Working My Way Through The Stack: Bulletstorm

Posted by jakob187 (21642 posts) -

In the months leading up to Bulletstorm's release, there was a constant wave of "this game is too immature" and "this looks dumb" that churned a little too hard in my stomach.  It almost felt like audiences were saying that video games, especially those of the shooting variety, were not allowed to be *GASP* immature, raunchy, and goofball in nature.  Sure, we like to stand on our pretentious soapboxes and claim that games are an "art", that we want to be "taken seriously".  Oddly enough, this comes from the same group of people that...on a regular basis...find themselves posting internet meme pictures up, making dick and fart jokes, using a word like "Rapelay" for comedy, and generally are...immature. 
 

 Dicktits.
Now that Bulletstorm is out, it's safe to say that the opinions on it are divided.  Why?  When did we forget how to have a little bit of stupid fun?  The game is not bad by any stretch of the imagination, and if you honestly think otherwise, then you need to pull that stick out of your ass.  The controls are great, the Echoes and multiplayer mode are plenty of fun, and the main campaign never outstays its welcome while also constantly ramping up the action and pacing.  Moreover, there's actually a story!  Hell, the fine folks at People Can Fly went so far as to provide an explanation to the Skillshot system.  THEY EXPLAINED THEIR GAMEPLAY SYSTEM WITHIN THE FICTION!!!  Beyond that, the game is technically impressive in many ways, as it adds color to Unreal Engine 3, but the world that has been built is quite impressive.  Stygia feels like a place of ruin and devastation overrun by madness and despair.  If anything, People Can Fly has taken the traditional meathead shooting game...and made it worthwhile.
 
However, there are going to be nay-sayers.  There are going to be those that look at it as little more than "Duke Nukem reincarnate".  They look at it as "bro'd out".  They look at it with these judgmental eyes like they are somehow above it. 
 
You're not. 
 
You will lay claim to your Last Guardian and Zelda...even your Modern Warfare and Battlefield...but in the end, the level of pretentiousness you show with this seriousness that you believe the industry must have in everything they do only shows that we've lost our way.  Bulletstorm is less an interactive experience like many "games" we see and more of an actual GAME .  There is a points system.  There is the Echoes mode, showcasing leaderboards for those scores and grading your performance.  There's the multiplayer, which is a cooperative match of "yo, shoot the fuck out of things and work as a team to achieve a certain score or it's kind of game over".
 
If anything, Bulletstorm does what other shooters have failed to do:  it brings the "game" element back to shooting games.  It gives you the story you need, but it excels in the gameplay you want.  It offers a unique perspective on a genre that needs to remember its roots while still bringing some modern elements into the mix.  Most shooters are self-serious, but Bulletstorm is self-aware. 
 
If only they would've gotten rid of the thumb-sucking-pussy-behind-a-piece-of-cover-to-get-health-back mechanic and put in health packs or something of the sort (hell, make alcohol give me health back!), this game would've been a great throwback that still felt modern.  Even without that, Bulletstorm is easily going to be in my top five games of the year when award season rolls around. 
 
Thank you, People Can Fly.
#1 Posted by jakob187 (21642 posts) -

In the months leading up to Bulletstorm's release, there was a constant wave of "this game is too immature" and "this looks dumb" that churned a little too hard in my stomach.  It almost felt like audiences were saying that video games, especially those of the shooting variety, were not allowed to be *GASP* immature, raunchy, and goofball in nature.  Sure, we like to stand on our pretentious soapboxes and claim that games are an "art", that we want to be "taken seriously".  Oddly enough, this comes from the same group of people that...on a regular basis...find themselves posting internet meme pictures up, making dick and fart jokes, using a word like "Rapelay" for comedy, and generally are...immature. 
 

