Bulletstorm hands-on preview: Now THIS is combat evolved

In terms of concept, execution, accessibility and outlandishness, Bulletstorm is exactly what the bright, brash and beautiful games of the early ‘90s would have evolved into if we hadn’t become so damn serious in the years between then and now.

You have an electric tether whip with seemingly infinite range. You have a weapon-set from Heaven. You’re fast, agile, and you can kick a man 20 feet without even blinking. Oh, you have a Vanquish-style boost slide just in case you really can’t wait the five seconds it’ll take to get to your next target. And given how gleefully creative Bulletstorm’s murderising is, you are going to get impatient.

Above: Like I said, headshot smeadshot

Killing people is easy in Bulletstorm, a fact emphasised by the speedrun/score attack-styled Echos mode I started off playing. But Bulletstorm isn’t just about killing people. It’s about killing people spectacularly, using every ounce of creative, drawn-out brutality you can muster to score big points with ever bigger and more extravagant meaty messes.

And Bulletstorm really wants you to make those messes. Its control system is as elegant as it is instinctive. The usual double-trigger system to aim and fire. A to mantle over cover, with a double-tap to slide. Left bumper activates your tether (hold it down to whip your target upwards) and the right bumper charges up your weapons’ ludicrous secondary fire modes. 30 seconds to learn, and then you can start pulling off the things I listed on the previous page with contemptible easy and deft fluidity.

Above: The whole environment is a weapon. Even if a surface doesn't explode, electrocute, or mince your quarry, you can still bludgeon him against it until he turns into pate and goo

In single player, it is one of the freshest, most creative, and most exciting experiences I’ve had with an FPS in many years. But there’s multiplayer too, by way of a four-player co-op Horde-style mode, by the name of Anarchy. Here, you’re tasked not with simply wiping out the opposition, but with racking up your team’s score as quickly as possible with insane showboating kills

Combo attacks bring the biggest rewards, and you score massive points by sharing those combos with your team-mates, using the extra man-power to set up and execute ludicrously lengthy strings of creative punishment. Bodies can be kicked, grappled and blasted around between two or three team-mates at a time, making for some of the funniest action, both deliberate and accidental, I’ve ever witnessed in a co-op shooter. Trust me, with friends and a few beers, this is going to have major legs.

I have no bones about saying that Bulletstorm might well be one of the most important FPS of 2011. It's already a thrilling and totally unique play, and if the main campaign can blend these exhilarating core mechanics with epic set-pieces and an engaging story, then we could definitely be looking at an absolute stunner here, If I were to sum it up in one word, that word could only be ‘stupendous’. And 'stupendous', my friends, is a very good word.


  • Inviolable - December 11, 2010 12:46 p.m.

    @Hamburgers - The comments seemed to be more appropriate than immature when you consider what the game essentially is. I think the concept was portrayed by David quite well as a unique and fun experience. Think this is going to be a nice break for us FPS fans from all the repetition of realistic shooters lately. The game looks and sound great; definitely on my list.
  • Overlord153 - December 11, 2010 3:18 a.m.

    I love shooters that throw the rule book out the window. That's why I bought Vanquish and looking forward to this.
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - December 9, 2010 4:41 p.m.

    As the internet will tell you, every win must eventually be a fail. This game is so much of a win that it breaks the rules of the internet. CANNOT WAIT
  • ArPi - December 9, 2010 4:36 p.m.

    Since COD4 every FPS seems to give you points for every little thing you do. Am I the only one annoyed by all this arcadishness? At least they could have done it like in BFBC2 where its not so visible.. Its all over your bloody screen! It just takes away from the immersion of the game imho.
  • talkraider - December 9, 2010 4:28 p.m.

  • talkraider - December 9, 2010 4:22 p.m.

    It better not suck
  • garnsr - December 9, 2010 4:20 p.m.

    Sounds more like Tether Storm than Bullet Storm.
  • TRAVthe3RD - December 9, 2010 2:29 p.m.

    isnt this the game where the gears 3 beta will be attached? if so i feel the multiplayer might be overlooked entirely over the hype of playin the new gears.. but if its not this game disregard my comment entirely lol cuz this game looks pretty rad
  • oryandymackie - December 9, 2010 2:25 p.m.

    Looks to fun to be true.
  • WickedSid - December 9, 2010 1:34 p.m.

    This Is On My "Game's Radar!" Ha!
  • Vulneratus - December 9, 2010 11:54 a.m.

    I've had an eye on this for a while. Hopefully they'll sort out the main characters stupid voice... Kinda reminds me of Bonestorm from The Simpsons though LOL @ The_Tingler... Thats where I've been going wrong!!!
  • gilgamesh310 - December 9, 2010 11:48 a.m.

    I can't fucking wait for this game. It's going to be such a breath of fresh air in a sea dominated by serious military. This and Duke Nukem Forever may herald the return of non serious FPS's once again.
  • psyfull91 - December 9, 2010 11:45 a.m.

    sounds like I'll be playing as chuck norris in this game lol..
  • DreamWeaverPL - December 9, 2010 9:03 a.m.

    "Prince of Persia: Warrior Within's open, accessible and deeply customisable combo system" ...wait, what? Did you even play this game, or copied that sentence from an ad blurb?
  • The_Tingler - December 9, 2010 5:41 a.m.

    @ChuckB: Probably mouse and keyboard. Sticking your dick in the fanhole and thrusting it around a bit just isn't as accurate, or comfortable.
  • ChuckB - December 9, 2010 4:48 a.m.

    I wonder what the PC controls will be.
  • Fusionmix - December 9, 2010 4:20 a.m.

    I went from looking at this on the cover of GameInformer and turning up my nose to stalking news about it on every gaming site I can think of. Easily my second-most-anticipated PC game after Mass Effect 3.
  • Hamburgers - December 9, 2010 4:10 a.m.

    I'll wait for the review. "OMG IT HAS LIGHTNING NINJA STAR SHOOTING GUNS" or "DINOSAURS WITH GUNS FOR ARMS" type descriptions are just a little too immature for me to care about it past chuckling a little.
  • keltar93 - December 9, 2010 3:36 a.m.

    Seems to be a bit like MadWorld in emphasizing creative kills. Hope they'll overcome the repetition problems the game suffered from, got a little boring trying desperately to think of new ways to kill when you run out painfully fast
  • aham1994 - December 9, 2010 3:01 a.m.

    Great, this is sure to add to more addiction. This game has truly earned the right to be Supercillious (yes, I just used that) toward other FPS. Screw COD!

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