Bulletstorm, with its gore comedy and vulgar hyper-masculinity, was a satiric throwback to Duke Nukem, and a game far better than Duke Nukem: Forever. Duke just couldn't let that stand, though, so now he's in Bulletstorm, trying to stink it up with his irrelevance. Get outta here, Duke, Bulletstorm doesn't need you.
Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition, released today, is a remaster of the 2011 sci-fi FPS—with a side of Duke, but more on that later—and it's still a lot of fun. The script sometimes fails to satirize terrible attitudes, instead just including them, but it has its moments, and the giblet-spraying shooting is fantastic. Bulletstorm holds up well nearly six years after release, but it's really too bad the original is no longer available on Steam or Origin for cheaper. Full Clip Edition is $50/£30, which is a lot for a nearly six-year-old game, even a remastered one.
The new version is supposed to have "hi-res textures, increased polygon counts, sterling audio, and smoother frame rates." Without being able to grab the original anymore, it's hard to say how much better it looks except by . It is prettier, though it certainly wouldn't pass for anything close to new—you can judge by the screenshots in this article. I definitely appreciate that Full Clip Edition works with my 21:9 ultrawide display and has an unlockable framerate, though I'm annoyed that I haven't found a way to turn off motion blur.
Adding a little to the value is the included original DLC, which brings some co-op and competitive multiplayer maps. And then there's the new, $5 DLC which inserts Duke Nukem into the main character's place. If you didn't get the Duke Nukem add-on automatically by pre-ordering, don't buy it. It's supposed to be funny that Duke doesn't know where he is—"I'd make a boner joke, but I don't even know where I am," he says, for example—and that people keep calling him by the wrong name, but it just ruins the otherwise dumb-but-entertaining story. And it isn't funny. We get it with the bubblegum line, you dull hack.
The shooting is Bulletstorm's raison d'être, anyway, and it's more violent than Duke's ever been. Bulletstorm's skillshot system, which rewards you for, say, shooting a guy in the nuts and then stomping on his head, is disgustingly fun. It's a gory Looney Toons cartoon, so full of ways to blow up, dismember, electrocute, and impale marauders that it's easy to do any of those things accidentally. Like kicking a guy into an alien cactus, to which Bulletstorm responds: "PRICKED 100+"
To keep you from having to run up to every guy who's shooting at you so you can do something silly, you have a 'leash' which whips out from your left arm, grabs enemies or objects, and pulls them toward you. It's like Roadhog's hook, except with four times the range, much more forgiving aim, and enemies flail through the air and enter slow-mo when they get close so you can blow up their heads.
It's unnerving how creatively-violent Bulletstorm can be. There's a gun that shoots drills, for instance, and if you impale someone against a rock it'll spin their limbs off. Hayao Miyazaki would probably call the whole game "an insult to life itself," and he wouldn't be wrong.
Rich McCormick explained Bullestorm well in his original review: "It's difficult to defend, like a friend you take to a party who ends up pissing in a vase. You don't want to be associated with him, but shit, he provides an evening of excitement."
Maybe I get along with Bulletstorm because I also ruin parties, though I still wouldn't pay 50 bucks to play it again. For newcomers who missed it back in 2011, it's worth playing and the remaster runs well, but I hope this year's Steam Summer Sale graces us with a discount.