Ranting While Playing: Bulletstorm

Very hard mode, let’s do this shit.

First door in the game has the red ring of death.  I don’t really take that as a good sign.

Real men activate elevators that have many small keys close together WITH THEIR FISTS.

You mean we lost against that ship that was a thousand times our size? I’m shocked!

There’s that skip prompt that I’m always so happy to see.  Why bother with cut scenes if you’re just going to encourage your audience to avoid them?

So…a few minutes into the game and we flash back to some time before the events of the intro.  One minute into the flash back, and there’s a plot twist?  You can tell that the writers were hard at work with this one, though to be fair this is an Epic game.  How am I supposed to care about what’s going on?  In the intro they show off that they’re terrible people, so I’m supposed to be bothered when I find out they got screwed over on a job that I never even saw?  It only ends up amounting to a bunch of boring scenes where annoying people scream and swear a lot.

Wow, good thing for Ishi that Faceless Baddy #3245 was too busy reciting his monologue to simply shoot him.

Back to the intro’s time after only a few minutes in the past?  It faded out in the middle of a fight!  This is one of the most disorienting storytelling strategies I’ve seen in a long time.

Get ready to do this alot, as in every ten seconds.

Idiots with knives can carve through a ship’s hull?  The doctor kept Ishi alive using only blood packs, and was able to turn him into a cyborg in less than a minute?  I shoot an explosive canister in a cut scene, killing everyone in the room, yet I wake up without a scratch?  Ishi’s brain is partly cybernetic now, so sometimes he has a robotic voice?  What does the brain have to do with your vocal chords?  The device I found that pulls objects toward me just happens to also be a communications receiver, and it just happens to instantly tune to the signals of the people I need to hear in order to progress the plot?  God, I need to turn off my brain.

Grey seems to think that Ishi is acting differently with those cybernetic implants.  I wouldn’t know, seeing as the game never bothered to tell me anything about Ishi or introduce me to any facet of his personality.  I guess I should just assume that he has the same personality as Dom and that Grey has the same personality as Marcus Fenix.  Why write new characters when you can just copy and paste from your other money-makers?

I think the skill shot system ranks pretty high on the list of things that a game shouldn’t try to explain in the context of the story.

Screw it, I’m listening to Drunk Tank from this point on.  I need to drown out this nonsense as much as possible.

You can die pretty quickly if you’re out of cover for more than a few seconds during a fight.  This really contradicts the whole “kill everyone in creative and funny ways” concept that the game pitches.  Granted, I’m playing on very hard mode, but shouldn’t a game’s challenge be scaled in a way that compliments the gameplay concept?  Maybe give me point quotas to meet, force me to only kill enemies in certain ways in parts of levels, or just give me a ton of enemies to fight.  Hiding behind cover to regenerate is boring and completely kills any sort of individuality this game was supposed to have.

Bloody screens, constant reminder of how little your constitution matches the game's premise.

The environments also don’t seem particularly varied when it comes to environmental kill methods.  For ten minutes you can kill people with cacti, then for ten minutes you can kill them with explosive canisters.  Repeat those environments a few time, then go to the next level.  At what point am I given any leeway?  When do I get to come up with my own kills?  The whole leash and kick system doesn’t offer much so the environments need to, but they don’t.

I’m manning a huge gun on the back of a train while a massive metal wheel chases me.  Coolio.

I’m strangely amused by the “real” 3D TV’s in this game.

I go through a Godzilla-like set for a while, then got interrupted by an actual Godzilla-like monster? Just win.  The level designers always come up with cool things to put in.  It’s the main reason I’m still interested in playing through Gears of War 3.  I’m controlling the monster (robot)!  This game is a whole lot cooler when you mute all of the stupid out of it.

Sometimes you jump over chest-high walls with A, sometimes with X. I have no idea why.

Why does everyone have to stop running whenever they talk? Gears of War did this, too.

This was when I realized how much I've been missing boss fights.

The secondary weapons have very limited ammo and you can only carry a few at a time.  It’s a shame, really, because People Can Fly are the guys that made Painkiller.  That was a game where you fought hordes of enemies with a wide range of dual-function weapons that you could carry all at once.  If Bulletstorm wants to advertise itself as such an over the top shooter, why not include tthis?  Why mute the action?  I spend most of the game just using the generic machine gun because the alt weapons I have on me either aren’t helpful in the situation or are out of ammo already.

I tried picking up a weapon and ended up with no weapon at all.  I hit Y a few times to try to switch to anything and the game froze.

I got killed by a helicopter.  When I respawned there were no enemies anywhere and it was impossible to move forward.

I’m riding a tram and my gun keeps moving with the animation it has when I’m walking.

The chopper I’m in can be destroyed by a handful of grenades, but getting punched by a skyscraper-sized monster does nothing?

An elevator collapsed and the game froze on a black screen.  Oh well, I’m out of time.  I need to send it back because it’s borrowed from someone else’s GameFly account and they’re canceling.  I made it to the later part of Act 6.  I don’t really want to call this game bad, but it’s not really all that good.  The story is nonsensical and the characters are badly written idiots, but the gameplay feels fresh and some of the environments and bosses get pretty epic.  It’s all too gimmicky and repetitive to warrant any replay value, though.  The environments and difficulty settings often feel like they weren’t designed with the primary game mechanics in mind.  It’s a good rental or bargain bin game, but little more.


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