So yesterday I finished and submitted my 10,000 word university dissertation (Hence the hangover) on "The implementation, successes and failures of "Boss" design and encounters in Videogames." Now, I don't know how high y'all can count, but 10,000 words.... that a lot of words. It would normally be enough to make me not want to talk about videogames for a long. Time. But my name is Sweep (right?) and I'm going to keep talking about videogames. I'm just fucking mental like that.
So... I totally traded my copy of Bulletstorm back into GAME.I'm pretty ashamed to admit it, but I actually bought that game for the Gears Of War 3 beta.
I know, I know. Shaddap.
About 2 days after I bought Bulletstorm it was announced that people who Pre-Ordered Gears 3 would also get into the early beta, only a week later than the Bulletstorm kids. So, I took advantage of the GAME trade-in deal and returned my £40 copy of Bulletstorm for £35 store credit which is going towards my copy of LA Noire when it eventually comes out.
Bulletstorm is a pretty cool game.I really liked the skillshot stuff, it was an interesting take on heavily exhausted FPS genre. In the couple of weeks I had the game I completed the campaign and spent a bunch of time playing online. It wasn't bad.... but it wasn't particularly inspiring either.
What irritated me the most was that, despite the goofy and downright crass marketing campaign, the fratboy-esque skillshot puns and general crude scripting, the game is painfully sincere. There were attempts to explain, even rationalise the nonsense which was taking place on my screen. The characters admitted to being able to see the "skillshots" and that it was a system implemented by the army as a "Survival of the fittest" training program where only the best soldiers would be resupplied at the drop-shops. Later in the story [Don't worry, this blog is spoiler free] there are times when the characters get all mushy and emotional and it just feels... awkward.
There's a fair amount of nonsense I'm prepared to accept in the name of videogames, but making such an obviously goofy product and then filling it with such sincerity was just plain weird. I would have preferred if they just accepted that the game was completely bananas and left is as pure obnoxiously rambling nonsense. When I completed the game I didn't even watch the final cinematic. There was a painful amount of candid conversation taking place and it just made me feel uncomfortable considering in the immediate run-up I had received a 300 point bonus for shooting a flare-gun up some dude's ass. The narrative in that game isn't bad, it's just handled poorly, and for all the dicking around (ha) the game suggests, to then impose such high moralities upon it's characters is a bizarre juxtaposition.
If anything the atmospheric insanity is perfect for the multiplayer mode, a 4-man co-op arena in which players must mingle skillshots in order to progress - flying solo won't get you enough points. Unfortunately, many of the randoms on Xbox Live don't seem to understand this concept.
Anyone surprised? No, I thought not.
The result is that most players just run around killing enemies for their own personal gain. The game sporadically sends out enemies which require specific team skillshots for a bonus, but because most of the fucking monkeys online don't know what they are doing this usually results in all 4 players kicking the enemy back and forth like some weird school-yard terror ring until someone get's bored and leashes the mutant guy into a cactus. Or something.
This blog is getting pretty negative, so I should probably point out that there are many things I did enjoy about Bulletstorm. The characters are pretty great and, weirdly, work best when they are just bantering about stupid goofy bullshit. There's a real commitment to Greyson Hunt being a moron which, as I mentioned earlier, clashes horribly with his moments of sincerity, but the general vibe is pretty entertaining. I particularly like pressing keypads in that game. Greyson hunt doesn't poke buttons with his finger, he get's the desired effect by mashing the keypad with a damn fist. Like a man.
I don't really want to talk about the antagonist, for obvious reasons, but suffice to say he is a complete cunt and the finale of the game is handled fairly well.
So yeah. Good times were had.However I'm a poor student and I can't really afford to spend money on games with no long-term playability right now so.... no more Bulletstorm!
I also just spent £100 pre-ordering the EPIC edition of Gears Of War 3. It's the most money I have ever spent on a single game, ever. I don't even know what's in the EPIC edition, all I know is that I want it.
Thanks For Reading