When Bulletstorm first released back in 2011, it was a breath of fresh air in an otherwise familiar first-person shooter genre. While it had the obvious traits that made it similar to other first-person shooters at the time, and featured exaggeratedly built, cartoonish tough guys powered by the Unreal Engine and tons of crude humor, the gameplay was fantastic, offering players a multitude of ways to dispose of foes with a combo system that rewarded creative kills. It was a blast to play.
Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition
Developed by People Can Fly / Published by Gearbox Publishing
Available on the PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Reviewed on the PC.
*Review code provided by Gearbox Publishing
Fast forward to today, and the game is back in Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition, a remaster available on the PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Featuring increased textures and resolutions, all the previously released content, and new additions, is this a first-person shooter worth revisiting?
In Bulletstorm, players step into the shoes of Grayson Hunt, a space pirate who’s on the run after leaving a Black Ops group that assassinated innocent targets under the command of a general named Sarrano. The sneaky general had Greyson and his crew assassinate people who threatened the control of the Coalition, and when Greyson runs into him in the present, our hero crashes his ship against his sworn enemy, causing them to crash land onto a planet named Stygia. Now in a mysterious and abandoned resort planet filled with vicious mutants and dangerous hazards, Grayson and his team must fight to escape and reach the General before it’s too late.
Storywise, Bulletstorm’s plot is full of fun, mindless action, but it’s also predictable and cliché, and most of the jokes aren’t as funny as they aim to be. Greyson’s journey through an alien resort planet full of psychopaths and surprises isn’t going to win any awards, but it’s a fun journey nevertheless that will keep players entertained throughout the whole experience with its explosive set pieces.
Bulletstorm‘s gameplay is as solid as ever though, thanks the stylish skillshot, combo-based combat that has players get creative with kills in order to rack up the points. While players can take out enemies just like any shooter out there, with plenty of gunshots to the head and body parts while weaving through cover, players can dash in and kick enemies into the air to initiate a brief slow-mo where they can capitalize on their foe’s vulnerability as they float, tossing them into environmental hazards and other enemies, using a whip/leash to pull them back and keep the combo going, and of course filling them with loads of bullets. This excellent gameplay mechanic keeps combat from ever getting stale, as you’ll often be looking for new and cool ways to dispose of enemies while racking up the points. It’s great stuff.
The rest of the game is what you’d expect, with linear progression as players explore Stygia and its various environments as the try to get off the planet. The game also features upgradeable weapons to add even more options to the player’s arsenal, and quite a few quick-time events to break up the action, but they’re employed a bit too often for my liking.
In addition to the main campaign and the new Overkill Campaign that unlocks after completion (it grants players all the weapons right from the get-go), the game comes with Echo Maps, which are short challenge stages that have players use skillshots and combos in order to earn big scores and earn stars to rate their performance. Earning stars unlocks new challenge maps, which in turn increase the difficulty. Among the new content in the Full Clip Edition are six additional Echo Maps, so if you’re looking to challenge yourself, you’ll have plenty of options here.
There’s also online multiplayer in Anarchy, which has four players team up to clear waves of enemies. Here players will also be able to use skillshots and combos to destroy enemies as stylishly as possible, but can also join up to utilize team skillshots as well. It’s tons of fun if you got a good crew to play with, and there’s plenty of replay value with 12 maps and customizable characters.
Finally, there’s the Duke Nukem voiceover and character model, which is available if you pre-ordered the game or comes as an additional purchase for $4.99. If you ask me, it should have been available with the main game, as it’s pretty much the best addition to the remaster. While Jon St. John (the original voice actor) rocks it as Duke, the only re-recorded bits are Greyson’s lines, so the rest of the script and character voice overs remains the same, which causes the interaction between Duke and others to feel awkward and extremely silly at times, especially when they call him Gray. It’s a cool addition, but not as great as it’s made out to be.
Overall, Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is a solid remaster of a classic first-person shooter, but the new features aren’t really a reason to return to the game if you have already experienced it. If this is your first time checking it out or just love taking out enemies with skillshots, then you definitively play the game, but if you’ve already experienced Grayson’s adventure before, there’s not much here to really bring you back.