Bulletstorm E3 hands-on, 9 fresh shots

Tim Edwards

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Playing Bulletstorm is unlike playing any other shooter. It's just pure, unadulterated, glorious stupidity. And it's entirely loveable. At E3, developers People Can Fly are showing one level. It's an a pretty polished state - PCF's partnership with Epic clearly paying off. My impressions - and a bunch of disgusting new shots - are below.

The demo begins with a small video, explaining just how the scoring system works. It's about combinations - you can get away with killing stuff just by plugging them with bullets, but that would entirely miss the point.

These guys are basically toys. You can shoot them in the face to get extra points. Or you can shoot them in the groin for more points. Or you could shoot them in the groin, and then in the face, and then kick them off a ledge. And then you'd get stupid points.

Like this. Seriously. When you deliver an excessive kill, the screen is completely filled with numbers, exclamations and rewards. It's genuinely pleasurable - a glorious reward for improvised stupidity.

There are three weapons on display: a simple machine gun. A laser leash that drags goons towards you, and then slows them down for a few brief moments. Then there's the flail bomb - which will wrap around the body or neck of your subject. All of them can be upgraded - although the mechanic for how that works isn't entirely clear. When presented with the choice, I upgraded the laser leash. By holding down the right bumper (the demo was on the Xbox pads)  it will bring down a storm of force, punting anyone in the blast radius into the air.

Which is nice. It also punts any explosive or corrosive barrels into the sky, which means you can end up with situations where five or six enemies and an explosive barrel are all up in the air. And it only takes a single shot to blow them up.

You can also kick guys. I started to really enjoy Bulletstorm the moment that I managed to leash-punt a whole group into the air, fire a flail bomb onto a guy's neck, and then detonate a barrel next to the group. It was excessively messy.

Before the demo, People Can Fly set a challenge: 2500 points from the demo would be a good score, 3000 would be a fantastic score. I got 4000. I bloody love high-scores.

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