Bulletstorm First Look

The latest shooter from Epic and People Can Fly has "insane in a good way" written all over it.

In a genre where space marines are so popular, Bulletstorm gives you space pirates. In a genre where gray wastelands are so big, Bulletstorm is a vibrant swirl of colors. And in a genre where headshots are so critical, well, they're also a pretty big deal in Bulletstorm. Some things just don't change.

Nonetheless, Bulletstorm has all the makings of a rather unique first-person shooter. The game is being developed by People Can Fly (now a wholly owned subsidiary of Epic Games), the developer behind the charmingly ridiculous PC shooter Painkiller. Right off the bat, Bulletstorm gives off shades of Gears of War crossed with Borderlands. There's Gears for its gritty sci-fi setting and gruff cast of characters and Borderlands for the general eccentricity that encompasses everything going on--right on down to the fountains of text that erupt from downed enemies.

The character at the center of the plot is one Grayson Hunt, a former mercenary who's had a bit of a falling out with his former employer and, as a result, has been exiled to the farthest reaches of space. One crash landing later and Hunt finds himself on a deep space resort planet known as Stigya. At one point, this place was the Las Vegas of planets: a remote getaway designed solely for the pleasure of its visitors. But as things tend to go in sci-fi stories, a catastrophic event has occurred that's rendered Stigya the polar opposite of a paradise. Its denizens have either died or become feral monsters, and a mysterious overgrowth of mutated plant life has dotted the landscape with giant cacti and tangled vegetation.

This dangerous and twisted world surrounds Grayson, but fortunately, his fighting style is pretty dangerous and twisted in its own right. It's a good thing, too: Bulletstorm is a game that rewards creatively killing your enemies. Combat runs on a loop where you get more points for killing enemies as elaborately as you can--displayed as in-game text coming from dead foes--and then use those points to upgrade and unlock weaponry that allows for further insanity. In gameplay terms, this means that shooting an enemy in his "special place" and then kicking him into a giant cactus while he clutches himself in agony makes for a quicker route to that new grenade launcher than simply shooting him dead.

Well, this beats having "HEADSHOT" printed on your tombstone.

Grayson starts off with a fairly standard weapon--an assault rifle lovingly referred to as "the peacemaker." With time, you'll unlock guns from further along the spectrum of ridiculousness. One example we were shown was the "flail gun." This one shoots two grenades simultaneously, which in and of itself is obviously nothing special. However, these grenades are chained together, making the grenades capable of latching onto objects (or people) in some pretty interesting ways. You might shoot it at a lamppost near a group of enemies and trigger the explosion remotely when the poor guys come running around the corner. But if you want to be more twisted, you can shoot the chained grenades right at an enemy's head and watch as the two tethered explosives wrap around his neck. We'll let you use your imagination to picture what happens from there.

Regardless of which gun you're carrying, the real heart of your arsenal is a pair of always-there abilities that allow you to toy with enemies as a cat would torment a mouse. At any moment, you can latch onto far-off foes and pull them toward you with a tool called the leash, which behaves a lot like Just Cause 2's grapple hook minus the ability to transport yourself. For knocking enemies back, you can both kick and slide into them. Both these melee attacks put enemies into slow motion for a second or two--think of it as bullet time in a bubble--which leaves them defenseless for your next move. The demo Epic showed us was a whirlwind of stunned enemies, headshots, groin shots, cactus impalements, missing limbs, and more--all of which came before the boss fight against a 50-foot plant monster.

The aforementioned giant plant monster.

All of this amounts to a game that moves at a very frenetic pace. Adding to the general sense of chaos during these fights is the character dialogue. Quips and one-liners seem to come fast and often, with the game's central cast tossing barbs at one another seemingly as often as they toss grenades. Some of it was fairly cringeworthy, but we're told that Grayson starts the game as a rather unlikable drunken space pirate and gradually becomes more of a well-rounded character as the game continues. Fortunately, the game's visuals are likable right off the bat, with extensive use of colors and great lighting effects painting Bulletstorm's world in a very interesting way.

Right now, Bulletstorm is scheduled for release in 2011. We'll have more on this slightly insane first-person shooter at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, so stay tuned.

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Discussion

180 comments
brianthesnail12
brianthesnail12

im normally very critical of games... unless its half life 2 or crysis its hard for me to find a "good" pc game.... however from the minute i started bulletstorm i was hooked.... this is a game that runs at 1000mph from start to finish... and the graphics are impressive making the most out of the unreal engine..... the weapons are great especially the sniper rifle which fires explosive rounds that can be steered towards your target.... its great watching your enemy trying to avoid the bullet as you steer it towards them this is probally the best game i have played in a long while and i highly recommend it , buy it today

deadreign22
deadreign22

save your money and don't buy this lol

pH347m3
pH347m3

@elzabador So, like a Slipknot song, it's going to be awful?

Black__Puma
Black__Puma

The graphics are great and the gameplay seems interesting. I am really curious how the multiplayer part is going to work out.

Agent-M
Agent-M

I love the flail guns! This seems like a great game where you can let loose, have fun and not worry about messing up combos.

ArcZerato
ArcZerato

People forget that "People Can Fly" will be making this game, not epic. Epic just bought people can fly. This game will be like painkiller and not like gears of wars.

isotb010
isotb010

Doesn't anyone else think it's kind of like Gears of War? Epic Games should work more on their writing. But I'm still probably going to buy it, LOL.

