Video games are art! Haven’t you heard? Yeah, somebody apparently made that decision a few years ago and now here we are, they’re art, whatever that means. Depending on who you ask, though, apparently only SOME video games are art. The latest indie looking-at-stuff simulator about crying? That’s definitely art. Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition? Not even close to art. But should you still give it a whirl despite it not being the pinnacle of culture? Well…
First, we should probably discuss what this thing’s all about. This is a remaster of Epic Games’ 2011 shooter Bulletstorm, which wasn’t about crying or looking at things and so probably isn’t art. Much as in the original, players control Grayson Hunt, a has-been space vagabond and alcoholic roaming the galaxy with his band of ne’er-do-wells. When the opportunity comes to strike at a long-hated foe, Hunt takes the shot, but his drastically poor planning leads to dire consequences for his crew. Now Hunt and his last remaining crewman Ishi are stranded on a hostile planet filled with hungry predators and psychopathic mutants, racing against time to find a way offworld.
If you aren’t familiar, Bulletstorm is basically a condensed mass of everything we’re not supposed to like about video games. It’s a first-person shooter starring a gruff male lead who solves all his problems with violence, typically in an over-the-top manner resulting in massive amounts of gore. I wasn’t invited to the council where we apparently decided that games were art, but I’m pretty sure that council would frown on pretty much everything in the previous sentence. There’s not even any crying!
What makes Bulletstorm special? Well, you’re being scored! Killing enemies in as creative and unique a manner as possible will result in loads of points, while just running around headshotting people with your best weapons will get you few to no points. Since points serve as your currency for purchasing ammo and upgrades, the name of the game is style over efficiency; a creative and wacky attack will pay for the ammo you spend to perform it several times over, while Mr. Headshot is going to have trouble fueling his sniping addiction if he doesn’t mix it up. The game offers an extensive checklist of suggested kills that offer increased bonus points, so it’s worth your time to check that out and try everything.
That’s all about the same as the 2011 release, though, so what’s different here? Well, the game’s really pretty; it runs at a nice, smooth 60fps on whatever platform at a beautifully upscaled resolution. You can also play as gaming’s original pig-stomping bad boy, Duke Nukem, assuming you pre-ordered or you’re willing to toss in a few more bucks. This sounds a lot more exciting than it actually ends up being, as Duke plays through the same Bulletstorm story in the same Bulletstorm way, often saying the same Bulletstorm lines. It’s a cute addition, but not really worth the top-of-the-top billing monopolizing all the game’s marketing.
Really, the best thing to say about Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is that it’s still Bulletstorm, which was already a pretty good game in the first place. Better still, the PC version no longer harasses you with Games for Windows Live nonsense, so that’s a plus and perhaps the single biggest improvement this package offers over the original. If you skipped the original Bulletstorm back when it came out in 2011, this is your chance to get the game in its definitive form…which isn’t that big of a change, but it’s still worth checking out.