Being that Bulletstorm is being touted as one of the biggest releases expected for the 2011 season of video games, I though it only reasonable to take a look at the demo of this point-killing frenzy. After the introduction video begins, I automatically had a severe problem with Bulletstorm. This game is the Saw of the video game world (even the Saw game had some sort of legitimate gaming involved).
Bulletstorm is a over-exaggerated FPS where it seems like the developers just threw everything except the kitchen sink in the game. Because of this, this game feels like one horribly drawn out gimmick after another. Now don't get me wrong here, I can sympathize with those gamers who think each kill should be graded for points. If you really break down the 'cream of the crop' of the FPS world such as Call of Duty, this idea is implemented on a lesser scale. Headshots and grenade kills are awarded with more XP, multi-kills also bring in extra points, etc; but when you take a trivial feature like this and make it the central point for a game you leave a serious number of gamers out in the dust (such as anyone over 14 years old who doesn't go crazy whenever a head gets blown off).
Beyond the unnecessary amount of gratuitous gore and mountains of swearing, you'll notice that Bulletstorm just isn't that fun. Granted this is only one level of the game, but how much more interesting can the game get if all your doing is finding different ways to kill everything? As a gamer, I don't kill enemies in games because I think killing is fun. I kill my enemies because they killed my wife and child or they're aliens trying to invade my home. I'm not out their thinking, "Hey I wonder how many points I'd get for kicking that guy into a pile of spikes and shooting him in the nads." Seriously Epic Games, do you understand that this is the kind of garbage that gives these overbearing politicians the ammo they need to even start these ridiculous smear campaigns against the video game world for fear of "Violent Videogames" infecting the minds of our youth? Games like Counter-Strike aren't to blame for that, this kind of nonsense is.
Your character can kick, whip, shoot, and whatever else you can think of to kill your enemies. Even after the first kill I was intensely bored. I thought "Great, now I get to do that however many times more for absolutely no good reason." The developers made Bulletstorm one step away from just lining enemies up on a wall and letting you shoot them by making it so that when you kick or whip your opponent they almost freeze in the air. What kind of "challenge" is it when you basically don't have to apply and effort to doing the absolute only mission this game entails.
While I was playing through the demo I tried to conceive the meetings that must have gone on in the offices of Epic Games when they were making this. They must have sat and pondered, "Now that we have this killing for sport thing going on, what can we add to spice it up a bit?" Then the light bulb went off, "I know lets just add a bunch of over-the top weapons, some hard music, throw in some f-bombs and call it a day." As a child I would've probably been super excited about this because every kid wants to get their hands on the stuff their parents tell them is "too adult" for them. Natural curiosity will always do this regardless of the medium in which the entertainments is on. The fact is that this kind of superfluous, awful excuse for entertainment has wasted what I'm assuming is an incredible amount of money in hopes that the masses will be curious enough as to how over-the-top this game is to buy it.
Remember when Roger Ebert said that video games can't be art? I was appalled at this statement, but trash like this makes me shake my head in disgust because now we, the gaming community, are destined to have to defend one of our passions over a game that frankly doesn't deserve the energy.