Is Bulletstorm the new Gears?

Games within the game

One of Gears of War's greatest innovations was the active reload – a small addition that made the simple (and usually unremarkable) act of changing ammunition a constant game in and of itself. Bulletstorm takes that idea much, much, much further, overlaying the entire combat system with a scoring system that rewards you with points for murdering your enemies in creative ways. Just kill? +10. Headshot? +50. Whip three men into the air, freeze them, grab a nearby trash can, rig it with explosives and send it flying and exploding into their midst before they hit the ground? +… Well, a hell of a lot more, obviously.

Ruined worlds

Here's where Bulletstorm and Gears start diverging. Sera, the home planet of Marcus Fenix and friends, was obviously once a beautiful place, but is covered in ash, fire, death and despair by the time the first game starts. While the setting of Bulletstorm is also a crumbling city, the vibe is completely unique. The sun is shiny and bright. Gentle waves lap on pristine beaches. Exotic birds squawk and colorful jungle flowers sway in the tropical breeze… if they're not trying to kill you. Most of the game takes place on an abandoned resort planet, and all of humanity's survival isn't at stake, so the mood is noticeably lighter.

Gruff and gritty heroes

At first, the characters in Bulletstorm seem exactly the same as those in Gears. The main protagonist is grumpy and no-nonsense, with a talent for muttering strings of swear words between every breath. And from the dialogue I heard during the demo, he's definitely got a bromance going on with one of his teammates. Plus, I could swear his female sidekick shared a voice actor with Anya, Marcus's potential love interest.

Here's the difference: The soldiers in Gears had a right to be angry. They were at war, hanging by a thread to lives that were already destroyed. The characters in Bulletstorm, however, just come across like cranky assholes. Hopefully, the game's setup – which will apparently introduce hero Nathan Grayson as a drunken and bitter pirate on the road to revenge and redemption – will win me over more than on this first impression.

To see Bulletstorm in action for yourself, check out the debut trailer - and first gameplay video - below.

May 13, 2010

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  • NoobBuster - May 17, 2010 4:43 p.m.

  • MaynardJ - May 17, 2010 11:30 a.m.

    Weird... first thing that came to mind when I read about the electro whip was Mickey Rourke.
  • t3rry747 - May 17, 2010 4:32 a.m.

    um is it just me but the electro whip is tottaly jacked from the metriod franchise
  • yetipellets - May 17, 2010 1:23 a.m.

    wow, i cant wait to buy this and make people squirm on the ground being eaten by some worm thing, and then blowing them to smitherines
  • halowarfare - May 16, 2010 2:06 p.m.

    This game looks like a combination of fallout and borderlands- which could be a good or bad thing depending on the way the game is executed.
  • Skykid - May 15, 2010 5:24 p.m.

  • hardcore_gamer1990 - May 14, 2010 10:05 p.m.

    I think this is going to be a letdown like borderlands. I won't lie, it looks and sounds awesome. Just like borderlands did. But I hated borderlines.
  • TURbo - May 14, 2010 2:27 p.m.

    I want Bulletstorm to be a new Painkiller esque game.
  • Strangleme - May 13, 2010 11:45 p.m.

    Wow, sick trailer. Love the Choice of N.I.N. Looks good, but looks can be deceiving. I really hope it's a great game.
  • CH3BURASHKA - May 13, 2010 11:05 p.m.

    I wasn't a fan of Painkiller. This looks a bit more interesting.
  • gelatinabomination - May 13, 2010 10:56 p.m.

    This does look quite awesome. I hope the combo system plays as well as it looks.
  • Wolverine08 - May 13, 2010 3:38 p.m.

    Cant wait to do that fancy stuff to puny n00bs online. I'm looking at you little Jimmy whos just got home from school and should be doing homework BUT ISN'T.
  • Clovin64 - May 13, 2010 2:40 p.m.

    Sounds cool, however, maybe I'm sounding sceptical but what are the chances that the developers are going to put any proper effort into single player game? Lets face it, shooters are all about online multiplayer these days, and humble peasants without broadband (like me) get left on the sidelines far too often. Screw you Bulletstorm, I'm saving my affections for (the offline single player) The Last Guardian.
  • FreekinIdiot - May 13, 2010 12:11 p.m.

  • speno93 - May 13, 2010 10:35 a.m.

    yay, more overkill than ever before!

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