Bulletstorm piqued my interest when it first came out but after playing the demo I am not sure it would hold it for long. Looks great though.
"Killing as an art form!" proclaims doggedly likable space pirate and protagonist Grayson Hunt, as he accidentally causes an elevator to crush a mutant, only to get in and ride it up. Thus Grayson condenses Bullestorm's essence: killing as creative act.
Bulletstorm is on the one hand a game of pure spectacle. Like Bayonetta, it is its excessiveness which is entirely pleasurable, the degree to which it achieves a sublimity whereby the rational mind is surpassed by the vision before it. The only response is, did that really just happen? The sequence when Hunt and cybernetic partner Ishi storm the miniature city, attaining the stature of Godzilla in a world harkening to Japanese cinema, is one of many fine examples. Bulletstorm may not be as psychedelic as Bayonetta, but in place of the surreal it substitutes the exaggeration of a summer movie blockbuster. Only this exaggeration isn't concerned with reality at all, only with stretching it as far as it will go. It is the pure spectacle of Bulletstorm that gives the breath of inspiration to all the killing that needs to be done.
For killing itself desires to become spectacle too. The reigns are handed to the player, the brush and oils to the artist who might conceive in her imagination a form which her being works to unfold in the material itself. A corkscrew-like projectile punctures the momentarily aloft mutant, stunned by a kick to the head which is submerged already in a pumpkin-like pod, and carries him through space past the devilish spikes and into the mouth of a giant man-eating plant. To achieve a moment whereby the artist, staggered by her composition, steps back and asks herself, did I just do that? At times, the production surpasses even the mind who accomplished it. If the player experiences moments like these, even in brief, she links her consciousness to all the players who have gone before, those skilled enough for their play to pass into beauty in every game. In this, Bulletstorm may not be unique. What is precisely unique about Bulletstorm is the game's explicit and constant push to make the player realize it.
As with all ideas, however, its significance is in the degree to which the execution follows. It is on this level that I think Bulletstorm both succeeds and fails. Bulletstorm at times seems to merely provide training wheels to the flourishing biker. For each weapon there are already designated forms by which the player might achieve a creative act. Points are earned by the originality of the kill, but it is an originality already thought, contained in the game's own systems. Though initially the creative impulse is helpfully guided by these forms, there may come a point where the creator says to herself, why only these? Certainly, Bulletstorm tries to ameliorate the problem through secret and special kills, often based on local context (always a source for the inspired creator), but even this are limited in number if not scope. In sum, the game can only reward the players creation to the extent that it is foreseen, hence already created, the simple chemical consequence of the elementary parts. What a creator really wants to realize, however, is not what is foreseen but the unforeseen original act.
Thus the ideal of creation discovers its limit in a playground circumscribed by a pen. Bulletstorm is simply not designed with enough openness to account for the unforeseeable, in a way that perhaps Scribblenauts is. Certainly, this is due in part to the limited horizon of the game world which proceeds by its relatively simple components: grab, kick, shoot, in conjunction with the environs of burn, shock, melt, fall, chop. Perhaps if the creator is felt a little empty, missing that color which would achieve just the right contrast, it is due to this calculable limitation. That being said, Bulletstorm presents enough sublimity in its playground to keep any artist occupied for at least one time through its course. Whether it achieves what Grayson proclaims it does, however, might belong to the eye of the beholder.
@Rheinmetal I will say this about Bulletstorm - you essentially do the same thing all throughout it. whereas in bayonetta one's skill continues to improve and evolve with increasing complexity, Bulletstorm is a much simpler game. Consider it - if the price is low enough for you.
I did kind have similar thoughts with the game. Otherwise I felt at times they tried too hard with the tough guys and movie blockbustes topic. Like... the buttloads of swearing got childish and inane IMO.
Crassness is always overhyped now that gaming wants to be politically correct to appeal to Roger Ebert. Co-writer of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls...
I think the comparison with Bayonetta explains perfectly the nature of this game, and realizing that makes me curious enough to play it. To tell you the truth I'm not a big fan of games that unfold too fast, I'm a slow type and I need my time :-) but I know that they can always be extremely fun for as long as you can keep up with that pace.
@Foolz3h I was turned off by the reviews, which generally thought of it as crass fluff, but it's a far more substantive game than most - just not in the ways you expect. I really loved it - and the dick jokes, for better or worse, were overhyped. Again, I think Bayonetta is the best visceral example - of course Bayonetta as a shooter perhaps