Thursday, March 10, 2011


Above: Can't say they weren't thinking big with this one.

My review of Bulletstorm is up at 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.


Anonymous said...

Nice review.

I'm a little disappointed that the "jokes" get so much attention. By FPS standards, there's not an awful story here, but no one's talking about it.

I also don't think reviewers are giving a good impression of just how the admittedly overused dick jokes are worked in - they really are included mostly as contextual banter (and much less so in story-developing cut scenes). I missed most of the dick jokes on my first playthrough as I was more focused on the action and less on the sporadic mid-game dialogue. If you're looking for them for a gripe, they're there for sure, but the game is more than the binary of skill kills and dick jokes like almost all reviews let on.

I enjoyed the game more than I thought I would and hope we see a more mature sequel somewhere down the line.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, what the hell is with the bugs in this game? You're the second person I've heard from who's had problems. I mean, given how funnelled the action is, this really shouldn't be happening. Especially when it's game-breaking.

Meili said...

You know, as a woman, this is partly why I don't play games. Too juvenile with a lot of testosterone.

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