'Bulletstorm' excitingly redefines destruction

4.5/5 Pitchforks Released on Feb. 22, 2011. PS3, Xbox 360 Rated Mature

“Bulletstorm” is an innovative tale of revenge that pushes the boundary of creative destruction and over-the-top innuendo through wonderfully mindless violence that entices from the first fired round.

The 26th-century first-person-shooter game follows Grayson Hunt, the leader of a military sanctioned assassination squad known as Dead Echo, and his plan to murder General Sarrano - Grayson’s foul-mouthed commander who betrays the trust his assassination force after they discover Sarrano’s ordered targets have been civilians.

“Bulletstorm” kicks off to a fantastic cinematic beginning with Grayson and his comrade Ishi Sato interrogating a bounty hunter. The questioning sequence is spliced with crude sexual jokes and a slew of vulgarity. Once the duo is finished toying with the stuttering hostage, the hostage is jettisoned from an airlock into the cold depths of space.

Playing through this opening scene immediately establishes “Bulletstorm’s” playful mood of obscenities, defamations, innuendo, and ingenious violence.

Creatively murdering any opposing force that stands in between Grayson and his revenge is the pivotal attraction developers Epic Games and People Can Fly sought to instill within “Bulletstorm.”

The development duo completes their objective seamlessly.

Revitalizing the concept of utilizing destructive combat in order to progress, players must slaughter enemies by performing “skill-shots.”

Completing skill-shots reward a player with points to be spent on ammunition and weapon upgrades. Points are assigned depending on the creativity or difficultly a kill.

For example, shooting an explosive barrel to dispatch of an enemy battalion rewards players with the “Enviro-Mental” skill shot and 50 points per death, and if their bodies land in a cactus another 50 is rewarded for being “Pricked.”

Many skill shots also include “Bulletstorm’s” racy humor with kill rewards such as sausage fest, gang bang, gag reflex, drilldo and carpet bombing.

Several skill kills are only achievable by using the game’s wonderfully balanced stasis ability. By kicking an adversary Grayson releases a static charge within his boots and the opponent will electrically frozen while drifting through the air. These helpless lambs may also be encountered by employing Grayson’s leash augment.

The leash ability is akin to a whip and works quite well. Players can latch onto soldiers and throw them into the air. Paralyzed through stasis electrocution Grayson’s enemies are helpless as they slam into a hail of bullets and environmental hazards, which gruesomely pierce heads, limbs, and shower Grayson in blood.

However, If an opponent was firing when put into stasis, his finger stays frozen on the trigger and the storm of bullets can still cause moderate damage.

One of “Bulletstorm’s” greatest moments is destroying an enemy outpost via a Godzilla-sized mechanical Tyrannosaurus Rex. The robotic machine of chaos easily leveled a force that would have annihilated Grayson.

The most innovative aspect to “Bulletstorm’s” combat is the sniper rifle. Akin to the 2008 film “Wanted,” bullets lock onto an enemy and are guided. This concept is really neat but quite tricky to get the hang of because enemies dodge the fired rounds.

The campaign is well paced and lasts about six hours. The game also contains co-operative play through horde onslaught modes similar to “Gears of War 2.”

Featuring an above average darkly humored plotline, a wide array of destructive weapons, extraordinary cut scenes, and surreally crisp graphics, “Bulletstorm” leaves players without a dull moment.

Reach the reporter at tdmcknig@asu.edu

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