In contrast to the likes of Killzone and Resistance, games which aim for gritty realism in their portrayal of battle, Bulletstorm is deliberately in-yer-face and over-the-top, with more expletives than a Sopranos box-set and enough garishly cartoon violence to satisfy even the most bloodthirsty of adolescent gamers.
The story revolves around a tough-as-nails assassination team, who have gone rogue, following revelations that their intergalactic Confederate Army leader, General Sarrano, far from being the benevolent peacekeeper he purported to be, is in fact a corrupt son-of-a-bitch, who had you and your team murdering innocents in a bid to protect his evil deeds from becoming public. So far, so humdrum. But you’re not going to play Bulletstorm for its intricacies of plot or detailed characterisation; this is about action, and it’s laid on thick, fast and morally dubious – the game begins with your drunken space-pirates interrogating a captured bounty hunter by shooting a bottle from his head, before launching him through an air-lock into outer space. You are even rewarded for despatching your enemies in inventive ways, such as kicking them onto giant cactus plants, where their splayed bodies are impaled for all to see, or launching them into electrified objects, where they end their days with a satisfying sizzle. The more skillshots you amass, the more money you have to upgrade your weaponry, as well as buying more ammo so you can send even more enemy soldiers on their final journey.
While it is pretty frantic and there are enjoyable sequences – such as defending a runaway train from all manner of flying, burrowing and rolling enemy craft – there’s not a whole lot new about Bulletstorm, apart from your electrified leash, which you can use Indiana Jones-like to whip enemies into the air before filling them full of bullets. Fun but fairly forgettable, this is one to rent, rather than buy.