One Hell of a Ride – Bulletstorm Full Clip Edition Review
Bulletstorm was originally released in 2011, integrated within the atrocious Games for Windows Live structure. The game received fairly good reviews across the board, but never felt like it got the attention it truly deserved.
Fast forward to now, the Full Clip Edition aims to bring Bulletstorm back into the spotlight with upgraded graphics and sound, no GFWL, extra game modes and maps, and even the ability to play as Duke Nukem if you pre-order the game. While Bulletstorm was fantastic experience back in 2011, this update proves that the gameplay and mechanics still hold up in a modern setting, the updates are just icing on a damn good cake.
Bulletstorm puts you into the shoes of Grayson Hunt (or Duke Nukem), leader of Black Ops team, Dead Echo. After killing someone the team thought was a criminal, Dead Echo turns into a space pirate team, on the run from the people who set them up. Flash forward ten years into the future, Grayson spots those who betrayed his team, starts a battle with them, and crash lands on the planet Stygia. Grayson must work together with his only alive team-mate, Ishi, to escape the planet.
However, all of this set-up is pretty long winded. There are a good 30-45 minutes spent setting up the plot of the story in a seemingly “mindless” shooter. While I certainly appreciate a well thought out story, it seems People Can Fly (the developer of the game) could have wrapped this exposition up into a much smaller package.
Despite the long-winded beginning section, the story does serve nicely in establishing the tension between Ishi and Gray throughout the game. Gray, wanting to seek vengeance, constantly fights against the AI controlled Ishi, taking a more logical approach to the situation.
What ensues is some fairly well-written dialogue, especially for a shooter. If you do pre-order and receive the Duke Nukem add on, the dialogue turns from slightly entertaining, into all-out Nukem vulgarity. After the exposition, this off-the-cuff humor fits brilliantly within the game, feeling like the Duke Nukem game that should have taken the spot of Duke Nukem: Forever.
Full Clip Edition updates the graphics of the 2011 release tremendously. Textures have been improved, polygon density is higher, and frame rates are overall smoother. Plus, there’s 4K support on PC and PS4 Pro.
Overall, Bulletstorm improves greatly from the graphical facelift. The game runs smoother, the characters and sets look better, and the experience is more immersive. The graphics being the main change in the game, Full Clip does a great job providing value for the money. While the original didn’t look back, Full Clip shows just how far PC gaming (and even console gaming) has come in the last six years. And it has come a long and gorgeous way.
Additionally, the lesser appreciated sound effects have also received a facelift. Despite the main selling point being the visuals, the audio experience has improved tremendously. My background is in audio, so listening to explosions and gun shots firing off through some nice speakers brought the experience right in front of me.
While not required by any means, it’s nice to see that People Can Fly took the time to remaster the audio effects in the game. Overall, it makes the gameplay experience more immersive, adding just a little more value for the asking price of $49.99.
Bulletstorm stands out among other shooters for one reason; the crazy unique gameplay. Combing melee and shooting mechanics beautifully, Full Clip proves once again that Bulletstorm is an amazing shooter. This is largely based on the “Skillshot” mechanic. The game rewards currency for killing enemies in the most creative ways. Whether it’s shooting an enemy in the unmentionables or kicking them into a cactus, Bulletstorm wants you to find the best ways to take down enemies.
This is largely based on the “Skillshot” mechanic. The game rewards currency for killing enemies in the most creative ways. Whether it’s shooting an enemy in the unmentionables or kicking them into a cactus, Bulletstorm rewards finding creative ways to take down your foes.
However, landing Skillshots actually takes, well, skill. Most of these maneuvers require some finessing in order to execute. Bulletstorm doesn’t usually set you up to execute some of the more creative moves in the game. Performing every skillshot becomes a game within itself. This keeps every encounter with enemies fresh, and endless tailored to whatever experience you want out of the game.
Falling in line with the 2011 release, the campaign is still amazing, the multiplayer is still a nice distraction, and Echo mode is still addictive. However, People Can Fly have added even more. Full Clip features the new Overkill Campaign. This “new game plus” addition allows unrestricted access to all weapons and skillshots from Act I. For fans of the campaign, this just extended the play time that much more.
Additionally, People Can Fly has added six new echo maps to take on. The Echo mode is as addictive as the marketing would have you believe. This challenge mode adds hours of gameplay after the final credits have rolled, even after Overkill.
For the Aficionado
Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is an incredibly fun ride, especially for those who have never played the game. The additions justify a full release of the game after six years, adding a good amount of value for fans of the game.
However, if you’re not a fan of the original, you’re probably not going to find anything here to draw you in. While issues like GFWL have been cut to allow the game to run on modern systems, the heart of the game is still there – clunky exposition and all.
For fans of the game or for those who have never played it, Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition should be a no brainer even at full price. However, if you didn’t like the 2011 release, you won’t find much here.