ElementalSoljer
ElementalSoljer

I'm with Calm and Tomio. The novelty of leashing people is going to get very old, very fast. And it seems to have the same writing that Gears has. In other words, the writing leaves much to be desired. The only thing this game has is visuals. Period.

tomio160
tomio160

This game looks like its gonna be average at best. And the happy serious sam surroundings are just awfull.

a-rusty-glove
a-rusty-glove

my question is can you grab them, tag a bomb on'em, and kick them towards more enemies. Don't down Gears!!

QtrArt
QtrArt

Wooooooooooooow so nice

advanracer
advanracer

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

malificus1
malificus1

@calm syrface Sooo.. you're saying they should just stop making FPS's?...Right.

calm_syrface
calm_syrface

zzzzz...what? oh my bad i fell asleep, another FPS. wow you guys are easily impressed.

sjwingnut
sjwingnut

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

elzabador
elzabador

YEYYYY...... this game is just like a SLIPKNOT song... just fight-fight-fight and then kill-kill-kill..... Can't wait.... :(

73X
73X

This is looking awesome. Hope it turns out that way.

Axemahn
Axemahn

ugh, i hate that everyone is saying this is epics new game when it isnt. stupid EA is gona have "from the creators of gears of war" on the box....tools

NND1
NND1

Game is looking good.... Must check this out for sure!!!

loonypalooza
loonypalooza

@Iamshmee Yay console wars!!!!! Never been a fanboy, never will be. Nice job on sony's part though losing out on a great franchise. Don't mess with game developers, they have feelings to.

Jajathinx
Jajathinx

WOW...that looked like the biggest load of crap. Really? pulling people in with a roap, kicking them and then shooting them. A lame copy of baoderlands, which isn't even a game you would want to copy. A 7-7.5, perhaps 8 if its lucky. Such a good idea it was watching that...

Iamshmee
Iamshmee

@loonypalooza Gears of War won't ever be on ps3 because at one point sony bragged about having Unreal III on it's console solely and that the Gears was an Xbox exclusive piece of crap, upsetting Epic, thus making a 360 release of Unreal III and a no doubt non release of Gears for PS3.

Blade8Aus
Blade8Aus

I was hoping it would be more like Painkiller and Doom =/

termadoyle
termadoyle

holy **** this looks awesome! And they're actually working on a good OFFLINE experience! I'm so ****ing tired of half-assed singleplayer games which tack on Multiplayer modes to increase longevity. Awesome singleplayer beats anything a stupid online experience can bring to the table IMO.

helghast4
helghast4

It looks like an actually fun version of borderlands.

loonypalooza
loonypalooza

@ -Snooze- Yeah my bad I meant published, and yeah youre right about Ninja Gaiden, it was probably based as a limited exclusive or something according to a contract agreement, the PS3 version was published by Tecmo. But yeah no chance of Gears of War ending up on the PS3.

fetusfart18
fetusfart18

This looks alright and all, but there's no co-op what-so-ever. Offline or on. Seems like a major missed opportunity. Want proof, read issue #205 of GI.

Raxyman
Raxyman

looks so much with borderlands, i'm gonna buy it

dkdk999
dkdk999

looks quite average to me. i don't think im gonna buy it.

Darron13
Darron13

Doesn't seem PARTICULARLY amazing, but I guess we'll see as time goes on

oli3211
oli3211

Dont get me wrong it sounds awesome but the setting sounds like a above ground rapture from bioshock

throwback8
throwback8

As of now officially on my radar.

246824682468
246824682468

i can expect the multiplayer to be good and just a load of silly fun

alert0
alert0

Wow. I really cannot wait.

Ares360
Ares360

Looks awesome especially the lasso grenades thats insane, Epic will have a great year in2011 along with PCF

Heretix_Aevum
Heretix_Aevum

Looks like it could be OK, time will tell whether it will actually be unique and if will be high quality or not. I think it has potential.

wiiboy77
wiiboy77

This seems little like UT3, just with powers. I hope epic doesn't drop the ball.

midway_nights
midway_nights

ID, Criterion, Crytec and now epic and people can fly(Pain killer was awesome). i think EA gathered all the top fps production companies under their hood. kool but what EA is really up to? so next year we will have doom 4, rage, bulletstorm, gears of war and crysis. awesomeeeeeeeeeee...

Titoforu
Titoforu

seems bland.=( hopefully they will work on it more.

Elite39
Elite39

The speed's too fast, so I can't really tell if I like it.

GunGriffin
GunGriffin

Looks like I have yet another game to pout on my too buy list for my PS3 system! I have UT3 on my PC and it rocks, but this will be on my PS3 for sure. I agree EA got the best of the best new, and old shooter developers under their wing......... IE Crytek: Crysis, and FarCry, Epic Games: Gears of War, UT, and now Bulletstorm, Id Software: DOOM, Quake, last but not least their new IP Rage........ Plus some new Age Devs making big splashes: Visceral Games: Dead Space, and several other titles.......... Need I list more? EA got their act togather and let developers make their games the way they want, while EA just slaps their name on it and gives it to us. I love their developers. They take full advantage of every platform they build on. Xbox360, PS3, PC when you buy an EA Game you know it will work, and if their are major problems it will get fixed.

X-Robert
X-Robert

id,crytek,now epic,dude,EA really gather the old-school shooter top guns together.

SuprSaiyanRockr
SuprSaiyanRockr

The grenade looks awesome, as does this game. Something else to look forward to.