Let’s get this out of the way up front: Yes, Bulletstorm is incredibly foul-mouthed, with much adult language. However, the game is also rated “M for Mature” for a reason, so if a parent buys it for their kids then they have no right to complain about the content. And any retailer that sells it to an under-17 gamer is in the wrong.
However, despite what some overblown, hyperbolic non-fact-checking “news” coverage may say, Bulletstorm is an absolute ton of fun to play.
Your character is the captain of a mercenary team who has been betrayed by the military. During the course of your quest for revenge, your team crash lands on a planet that used to be the premier resort destination spot. Unfortunately, a problem with solar radiation has wiped out much of the population and mutated the rest. It’s through this charming mix that you must navigate on your way to escaping the planet and clearing your name.
The gameplay, while being the standard “go here, wind your way through this maze, and shoot just about everything you see” fare, gets a refreshing mix-up from the addition of the “Skillshots” system. You earn points by vanquishing your foes in creative ways, and then can redeem those points to buy new weapons, upgrade your current weapons or buy ammo.
The Skillshot system also rewards you for finding new and inventive ways to decimate your foes. For example, kicking one into an electrical wire to electrocute them will garner a set number of points. But, setting them on fire first then electrocuting them will garner even more. Or, lining up your shot so that you take out more than one with a single shot will gain you even higher levels of rewards. Using the “Thumper” weapon to violently slam every enemy in range up into the air is great, but even better in an enclosed space because you can, quite literally, splatter them across the ceiling, taking out multiple foes in a single move (and gaining multiple Skillshot rewards, too).
The set-piece moments are excellent, and very much larger-than-life — from a frenetic ride on a train car while trying to escape from a massive mining drill that is wildly careening after you, to remote-controlling a three-story tall laser-shooting dinosaur, to taking on a city-sized creature who is mad because you destroyed her eggs in a previous part of the game … Well, the game’s got some memorable moments, that’s for sure.
While the game itself is short (I completed it on the medium difficulty in just over 15 hours), it’s worth the price of admission. If you enjoy shooters, and games that don’t take themselves too seriously to have a good time, I highly recommend Bulletstorm.