 Dicktits.
Now that Bulletstorm is out, it's safe to say that the opinions on it are divided.  Why?  When did we forget how to have a little bit of stupid fun?  The game is not bad by any stretch of the imagination, and if you honestly think otherwise, then you need to pull that stick out of your ass.  The controls are great, the Echoes and multiplayer mode are plenty of fun, and the main campaign never outstays its welcome while also constantly ramping up the action and pacing.  Moreover, there's actually a story!  Hell, the fine folks at People Can Fly went so far as to provide an explanation to the Skillshot system.  THEY EXPLAINED THEIR GAMEPLAY SYSTEM WITHIN THE FICTION!!!  Beyond that, the game is technically impressive in many ways, as it adds color to Unreal Engine 3, but the world that has been built is quite impressive.  Stygia feels like a place of ruin and devastation overrun by madness and despair.  If anything, People Can Fly has taken the traditional meathead shooting game...and made it worthwhile.
 
However, there are going to be nay-sayers.  There are going to be those that look at it as little more than "Duke Nukem reincarnate".  They look at it as "bro'd out".  They look at it with these judgmental eyes like they are somehow above it. 
 
You're not. 
 
You will lay claim to your Last Guardian and Zelda...even your Modern Warfare and Battlefield...but in the end, the level of pretentiousness you show with this seriousness that you believe the industry must have in everything they do only shows that we've lost our way.  Bulletstorm is less an interactive experience like many "games" we see and more of an actual GAME .  There is a points system.  There is the Echoes mode, showcasing leaderboards for those scores and grading your performance.  There's the multiplayer, which is a cooperative match of "yo, shoot the fuck out of things and work as a team to achieve a certain score or it's kind of game over".
 
If anything, Bulletstorm does what other shooters have failed to do:  it brings the "game" element back to shooting games.  It gives you the story you need, but it excels in the gameplay you want.  It offers a unique perspective on a genre that needs to remember its roots while still bringing some modern elements into the mix.  Most shooters are self-serious, but Bulletstorm is self-aware. 
 
If only they would've gotten rid of the thumb-sucking-pussy-behind-a-piece-of-cover-to-get-health-back mechanic and put in health packs or something of the sort (hell, make alcohol give me health back!), this game would've been a great throwback that still felt modern.  Even without that, Bulletstorm is easily going to be in my top five games of the year when award season rolls around. 
 
Thank you, People Can Fly.
#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (35975 posts) -

Wait, I use Internet memes and think Rapelay's a joke? Granted, I didn't really say anything about Bulletstorm (that's why I didn't read much of this: there's a small chance I'll play this in the future, maybe), but I'm one of those " games are art" guys.

#3 Posted by Mcfart (1545 posts) -

I'm in Act one, chaper 2 or 3 or something, and am having trouble.
 
 
THE SHOOTING IS BOORING, AND I GET BORED OF FARMING SKILL SHOTS!

#4 Posted by ThatFrood (3373 posts) -

Video_Game_King makes this about himself......... check.

#5 Posted by dragonzord (811 posts) -
@ThatFrood said:
" Video_Game_King makes this about himself......... check. "
All is normal
#6 Posted by SadPatrol (499 posts) -

i just beat it today. And I agree with what Mcfart@Mcfart said:

" I'm in Act one, chaper 2 or 3 or something, and am having trouble.   THE SHOOTING IS BOORING, AND I GET BORED OF FARMING SKILL SHOTS! "
This game is a snoozfest. By the end it just gets exhausting walking into a wall of enemies over and over again with the exact same guns. 
#7 Posted by ThatFrood (3373 posts) -

Also, on topic: I agree. This is why I liked the original Painkiller so much, and also why I like Bulletstorm. I liked Painkiller so much that I wish Bulletstorm were actually even more like Painkiller (ridiculous, unending hordes of enemies) but still... I like Bulletstorm because it isn't trying to be a realistic shooter, it's just being a fun ass game.

