We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
PC games software Reviews
15,601 Reviews PC Advisor Recommended

Bulletstorm review

£49.99

Manufacturer: Electronic Arts

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

People Can Fly's Bulletstorm is a foul-mouthed, over-the-top riposte to the slew of po-faced shooters in the market today. Check your brain at the door, and enter a world of pain.

Bulletstorm is a strange beast. It chooses to violently wag its middle finger at the super-serious games that have flooded the first-person-shooter market, offering a hilariously over-the-top experience defined by its potty-mouthed script, excellent boss battles, and a host of inventive ways to kill the enemy.

You play as Grayson "Gray" Hunt, a space pirate seeking revenge after being double-crossed by his former commanding officer, General Serano. After a devastating fire-fight, both Gray and Serano crash-land on the planet Stygia. In addition to being the home of some fierce wildlife, Stygia's humanoid inhabitants are at war, making Gray's goal of leaving the planet much more difficult.

Bulletstorm's gameplay is suffused with innovative touches, but none more so than the energy leash. It allows Gray to pull enemies into the air while simultaneously causing a slowdown effect, leaving him ample time to set up one of Bulletstorm's varied "skillshots" - shooting them in the crotch, pulling them into a spiked fence, feeding them to a carnivorous plant...the list goes on and on.

As well as general skillshots, like hitting an enemy in the crotch, each level and weapon has a unique list to work your way through. You can access the skillshot lists at any time, and successfully pulling them off earns points that can be traded for weapon upgrades and ammunition. Basically, Stygia is a futuristic reimagining of Macaulay Culkin's house in Home Alone, and there’s a great deal of pleasure to be found in discovering new ways to take out its hostile residents. In addition, Bulletstorm has some of the most satisfying, impossibly huge boss-fights this side of Bayonetta.

Bulletstorm’s gameplay is consistently rewarding, but the dialogue could truly be the star of the show. If Bulletstorm is deserving of an award, it would be for having the vilest, most obscene, and laugh-out-loud funny banter I've heard in a videogame. In the same way that Drake and Chloe of Uncharted 2 would fit in nicely in an Indiana Jones movie, the cast of Bulletstorm could moonlight as the supporting cast in a Tarantino flick.

I never once felt like I was listening to a bunch of beefcake space marines cursing for the hell of it; Bulletstorm rarely takes itself seriously, and the dialogue is a testament to its consistently over-the-top personality. That said, it won’t be to everybody’s taste, and I'm betting that many will hate the dialogue outright. This isn’t helped by a creaky underlying narrative and an ending that telegraphs a sequel with an astonishing lack of subtlety.   

Another quibble is that while the enemy A.I. is consistently good, Gray's companions - A cyborg named Ishi and the gun-toting badass Trishka - are a bit spotty. Too often they'll end up blocking a corridor or walking into your gunfire, and at worst they'll get stuck somewhere, leaving you to run around the area until they snap out of it. This didn't happen often enough to be a major issue, but it still made me wish the developers had spent a little more time polishing.

The first-person shooter is the most overpopulated video-game genre, and truly inventive shooters are few and far between. For all of its faults, Bulletstorm goes against the grain of the popular, increasingly homogenised norm, often in exciting and hilarious ways. It's not perfect, but it's still one hell of a ride.

Next page: Our expert verdict

See Also:

More Game Reviews 

Games Advisor

Bulletstorm Expert Verdict »
Minimum Specs: OS: Windows XP (SP3), Windows Vista (SP2), or Windows 7
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo, AMD Athlon X2, or equivalent, running at 1.6 GHz or greater
Memory: 1.5GB
Hard Disk Space: 9 GB available
Video Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible, 256 MB of VRAM
NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS, ATI Radeon HD 2400 Pro 256 MB, or greater
Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible, 16-bit
DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c
Network: Internet (TCP/IP) connection.
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

Bulletstorm's inventive gameplay and hilarious dialogue overwhelm its flaws.

Price comparison powered by Reevoo

£5
  • Bodycount review

    Bodycount

    Shamefully repetitive level design and an overall glaring lack of variety are just a few of the problems plaguing this shooter.

  • Modern Combat: Sandstorm for iPhone review

    Modern Combat: Sandstorm for iPhone

    With Modern Combat: Sandstorm, the first-person shooter genre on the iPhone takes a giant leap forward... then trips over its shoelaces and tumbles into a landmine.

  • Crysis 2 review

    Crysis 2

    This Nanosuited sequel to the classic Crysis is a stellar sci-fi shooting game, featuring a gripping single-player campaign, action-packed multiplayer, and some jaw-dropping visuals.

  • Mindjack review

    Mindjack

    Do Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners need another duck-and-cover shooter? The creators of Mindjack seem to think so.

  • N.O.V.A 3 for iPhone and iPad review

    N.O.V.A 3 for iPhone and iPad

    N.O.V.A 3 for iPhone and iPad is the latest in the popular sci-fi shooter game franchise. Is N.O.V.A 3 any good? N.O.V.A 3 for iPhone and iPad review.


IDG UK Sites

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 review: The best iPad mini and Nexus 7 rival tablet around

IDG UK Sites

Which Mac? Complete Apple Mac buyers guide for 2014

IDG UK Sites

Mobile email is powerful and useful - but also hopelessly intrusive

IDG UK Sites

Samsung lights up London skyline with Midnight Rainbow