Thursday, March 10, 2011
My review of Bulletstorm is up at thephoenix.com. The short version is: gameplay good, humor bad. It's hard to criticize crude jokes without sounding like your monocle popped off just hearing something so uncivilized, but it wasn't a matter of being offended -- at least, not by anything except how low an opinion the writers seemed to have of me. The jokes just weren't funny. And a lot hung on the jokes.
But I did have fun playing Bulletstorm, even when things kept happening like my character falling through a wall and getting stuck outside the map, or my computer-controlled teammates continually running in front of my crosshairs. My fear was that too many of the kills would be canned, or that they would eventually seem repetitive. And that wasn't the case. I was still finding new ways to kill several hours in -- and usually it was on purpose!
The game also deserves props for giving us an interesting setting to look at. It still plays like a corridor shooter, but it doesn't feel like it, because so much takes place outdoors, with gorgeous backdrops that look like they're stretching out forever. No, you can't actually go there, but at least you don't spend all your time inside metal corridors. Not until the last level, anyway.
P.S. I thought about writing this like one of Patricia Marx's shopping columns in the New Yorker. A little bit of that made it in. I'm not sure why this is, because I do not like her columns.