(meant to post this a couple of weeks ago!)
It only took me a few sittings to complete but for the most part I really enjoyed it. I suppose I should just bullet(!!) point my likes and dislikes:
We'll start with the not so goods:
- Killing enemies quickly and efficiently counter to the game's skillshot system ie. the more you fuck about, the more skill points you get for more weapons to fuck about with. I enjoyed fucking about, a lot, but I felt bad if I plowed into a room and killed everyone quickly and efficiently. You don't get points for being efficient.
- No jumping which means you have to rely on the sometimes awkwardly narrow hotspots to mantle over knee high obstacles (not to mention the mantling is clunky, slow and disruptive, unlike Brink's which is smooth and allows you to shoot while mantling). Certain skillshots also require you to be above an enemy as well and without being able to jump you have to rely on the environment to raise you above them.
- The Left Shift key is used for mantling as well as sliding so I was frequently missing the mantle hotspot, tapping Left Shift again and sliding into the cover I was trying to get over. Sliding involves double tapping the run key (why not hitting crouch while sprinting? That's very intuitive in Brink).
- The menu interactions are quite inconsistent, 'OK' was sometimes press V (on the title screen), press Left Shift (on pop-up tips) or press Space Bar (on the dropkit menus), no mouse support for the dropkit menus either. Pressing the reload key to interact with stuff is weird as well but wasn't really problematic.
- I don't mind headbob, but the headbob in Bulletstorm is just crazy violent!
- The pointless and annoying climbing bits: LMB (+25), RMB (+25), LMB (+25), RMB (+25), LMB (+25), RMB (+25), where was the leash swing? Or leash zip line? Missed opportunities! Think of the kills possible with a leash swing and kick!
- I was really surprised and disappointed by how quick the game is to take control away from the player. I can get along with the linearity and canned environments but it was almost as if PCF didn't trust me to do exactly as they wanted. Even the 'RMB' to watch something important was annoying: "Quick! Look! Here's some more points!!". It even aimed for me sometimes then asked me to "Hit LMB"! If I didn't hit LMB it would pause the action until I did.
- The final 'boss' is just a fucking QTE! Seriously, what the hell is going on with that? I was sat there thinking "This is it, after this QTE we're going to dance the dance of bullets and explosions and kicking and... okay, after this QTE we're going to dance... okay, wtf? I'm back on the planet. Perhaps I fight him later on... oh wait, the end."
- Those little blue bugs that could be shot at for points were just a totally unfun way of acquiring points, I'm not sure what they added especially given how geared towards fun the rest of the game is. At least with the newsbots they could be kicked into enemies and used like explosive barrels.
- A slow start, constantly ripping the controls away from me. Helmut, didn't you take issue with this in Metro 2033? Or was that the grabbing of your head and forcing it in a direction?
- Oh, and what the fuck was up with the videos looking worse than the in-game graphics? They were low resolution with all sorts of compression artifacts and were in 30fps! I remember when videos were like rewards.
Okay, I think that's all my gripes.
- Oh hang on, the inconsistent textures.
- The sequel-planned ending.
On to the goodies:
- The environments were just gorgeous and easily some of the best I've seen. The colours, the skies, the structures, the vistas, the variety. Beautiful. It's the gorgeousness of the world that made me notice the inconsistently low resolution textures dotted about the place, mostly on walls and floors. They weren't rife, but they stuck out. (I'll post some links up later showing you what I mean).
- The dialogue was very funny. At first I was playing more for the dialogue than anything else but slowly the action crept up on me. 'Fungal rimjob' and 'sushi-dick' were my favourite insults in the game, oh and 'sunbaked asshole'.
- Waggleton P Tallylicker (loved the sequence in the model city).
- Trishka for being every bit as tough and foul mouthed as Gray and the general.
- There was something really funny about hearing Trishka say 'Do it quiet!' and then seeing a heavy object precariously balanced over a crevasse with the 'Kick' indicator over it. The aftermath of kicking said object was brilliant. "Look on the bright side, at least we don't have to whisper anymore."
- The skillshot system which was actually a lot more fun when I forgot about it and just threw weapon combos together.
- The weapons, notably the sniper rifle slow-mo bullets, redirecting spikes into other enemies, the pistol flare, the grenade bolus launcher.
- The Dark Messiah kicking on to spikes and into fires and off of drops. It didn't quite sit right in Dark Messiah but it fits Bulletstorm perfectly.
- The sliding.
- The game got more satisfying as I got more comfortable and familiar with my arsenal (and the controls). It's just a shame about the underwhelming ending ie. the fight with the general. Up until then I was having a blast.
I'm sure there are some other things I've missed but overall, it was well worth my time in the end. I needed some wanton carnage, and Bulletstorm provided it. In fact, I've got a taste for shooters again and want to have a thrash on the Echoes mode and possibly give something like Painkiller a go. Vanquish was a bit too po-faced for me and left me a little deflated, something Bulletstorm categorically cannot be accused of. I'd very much like to see the sequel at some point in the future though.
Yah, Metro bugged me with the POV grab, but it seemed more out of place there. I would be totally immersed in stealthing around, and suddenly bam! Bulletstorm is so much more arcadey that to me it didn't seem to matter so much. I have played through probably 10 times (100 hours according to Steam) and now I always bring something else to do while I play, like knitting or getting up to get more rum, to fill the times when I know a break is coming.If you pay attention it is really incredible how often the devs take control of the controls for this or that or what have you.
Can't say I disagree with any of your cons. The beginning is slow, the ending is kinda weak, and I have come to dislike playing through several areas. I think the blue electric bugs are just another item to try to find. If you blow them up, you'll see how many of the total number of swarms you've killed, and that persists from one playthrough to the next. I've killed all I've seen, and I think I've only gotten 2/3 of the total number. You really have to look for all of them and I think some are well hidden. I've only just finished all of the Noh nectar bottles.
I've had a brief look at one of the skillshot sites, and they are endless. There are some that you can do only once in the entire game because you need all of the materials in the same place. I still haven't gotten the hang of some of the documented ones, and there's an entire weapon that I seem to be missing so there's a lot of room to explore even still.
I just love the area around the top of the dam near the generators, after they pick up Trishka. Just a spectacular setting with a complete feeling of chaos.
My Dark Souls single player sensibilities are protected by a +10 GfWL Firewall of Ineptitude
I have played through probably 10 times (100 hours according to Steam)
...and there’s an entire weapon that I seem to be missing so there’s a lot of room to explore even still.
That area above the dam I remember looking at from the cliff and thinking "I wonder if we'll be going up there?" and not only did we go up there, we ended up-- well, I ended up pulling those gigantic wheels off the dam. Oops. That's just before the sunbaked asshole comment off Trishka: "...And you still smell like sunbaked asshole" "What a coincidence, that's Ishi's cologne."
Gallery ahoy! First image of me looking up at the top of the dam, a few showing the inconsistent textures and a few more showing how incredible Bulletstorm looks elsewhere.
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