Some games of the last generation were very underrated, to the point where it was tempting to conclude that we’d never see or hear from them again. One of those was the 2011 hit Bulletstorm, a first-person shooter that had more attitude than your average snot-nosed teenager and featured some truly outstanding moments. This ‘Full Clip‘ edition, however, has upgraded visuals which stand up to the best in the genre but is ultimately let down by an inexcusable lack of new content.
Bulletstorm introduced Grayson Hunt, a drunken yet hardened space merc who had been thrown out of the special elite force Dead Echo and left to wander space as some sort of intergalactic pirate. It’s not long before Grayson and his crew of delinquents encounter the flagship of his former superior, General Serrano, and after bringing it down, they set off on a quest for revenge, and afterwards, rescue. Whilst the plot doesn’t twist any nipples, the dialogue is what makes Bulletstorm special, featuring a rentless stream of vulgar and inappropriate phrases that would even make the great Duke himself raise a brow. There’s more to this writing than crude vulgarity though, it’s also got a great sense of comic timing, and the verbal interactions between the crew underline their genuine fondness for each other.
The campaign is a thrill to play through, showcasing the tricks and features that differentiate Bulletstorm from your traditional first-person shooter. One of its most notable innovations, and the thing that truly defines Bulletstorm, is its skillshot system, which encourages you to dispatch enemies in a multitude of inventive ways to gain points that are used to upgrade your gear and purchase new stuff. This system also grants you interesting and occasionally hilarious new ways to kill with every weapon in the game, from kicking an enemy against the wall for the ‘Graffiti’ skillshot to my personal highlight, finishing off a heavy by kicking the backside panel off his pants and killing him with a well-placed shot to the derrière, which kills him and leaves the corpse slumped forward with fire coming out of his rear end. The name for that particular feat? “Fire in the hole”, priceless!
A little way into the campaign you’ll unlock the ‘Leash’, a wrist attachment that fires a whip-like beam that, when it hits an enemy, pulls them towards you. If there’s a hazard inbetween you and the enemy, then they’ll be thrown onto them, be it spikes or electrified cables. If not, then the enemy will slow down mid-flight, allowing you to do to him whatever your sick mind desires.
Every gun can also be upgraded to unlock a secondary firing mode or, in the case of the Leash, to unlock the thumper modification that launches all enemies into the air and really multiplies the possibilities for creative mutilation.
The campaign is filled with exciting moments, such as a tense scene involving a huge Grind-Wheel and capturing a monster pet (where you control a giant Godzilla-like creature via remote control), and it is so much fun that you’ll undoubtedly want to play through it over and over. Moreover, the Full Clip Edition adds a brand-new Duke Nukem mode that lets you play through the entire campaign as the legend himself, with brand new dialogue recorded by Mr. Duke Nukem, Jon St. John. Hail to the king, baby!
A jump to the PS4 wouldn’t have been a good move without a graphics upgrade, and People Can Fly have done a fantastic job here. The entire game now runs at a solid 60 FPS with no clipping issues or frame rate drops, an impressive feat given Grayson’s ability to slide and Bulletstorm’s liberal use of motion blur to capture the game’s sense of speed. Similar attention has been lavished on the environments, with textures featuring sharper detail and longer draw distances making every location a lot more immersive than it was back in 2011.
Although multiplayer is present, any visions of leashing people and knocking out all kinds of skillshots in some sort of high score challenge quickly disappear, with the game instead offering you the choice of redoing the campaign missions for the highest score in Echoes or taking on wave after wave of enemies in Anarchy mode. There are also no deathmatches or Call of Duty-esque modes of play, so if you pick up Bulletstorm for its multiplayer, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
All in all, People Can Fly have done Bulletstorm justice in the shift to PS4 with hilarious dialogue, excellent spruced-up visuals and a great, fun campaign full of memorable moments. The lack of new content though feels like a bit of a missed opportunity.
Developer: People Can Fly
Publisher: Gearbox Publishing
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: 7th April 2017