick time events. It represents the epitome of taking control away from the player. Certainly it's cool to look at and more "brutal" than anything the player could have done except by sheer luck, but that's just the problem. It feels like the developers patted my head and said "there, there, it'll be all right, we'll take it from here, you just make sure to press the right buttons and watch." It's insulting to see that sort of thing, insulting to my 15+ years of experience playing video games and insulting to the seven or so hours I spent blowing up hordes of guys. I wanted to kill Sarrano, I didn't want to watch the game do it for me. There's no achievement in that, it feels like I'd gotten *this* close to the climax and the game just said "nope, we're gonna do this for you". And then there's the bit about Sarrano not even getting killed after being booted across the room and impaled.

4) And this one comes back around to player freedom. I'll just leave this one with "imagine what you could do with a more wide-open battlefield". Imagine what possibilities there could be with a larger place to fight, enough maneuvering room to properly slide around and leash guys across the area. Surely you can't say that such extreme linearity contributes a lot to the game?

Again, though, in the grand scheme of things this was a minor complaint. Kind of like:

5) Moving faster. This one simply goes hand in hand with the one above - imagine the possibilities if you could dash around pretty quickly across a wide open battlefield.

6) Finally, I didn't ever say that having mostly humanoid enemies was a bad thing. However, wouldn't it have been awesome if the developers threw more of the planet's wildlife into effect? Yeah, you see those plants and there's that one plant boss, but think about the Hekaton. If even some of its babies or so were thrown into the mix, wouldn't that be an awesome feeling to (properly) take those down as well? As for the ammo issue, I never had problems with Halo leaving assault rifle ammo laying around when all you were fighting were the Covenant (in the first half of the game)

#42 Posted by BitterAlmond (401 posts) -

All I can say to you is what I already have: play it on the hardest difficulty, and then you'll see the true nature of the beast. Although I agree that there is no "right" way to play a game so long as you're having fun, there are certainly more effective and efficient ways to play it. You played Bulletstorm the way you wanted to, and not necessarily entirely the way the developers intended you to.

Also, based on what you've said, play Quake 4's single-player. It's amazing, and still looks great. It plays a lot like what I get the vibe you wanted out of Bulletstorm. Sadly, it doesn't have anyone scaring the dick off anyone else.

#43 Posted by believer258 (11563 posts) -

@BitterAlmond said:

All I can say to you is what I already have: play it on the hardest difficulty, and then you'll see the true nature of the beast. Although I agree that there is no "right" way to play a game so long as you're having fun, there are certainly more effective and efficient ways to play it. You played Bulletstorm the way you wanted to, and not necessarily entirely the way the developers intended you to.

Also, based on what you've said, play Quake 4's single-player. It's amazing, and still looks great. It plays a lot like what I get the vibe you wanted out of Bulletstorm. Sadly, it doesn't have anyone scaring the dick off anyone else.

I did play Quake 4, twice I believe. Great game, we need far more of that ilk.

#44 Posted by NTM (7234 posts) -

I'm playing it again, and I can't believe that I thought the game was boring initially. I just started playing it on very hard yesterday, and I'm about halfway through now, and it's actually quite a great experience. I'm surprised. Before, I thought it was "fair" in the negative sense, but not it's "great".

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