Thursday, 06 April 2017 00:00

Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition Review

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In Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition, killing an enemy by shooting him in the butt rewards more points to the player than a headshot.

That should be all the information you need to decide this gleefully violent shooter is for you. Bulletstorm originally released in 2011 and, though well received, it was a financial flop. It was a surprise to many that Gearbox decided to revive it. The Full Clip remaster touts a new coat of paint for its graphics, includes all of the original DLC and features a separate 'overkill' mode, along with some new multiplayer maps.

Graphically, this is one of the best remasters out there. Textures are now high-resolution and the lighting engine has gotten an overhaul.  In general, the game feels more vibrant, which fits the goofy, irreverent tone better than before. This vibrancy is also noteworthy in the geysers of blood spilt throughout the campaign. The blood itself is an unrealistic shade of red, but given the tone of Bulletstorm, this change is fitting.

The campaign hasn't changed and it's still a blast to play.

Like any good first person shooter, the weapons are the stars of the show. The guns have plenty of variety, and each requires its own strategy in order to be used effectively. For instance, the assault rifle doesn't do much damage, but has plenty of ammo and a high rate of fire, so the player's strategy must be conducive to this mechanic. All guns in Bulletstorm have a secondary mode of fire, and for the assault rifle, this means a concentrated, powerful blast that one-hit-kills most enemies. Players are also equipped with a plasma-like leash that pulls enemies toward you, allowing you to shoot the airborne enemies in slow motion. This leash accomplishes everything from destroying obstacles, to enabling you to use drop pods where you level up your weapons. Guns can be leveled up with points gained from performing "skill shots," which is a system that rewards creative kills. Sure, you can play Bulletstorm like your run-of-the-mill shooter, but not only is that less fun, it's not as lucrative as say, kicking an enemy into a giant cactus. There are all sorts of environmental hazards littered around the levels, which serve the dual purpose of creating a more entertaining way to dispatch enemies, as well as being good sources for points.

The storyline in doesn't take itself seriously.

After drunkenly botching a revenge attempt against the commanding officer who betrayed him and his crew, Grayson Hunt crashes down into a tropical planet. With most of his crew dead, Grayson and his partner, Ishi, try to survive against the feral locals and find a way off the alien world. I appreciate that the main character's current predicament is a result of his own drunken recklessness, but then again, I've always preferred anti-heroes. Grayson is pretty abrasive and violent, which allows the player's brutal killing spree to feel true to character. try to survive against the feral locals and find a way off the alien world. I appreciate that the main character is in his current predicament because of his own drunken recklessness, but then again, I've always preferred anti-heroes. Grayson is pretty abrasive and violent which allows the brutal killing spree that players partake in to not feel out-of-place.

The dialogue in the game is a profanity-laden joke-fest that elicits chuckles about as often as it elicits groans. It's sophomoric stuff, but not every piece of entertainment needs to be high art.  Gearbox even has a purchasable DLC where the famous steel-balls-having protagonist, Duke Nukem, is inserted into the campaign as a replacement for Grayson Hunt. John St. John delivers new lines written for Duke's campaign, and this was what I was looking forward to most in this release. As exciting as this may be to Nukem fans, however, it's fairly disappointing that Duke Nukem isn't automatically included in the remaster.

In addition to the campaign mode, there's a multiplayer mode where players group up to take on increasingly difficult waves of enemies. It's a perfectly capable horde mode, but the gameplay is fundamentally the same as the campaign. There's also the "returning echo" mode which has bite-sized stages set during different parts of the campaign. The goal is to beat certain scores and receive the best rating. It's a fine diversion that allows the action to take center stage without the story getting in the way. Finally, making its debut in the Full Clip Edition is the "Overkill" mode. After beating the campaign, players can replay the campaign with all weapons and skill shots unlocked from the start. It's always appreciated when developers add replay value to single player experiences in this way, and this addition to the remaster is particularly commendable.


The Verdict

Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition has the same experience that players of the original release know and love. Its campaign is a roller coaster ride of violence that delivers gameplay that's just as entertaining as it was in 2011. With improved graphics, fresh maps, and new modes, it's the best way to experience the title. However, if you've already bought Bulletstorm and all the DLC, you may not find enough here to justify a repurchase, especially considering Duke Nukem isn't necessarily included in the package. Still, as far as remasters go, this is one of the better ones, and it should serve as an example for how to revitalize an older game.

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Caleb Bailey

Caleb is a game reviewer who is way more of a nostalgic curmudgeon than any 25 year old has any right to be. He enjoys shooters, open world games and is a huge believer in virtual reality's potential. His guilty pleasure movie of choice is The Neverending Story which he still shamefully watches because it was his childhood favorite. He hopes to one day ride Falkor the Luckdragon in VR because that is what he means when he says virtual reality has potential.