A Ruined Life in 8 Hours
Ok so there's really not a big point in doing another treatment on how good bulletstorm looks, how they made the unreal engine do something different for once, or how the gameplay is addictive and fun (and different). Let's just say, language aside this game is a refreshing bucket of cold water on my sleepy video game soul. So I'm satisfied.
Lets talk about this game as narrative for a moment. Bulletstorm (the story) is about a man very much liike LOST's Sawyer- betrayed to his very core in such a deep way that he self-destructs. He turns to the drink, he is blind with rage and his own interior set of morals and the values of those closest to him he totally ignores. To their detriment. Make no mistake, Dead Echo is on this forsaken planet because of Gray's inability to deal with betrayal. As the game goes on, Gray and company find themselves in worse and worse circumstances, largely because of Gray's blind quest for vengance. He is so willing to get his revenge that he will sacrifice the life of those he cares about the most (in this case ii chi) to acheive his goals. And if you believe the plot, that's exactly what he does.
So what's the great moral payoff here? After he has ruined the life of his closest companions, Gray has a brief denouement. He realizes that the General is not to blame for iichi's loss, he is.
Look- I get the game is childish. The narrative is a morality play. Let's put it this way: what should we expect of Gray? Refinded language and a sense of morals? He's a drunk, a waster. He's insistent on getting his revenge. Why wouldn't he revert to a 13-year old's potty mouth. And his companions- why would they not either? One's half robot (against his will). The other has some serious daddy issues, daddy issues caused by Gray.
This game is making no attempt at realism or overt seriousness. What it is doing is within the constructs of the morality play constructing a likely reality.
After that- the game itself is extremely fun and engaging, and if you get a community of people together who are interested in showing off their "skillshot" prowess, extremely addicting. I'd give this game five stars, but I do agree with the general sentiment that there has to be a way to make this into a kill other people game. Not that this game requires that, but that the problem of leashes and slow mo and skillshots is solveable. I'd like to see that as DLC or as part of the next bulletstorm- maybe an enhanced skillshot system that works better in PvP play?