Status: Campaign complete
Most Intriguing Idea: Shooter protagonists are horrible, and that’s funny
Best Design Decision: The whole skillshot system
Worst Design Decision: The robot rampage setpiece.
Bulletstorm, believe it or not, is an almost perfect companion piece to Far Cry 2. Both games are based on the idea that the protagonist of a first-person shooter is a horrible person by definition. Where Far Cry 2 spins this idea out into a personal and national tragedy, however, Bulletstorm uses it as the basis for a comedy. This informs the main character Grayson Hunt, who is a drunken, foul-mouthed boor. It’s expressed in the mechanics, which reward him richly for figuring out ever more gruesome things to do to his enemies. It also plays into the enemies themselves, a cartoonish array of psychopaths, cannibals, and assholes just nasty enough to deserve what Gray’s doing to them.
It all works beautifully almost all the way through the game. The only hiccup is a part where the player has to control a walking robot dinosaur with guns in its head, which turns out to be somewhat less fun than it sounds, and a lot less fun than Gray seems to be having. Everything else, from the repartee to the gun feel to the Tarantino-esque comedy-as-violence vibe, is pitch-perfect. My only regret is that I didn’t play it sooner.
Verdict: Highly Recommended