#8 Posted by jakob187 (21642 posts) -
@Mcfart said:
" I'm in Act one, chaper 2 or 3 or something, and am having trouble.   THE SHOOTING IS BOORING, AND I GET BORED OF FARMING SKILL SHOTS! "
The first two chapters are definitely a scenario of "hey, get used to how this works".  However, I would definitely say the shooting is not boring.  If anything, it has me thinking about the weapon loadouts I'm taking into any battle with me, debating on how I want to go about tackling these enemies, and in the higher difficulty setting (I'm working on my Very Hard playthrough right now), it definitely helps to know what skillshots can net you some serious SP.  There's just nothing quite as satisfying as slapping a Flail shot around a guy, kicking him into his friends, then blowing them up for a Homie Missile while also kicking a hot dog cart into the mix for a massive SP boost. 
 
@Video_Game_King said:
" Wait, I use Internet memes and think Rapelay's a joke? Granted, I didn't really say anything about Bulletstorm (that's why I didn't read much of this: there's a small chance I'll play this in the future, maybe), but I'm one of those " games are art" guys. "
The point I'm trying to make is that we all have immaturity in us.  We've all been 16 once.  Whether it's laughing at Will Ferrell or Beavis & Butt-head, enjoying a Kevin Smith flick, finding solace in Duke Nukem, or just mowing fools down in Doom, there's immaturity and fun to be had without having to be super serious.  The vast majority of crap that I've seen flung at Bulletstorm, especially on these forums and in comments on the videos, is that they were playing up the immaturity.  However, why SHOULDN'T we be allowed to have some immaturity?  What is wrong with that?  When did it become something that we frown upon?
#9 Posted by Video_Game_King (35975 posts) -
@jakob187: 
 
*looks at checklist* No, yes, no (I don't think I've seen one), only in theory, only in the SNES version (I've only played the SNES and 32X versions).
 
It can be hard to understand people, or why they hold the beliefs that they do. For example, I don't get why people hate anime, or why people think that if a series is staying the same, then it's getting worse (or, to put it less clumsily: "Mario/Pokémon/Mega Man/Street Fighter/whatever sucks, it's all the same" is not a valid argument).
#10 Posted by jakob187 (21642 posts) -
@SadPatrol said:
" i just beat it today. And I agree with what Mcfart@Mcfart said:
" I'm in Act one, chaper 2 or 3 or something, and am having trouble.   THE SHOOTING IS BOORING, AND I GET BORED OF FARMING SKILL SHOTS! "
This game is a snoozfest. By the end it just gets exhausting walking into a wall of enemies over and over again with the exact same guns.  "
This is different from others games how?  Call of Duty is never anything more than "wall of enemies, mow through them".  The same can be said with any other game out there that puts a gun in your hand and the camera in a first-person perspective.  With Bulletstorm, however, the game is only as fun as you make it.  If you aren't switching it up, then you are forcing the game to be boring. 
 
If I were to bestow my own pretentious opinion out there, I would say "the fun is there...but you just aren't trying to make it happen". 
 
@ThatFrood: As someone who thoroughly loved Painkiller's brand of batshit-crazy, I'm glad that they put just enough of it in here while showing they can also bring in the modern elements that people expect.  I seriously just wish I didn't have to sit behind cover.  Acting like a pussy just doesn't seem very badass, ya know?
#11 Posted by jakob187 (21642 posts) -
@Video_Game_King: I totally agree with the "it's all the same" theory.  I thoroughly enjoyed Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, to the point that I can say as a fan of that franchise that it was probably the best in the series.  Others strongly disagree because they feel burnt out on the franchise.  Just because you are burnt out, or because there is a competitor out there that focused on being more of a storefront, that doesn't make the game bad by any means.
#12 Posted by Video_Game_King (35975 posts) -
@jakob187: 
 
Yay! That's one less person I have to convince! Although I am curious as to why it's your favorite in the series. I'm guessing it's the music, right? I haven't really played much of the band genre of games, so I'm going to assume that's at least part of the reason.
#13 Edited by ThatFrood (3373 posts) -
@jakob187:  yeah, where painkiller had that annoying soul collecting system that broke the flow of the game, bulletstorm has that cover mechanic which slows stuff down. Bulletstorm, you gave me a gun that wraps two explosives around a man and detonates them as he flies off of a ledge... LET ME RUN AROUND LIKE A MADMAN AND MURDER WITH IT. GODDAMNIT.
#14 Posted by Cornman89 (1579 posts) -

I guess I'm just a prude, but Bulletstorm's vulgarity really rubs me the wrong way. I'll almost certainly never play it for this reason. Glad you're enjoying it, though.

