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Bullestorm: Full Clip Edition (PS4) Review

May 3, 2017 | Posted by Marc Morrison
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Bullestorm: Full Clip Edition (PS4) Review  

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Title: Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition
Platform: PS4
Genre: First Person Shooter
Publisher: Gearbox Publishing
Developer: People Can Fly
Players: 1-4 (online co-op)
Rating: M for Mature

Bulletstorm comes to the current generation of consoles with a feeling of “Huh, why are they doing this?” To be fair, I mentally say that to myself about most re-releases, but Bulletstorm really made me think about it. The game wasn’t hard to find in used game stores, or even with online store fronts, for past generation consoles. Also, while the game has a very niche fanbase, I never saw anyone go “Man, I just want to play Bulletstorm on my PS4!” The only way I can rationalize this product is that People Can Fly or Gearbox is considering a Bulletstorm 2, and this is the only way to test those waters. If it’s not that, then I don’t have a clue.

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In Bulletstorm you control Grayson Hunt, a former black ops soldier, now turned drunken pirate, as you seek revenge on those you used to work for. During one of Grayson’s alcoholic binges he decides to ram another ship, which causes both your ship and the enemy ship to fall to the planet, which just so happens to be full of psycopathic denizens. One of your crewmates gets injured, turned into a cyborg, and the journey of the game is to get help for your friend, and get revenge on the general who directed the black ops squad you were a part of.

At first glance, Bulletstorm looks like every other bog standard first person shooter in the world, but once you see it for more than 2 minutes, you’ll see how it is different. The biggest addition to the game is the leash, an energy whip that pulls enemies to you. Once you grab an enemy, and they are flying towards you, time slows for a second so you can better line up a shot on them. Later on, you can use the leash to unleash a destructive wave which causes enemies to be flung into the air for a long time, so you can shoot them.

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You also get a big fat kick button, which causes you to (naturally) kick with your right foot, which, in turn, pushes enemies away, which also causes time to slow for a few seconds to get good shots.

There is an importance on getting good shots in the game, and that is because the “Skillshot” system emphasizes it. Basically, the more creative you are with killing enemies, the more points you get, which is the currency for unlocking weapons, upgrading them and buying ammo. Each weapon has upgrades like an alternate fire, or clip upgrades, so getting them is kind of important but only on the initial success. Here’s an example: you’ll get 200 points for your first headshot, but 25 points for every headshot after that. Each weapon has its own shot list, which nets you points, which begins the cycle anew.

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Here is a fundamental issue with the game though: it becomes a complete hassle to actually do most of the skillshots. One of the earliest ones is “Shoot an enemy in the balls and kick or shoot his head off”, and in my entire time playing the game, I didn’t manage to complete it. My skillshot lists were littered with objectives I could do for more points, but why bother? I was never short of points for unlocking, or buying stuff from the store, and it is far easier to get a headshot in the game than it is to get a throat shot.

One aspect of the game I’m still kind of mixed on is the attitude and enemies. There is constant, gratuitous swearing, not just usual swearing, but over the top nonsense. The first time you meet a main female character, she exclaims she will “kill your dicks!”. Grayson’s response is “You’re gonna kill my dick? I’ll kill your dick!’ There’s a lot of moments like that, and they require a certain sense of goofy humor to appreciate.

The enemies are a different matter and you can tell it was made by the same guys who made the Painkiller games. Most enemies just run right at you, regardless of the consequences. It verges on the laughable, almost like a Serious Sam type of game. There’s not exactly a lot of thought in most enemy encounters you have.

Port work for the “Full Clip” edition is mostly fine. They upscaled the textures a bit, and it includes all the DLC from the previous version. It also includes the multiplayer mode, which is a nice bonus. I’m not a fan of it, it’s just a wave-based mode where you try to get the most points. However, credit to Gearbox for actually including it, since most PS4 ports of old games (BioShock, Assassin’s Creed, Uncharted) omit the multiplayer entirely.

The only real negative with this game is the DLC they added. For an extra five dollars, on top of the $50 price tag (which is way too much by the way), you can play the game with Duke Nukem’s voice replacing Grayson’s.

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Like….who thought this was a good idea? Given the relative failure of both Duke Nukem Forever, Duke Nukem 20th Anniversary, and well, hell, everything after Duke Nukem 3D twenty years ago, why did they include this, not as an extra, but as a paid extra that you actually have to purchase for the luxury, or the privilege of listening to Jon St. John tiredly read some Duke Nukem lines. Hey, I’m glad he’s getting work, but the writing is god-awful, and he is the only one who recorded new dialog for the game, not the actual other Bulletstorm actors, so it makes it all the more odd. Frankly, if they’re going to do guest characters, have it be Handsome Jack, or a Claptrap, or hell, I would take even Randy Pitchford reading lines. Who knows, maybe DLC for a Tiny Tina voice pack is on the way, but asking people to pay five dollars more, on top of a $50 port of a niche title, is pretty avaricious.

The final score: review Average
The 411
Bulletstorm isn’t terrible, but it hasn’t aged particularly well. While the game seemed novel at the time, it’s over the top violence and attitude can get tiring after a while. Add to that, parts of the design seem at odds with each other, make it an experience that might best have been left to time. If you really want to play Bulletstorm on the PS4 (or Xbox One), I won’t stop you, but please don’t buy the Duke Nukem voice pack. They should not be rewarded for throwing a needlessly lame extra on top of this game.