‘Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition’ Review: Kill’em All, Again

out of 5

Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is an HD remastered release of Bulletstorm (2011), originally developed by People Can Fly and Epic Games, then published by EA. It was well received by critics, garnering high scores, but it could be argued that many of Bulletstorm’s sales were prompted due to the Gears of War 3 online beta offer included, and even that was not enough for it turn a profit according to Epic Games. Sadly, this meant that a great game became more of a cult hit and never saw the planned sequel. Now six years later, publisher Gearbox Software (Borderlands) has worked with the original developer, People Can Fly, to update the graphics, much needed lighting, and add some new content, and so we are blessed with Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition on our current generation consoles. Rejoice!

Set far in the future, the 26th century is a controlled by the Confederation of Planets. They utilize a black ops unit known as Dead Echo, using them to assassinate criminals. Or so Dead Echo thought. Their leader, Grayson Hunt, soon discovers that the puppet master, General Sorano, has been using them to kill innocent civilians who were questioning the ruling government. This does not sit well with Grayson, having always considered his job a necessary evil, his whole world crumbles around him as he and his crew escape to become space pirates 10 years later. When the opportunity arises, in a random crossing of paths with the General, the drunken and rage filled Grayson rams his ship into his, sending them both crashing to the surface of an alien planet called Stygia. Players control Grayson Hunt as he leads what’s left of his team on a quest for revenge, and survival.

What makes Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition stand out isn’t the awesomely cheesy story from comic book writer Rick Remender (Uncanny X-Force), or the over-the-top voice acting from veteran Steven Blum (Voice of cartoon Wolverine, and oddly, Grayson sorta looks like Logan, so I just pretend it is), it’s the innovative gameplay. FPS games have become a standard, but Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition uses a very cool leash system. Once acquired and placed on Grayson’s left hand, this will allow players to lash out with an electrical whip of sorts, grab enemies and toss them into the air. Players can pull them in and shoot them while they fly in the air or kick them back out and into spikes, or off a cliff. When the leash goes off, time slows giving players time to pinpoint for headshots and combo moves. These will award points, or “Skillshot” bonuses. The more creative and deadlier the combo, the more points. These can be used at scattered dropkits to purchase upgrades for Grayson’s weapons or restock ammo. It’s not just efficient for rewards, it’s just plain fun throwing screaming enemies to their deaths.

As single player story-based FPS games go, Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is one of my all time favorites. It’s gory, it’s crude, and damn it, it’s funny as hell. Even in 2011, it knew what it was and didn’t take itself seriously. While the linear story is confining and abandons multiple replay hopes, it was still nice to revisit after all these years and just running around coming up with combos is enjoyable. There are not a ton of weapons to pick from in Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition, but they are all very different and great for situational combat once you master them; various combos with different weapons and the leash will lead to huge scores and gallons of blood. Each weapon, when upgraded, also has a secondary limited shot attack. Use them wisely. Grayson doesn’t jump, he can scamper over obstacles, he can kick (B/X button), hand-over-hand climb (with a pointless RT-LT/R2-L2, back and forth system), but NO jumping. Health is a wait system, when too much damage is taken, the screen will flash red and players must get to cover and wait for health to recoup and vision returns to normal. Difficulty settings can be changed, but overall, Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition isn’t very hard. The bosses can be challenging, but once you figure out the patterns, the huge bosses are pretty simple. Still the intensity of some scenes and fights are still there and will get your heart pumping.

With 4K resolution support and increased texture resolution, Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition looks fantastic. It truly is a must buy if you didn’t catch it last generation. It holds up against even the recent DOOM release, in my opinion, so don’t miss it again. If you did play the hell out of it last gen, there unfortunately isn’t much for you in this edition beyond aesthetics, the DLC is all the previous content, so nothing new there. There is new DLC (included with preorders and at a cost of $4.99 now) that will allows the game to be played as Duke Nukem, a Gearbox owned character, who does fit perfectly in the dystopian future setting, with his original voice actor spouting off-color jokes. But that’s not really special enough to warrant any praise. I guess Gearbox is trying to get their money’s worth out of the IP. I truly hope that Gearbox did all of this in preparation for a sequel, and that it’s true to the original story, because the ending of Bulletstorm leaves that door open, and we have all been waiting to continue the tale of Grayson Hunt. Until then, discover, or re-discover, Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition.

Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is available now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. This review is based on a PS4 code provided for that purpose.

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