Go away 2010. You were rubbish. It’s now all about 2011, and the games we can’t wait to play. That’s why throughout the first couple of weeks of January I’m going to be going through some of the games I’m most looking forward to in the coming year. Today’s topic? Bulletstorm.
When it comes to console shooters, you could probably argue there hasn’t been a real step forward – a genuine cosmic leap – since the original Halo. Sure, Call of Duty 4 was solid and Halo: Reach refined, and in some ways reinvented, its own formula, but it has been years since I’ve had that ‘holy crap’ moment. That moment when I knew my expectations had been totally obliterated, restructured, then obliterated again.
Now, it would be unfair of me to suggest that Bulletstorm will provide that cosmic leap – it probably won’t – but at the very least it should shove a rocket up the sphincter of an increasingly stagnant genre by reinventing some of the base mechanics of the FPS – adding a layer of depth to the bog-standard ‘capture the flag/shoot the other guys real good’ style of every other shooter ever made.
Bulletstorm is what happens when you shove a pinball machine down the throat of a sci-fi shooter and force it to swallow. It’s all about the points baby. Of course you kill things, with guns, like every other shooter ever made – but Bulletstorm’s trick is to reward players for how they dismantle bad guys. Kick them off a building to earn the ‘Vertigo’ point bonus, use a leash to launch them through a steel grating to earn the ‘Flyswatter’ bonus.
It’s Old School, but remarkably fresh. The most surprising thing about Bulletstorm is that no-one has thought to make a game like it until now. It’s a no-brainer – combine the point hoarding mentality of the arcade with the visceral gore of the traditional FPS. They go together like cheese and chives. The FPS lives and dies on how it rewards players for shooting – previously it was all about weapon feel, movement, and feedback. Bulletstorm has all those mechanics in place, but adds a fun layer of extravagance to add flavour and flourish. We can’t wait to tuck in.
And perhaps best of all, Bulletstorm is a game that puts hairs on your chin. It isn’t afraid to be politically incorrect and is drenched in the kind of schoolboy profanity we’re supposed to look down upon. Call us puerile, but a game that invents swearwords like ‘dicktits’, and uses phrases like ‘son of a dick’ kinda gives us a ‘testostebone’. And Epic, People Can Fly – if you’re reading, feel free to use that one.
Testostebone… heh heh.