#15 Posted by jakob187 (21642 posts) -
@ThatFrood said:
" @jakob187:  yeah, where painkiller had that annoying soul collecting system that broke the flow of the game, bulletstorm has that cover mechanic which slows stuff down. Bulletstorm, you gave me a gun that wraps two explosives around a man and detonates them as he flies off of a ledge... LET ME RUN AROUND LIKE A MADMAN AND MURDER WITH IT. GODDAMNIT. "
Exactly.  It is one of the only two drawbacks I have with the game.  The other would be too many context sensitive moments that don't allow me control of the situation.  For instance, there's a moment where you have to climb across a vine, right?  As you are climbing across, there is a guy at the end that is cocking a gun and waiting for you.  Now, if this is supposed to be the brand of crazy that I've witnessed thus far, I should be jumping through the window, kicking this guy into the wall and pulverizing his skull into a spike behind him with my Big Boot of Ass-Whomping.  Instead, I finish climbing across the vine, he stands there while we stare at each other for a split second, and then I proceed to murder him with every hostile intent possible as he screams unintelligible gurgles and growls. 
 
That's...fine and all...but it's not something that fits with the entire pace of the action.  If anything, I think I have to completely agree with you.  It's probably one of the reasons I've been enjoying the Echoes mode so much.  It's all the action without much of the other crap to clutter it up.  However, the Echoes mode definitely shows you where all the little hitches are in a bigger light because you've got that time limit on you.
#16 Posted by nail1080 (1975 posts) -

Seems to me I'm better off just loading up a bit of good old Borderlands.... fuck this Epic spin off shite, all they're good at is Gears games.

#17 Posted by GunstarRed (5021 posts) -

I have just played my first chunk of it up to about 2-3 or soemthing and I have enjoyed it far more than I was expecting. I wasn't expecting them to flesh out their world this much and have quite likeable characters regardless of the language they use. I have to admit the first time that "sausage fest" popped up as a million body bits flew about I giggled uncontrollably to myself.

#18 Posted by TEHMAXXORZ (1199 posts) -

Haters gonna hate, I like the game because it reminds me of Borderlands and Serious Sam, but there are always the people that will call this repetitive, which it can be, and then play like 10 hours of CoD and Battlefield and just think it wasn't repetitive at all. It's the way the world works.

#19 Posted by jakob187 (21642 posts) -
@TEHMAXXORZ said:
" Haters gonna hate, I like the game because it reminds me of Borderlands and Serious Sam, but there are always the people that will call this repetitive, which it can be, and then play like 10 hours of CoD and Battlefield and just think it wasn't repetitive at all. It's the way the world works. "
.............LOGIC?  What the hell is that doing on the forums?!  *GASP*  lol
#20 Posted by CaptainObvious (2992 posts) -

I love this game.

#21 Posted by TEHMAXXORZ (1199 posts) -
@jakob187 said:
" @TEHMAXXORZ said:
" Haters gonna hate, I like the game because it reminds me of Borderlands and Serious Sam, but there are always the people that will call this repetitive, which it can be, and then play like 10 hours of CoD and Battlefield and just think it wasn't repetitive at all. It's the way the world works. "
.............LOGIC?  What the hell is that doing on the forums?!  *GASP*  lol "
I know. I know, I'll just go and GTFO-STFU-logicwtfbbqlol! myself...
#22 Edited by iWonder (454 posts) -

Well said, man. Well said. 
 
Fucking love Bulletstorm and eventually learned to embrace its ridiculousness. If anything the only problems I had with it were the initial marketing videos made me INSTANTLY think of Daikatana, every single time. ... And we all know how Daikatana went...

#23 Posted by Chokobo (1228 posts) -

As is the way of life here on Giant Bomb, the haters come spewing out of the woodwork a few weeks after release.

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