Six years ago we got the game Bulletstorm, a fine first-person shooter that had a decent story and some cool mechanics behind it. But because the game’s multiplayer was screwed up, it got looked over by many online gamers as they stuck to their guns with other titles. There were other minor flaws, it had a lot of gore for the time, and some people didn’t care for the content, but it wasn’t a bad game. It should have spawned off its own trilogy, but Epic Games shelved the sequel in 2012 and only provided minor DLC material for the main game. Now with Gearbox Software behind the title, we’re getting a revitalized version for modern consoles with Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition.
The game is pretty much the original with upgrades across the board. The first and best is the graphics, which have been given an overhaul and play well in a 4K mode. Everything from the levels, the bad guys, the blood spatter, the cut scenes—everything has been upgraded to feel much more real and better than before. Body parts are plentiful, the monsters are fleshed out better, the electric leash works like a joy, stages don’t feel as dark and gloomy hiding the lack of detail. It’s a thing of beauty.
The gameplay itself hasn’t changed much beyond the updated graphics, but you can tell a few things have been smoothed out. The whip itself has a better sense of control. As I recall playing the first version, it felt more like Link’s grappling hook where it only latched onto certain areas. Now it feels much more like a weapon of choice where pretty much anything you wish to snag onto will attach and bring it closer to you. It makes killing enemies more enjoyable with it a lot more impact, while the weapon itself feels less like an accessory and more like an essential.
But it doesn’t escape certain problems, like not being able to jump. There are points in the game where I feel like I’m on a rail shooter because I can’t maneuver wherever I wish, I’m forced to go down certain paths. It just feels like something that should have been updated with the game, especially after going to the trouble of updating everything else. There’s also points where I can’t kill enemies until their “introduction” sequence is finished, despite the fact that I’m not in a cut scene and my gun is pointed right at them.
The humor of the game feels dated. At the time it was made, especially with Steve Blum voicing your main character, I’m sure a lot of the content was fresh as a daisy. But listening to it now, you can tell it had an expiration date and we’re well past it. And that’s kind of the way the game feels as a whole. Everything is here, including the lackluster ending and the odd Anarchy Co-Op—but beyond some additional maps and time trials there isn’t a lot to be had here. If you were lucky enough to pre-order you get an add-on that lets you play as Duke Nukem, but as fun as it is to hear Jon St. John voice the character again, it doesn’t really do much to heighten the experience.
If you’re a fan of the game who was looking for more, you’ll be slightly disappointing. But if you’re a curious gamer who loves FPS titles, then this is a nice look back at the last-gen console’s answer to an original title with a different outlook on the genre. Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition kinda is what it is: a face-lift on an older title. If you can accept that, you’ll have a lot of fun with it. If not… cherish the memories of the original.
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