Also On: Xbox One, PC
Publisher: Gearbox Software
Developer: People Can Fly
Bulletstorm flew so far under the radar when it initially released in 2011 that I almost missed it, and I don’t miss much in the world of video games, specifically dumb, guilty pleasure shooters. The studio, People Can Fly, who partnered with Epic, the creators of Gears of War had some great ideas that translated really well to the game they created. Bulletstorm was fast paced, visceral, close quarters combat with off-color jokes and plenty of gore and profanity. It was a literal caricature of the modern day shooter and the online communities that populated games like Gears of War, Call of Duty and Battlefield. This was a smart, self-aware social commentary hidden inside a dumb run and gun campaign. Whether that fact was lost on most consumers or they just didn’t care, Bulletstorm was a critical success and a commercial let down. It did not take the market by storm, partially because people didn’t know about it and partially because without a real online multiplayer aspect, it was ignored by the majority of the audience it poked fun at.
As far as games in need of a remaster though, this one wasn’t high up on my personal list. I thoroughly enjoyed the original, but when I think of remasters, I tend to think older games or games that were more of a classic. I liked Bulletstorm, played it, beat it, then never really thought too much about it again. Then out of nowhere comes this remaster, published by Gearbox this time around instead of EA. After the initial confusion I actually got pretty excited to come back and play Bulletstorm. It had been long enough that things would be fresh for me so I was looking forward to it. I was given pause by the pricepoint however, at $49.99 on PC and a full $59.99 on console. Those are new game prices, not remaster prices and especially not remaster of a game that undersold to begin with prices. I am not a developer or publisher, but that seems like a poor choice to me.
Pricing aside, I downloaded Bulletstorm: Full Clip edition and went in with a completely open mind and it definitely paid off. So many original elements of that games combat system were new and exciting and haven’t been replicated since. It was just as fun if not more so than I remember it being originally. Using your electric whip to throw enemies around, the arcade style point system, the gratuitous over the top violence, it all works so well in Bulletstorm. This really is a shooter in a class of its own, and I love that, but this review isn’t about Bulletstorm, it’s about Bulletstorm: Full Clip edition. Is there enough here to justify paying full price? Maybe. If you missed it the first time around, pick it up. This game is worth $60 dollars if it is new to you, and I recommend anyone who enjoys shooters pick this game up and play it at some point. If you played it originally however I recommend waiting for a sale. This will inevitably be a $29.99 title this summer and I think that is the right price for what you get.
Going back to look at the original, the visuals are not outdated at all. There are some improvements in framerate and visual fidelity with FCE but nothing that stands out as much better than before. Gameplay still remains exactly the same, there is no real new content aside from the Duke Nukem DLC, and that really adds nothing to the experience as a whole. The roundabout point I am trying to make is that they really didn’t do ANYTHING that makes this game better than the original. This is a re-release and not really a remaster. That will be all that some people need, others will be disappointed. I enjoyed it, but it is important to remember that I received a copy for review; I did not spend $50 or $60 of my hard earned dollars on this game that I spent $60 dollars for a few years ago.
As a game Bulletstorm: Full Clip edition still has everything that made the original great. Gameplay is still incredibly satisfying, gun-play is still nearly perfect and the arcade style madness is still, well, madness. I love all of that and I love this game, but I can’t honestly recommend it to anyone that has already played the original, which is a shame. I really enjoyed playing through it again and think that anyone who enjoyed it the first time will do the same. The other side of that coin however, is that if you have never played Bulletstorm, do yourself a favor and play this game. It really is unique and something that can just be enjoyed for what it is, mindless well made fun.