There is something that has been bothering me while following the development videos of Bulletstorm. Some strange feeling nagging me in the back of my brain, telling me I was not enjoying what I was seeing, while at the same time not really understanding the reason. I love over the top violence and "creative" kills; it reminded me of the misunderstood diamond in the rough that was Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, conceptually sounds hilarious, and most importantly it has Steve Blum doing the protagonist's voice! What wasn't to love?
It then hit me, during one of the aforementioned dev videos;
It then occurred to me that this nagging feeling in the back of my mind was an enormous, gradually increasing disrespect for this game. Bulletstorm is just trying so hard
I decided to suck it up and play the demo out of hope that the gameplay would make up for for the random and cringe-worthy usage of the word "dicktits" from my favorite voice actor. The quick answer is no, no it did not. The shooting mechanics are passable, the graphics are okay, the energy and fast-paced gameplay is there, but I think my problem not only lies with the stupidity and mediocrity of it all, but also with the points system.
Killing in creative ways earns you points for leaderboards (and HOPEFULLY will actually do something during the campaign), but actually playing the game, I was not exposed to the creativity I was anticipating. Most of my gameplay consisted of "kick this guy, then shoot him in the face or blow him up", repeated over and over with very slight alterations in the method of kicks. Sure I could knock someone off a cliff or something, or knock them into a spiky wall, but this seemed to be the extent of the creative killing, at least during this demo. In other words, it felt OBNOXIOUSLY repetitive in order to achieve points that I have absolutely no interest in obtaining. Perhaps during the full game they will be used as some sort of currency for additional weapons or something, but I have no knowledge of that at this point. Even then, I will most likely be kicking things in the air and then firing them with a slightly different weapon.
The gameplay just felt like a overall "meh" to me. It feels to me like they are trying SO hard to be funny and unique, and pretty much completely failing. Madworld had incredibly creative methods of killing, and was a very fun and genuinely hilarious game (that also featured Steve Blum as the protagonist) despite being on brawler on the Wii. In fact, I actually consider Gears of War to have more creativity and entertaining than this, and my opinion of Gears isn't all that high even. Ol' Cliffy B claims they are "bringing the fun back to shooters", but I am pretty sure games are already pretty silly as they are now, and we didn't need an uncreative and unfunny shooter to come in and claim to be more creative and funny than the rest.
Meanwhile, I watched the Duke Nukem Forever trailer and I think they got the tone and humor so spot on that they have officially won me over to at least rent it.
I can't help but laugh when I hear this man's voice. He didn't even need to say the word "dicktits". read