As Bulletstorm emerged into the gaming world in an environment utterly saturated with gritty and grungy FPS titles, many gamers overlooked this little gem of old school gaming goodness. So now we have the first instalment of DLC from People Can Fly for their over the top balls out crazy shooter. Selling at a solid fee of £8 (roughly $10-$12), is it for you? I’ll try my best to help you decide.
Guns Of Sonata is slightly misleading with its title as it suggests you will be purchasing new weapons even though you’re not. What you will get instead is 5 new levels. First we have two new Echo’s to crank up your high scores via the usual array of death brining experimental weaponry, but this time in slightly longer sections.
The remaining three maps are for the online multiplayer co-op mode, offering a nice spin of environments and colours to stain the walls with your foes body parts. Also, EA have thrown in a couple of extra leash colours to use online, both of which are actually rather cool looking.
Of the two Echo maps, ‘Crash Site’ and ‘Guns Of Stygia’, neither particularly stand out as being something different from all the other maps available through the normal campaign. You will find that the novelty of a slightly different crumbling building or a more unstable metal platform quickly wears thin. Although offering a more varied and satisfying mix of destructive scenarios, they both simply feel like two or three of the regular maps being stapled together. You can honestly get the same thrills of cruel delight by playing through what’s already on the disc.
The three Anarchy maps on the other hand, are a more than welcome addition to the limited choice previously available online. Ranging over a dangerously decorated villa, an abandoned luxury hotel, and a leaking sewer network, they introduce a handful of special skillshots (pulling chandeliers down on foes, felling a church bell on enemies etc) and game mechanics.
The hotel level is set at night and adds an eerie but more relaxing and easy tone for the eyes, being large and open, much like ‘Grand Central’. The ruined villa is the smallest map in the DLC and aside from having a few new and amusing environmental skillshots, feels too claustrophobic and tight to play with four people. I can however see the underground sewer level becoming a favourite because of the refreshing dark green lighting and the ‘gladiator pit’ feel to it.
For those already adept and familiar with the multiplayer, it’s all pretty much the same messy cocktail of ridiculously fun badass-ary and slapstick team fatalities. Sadly they haven’t made the sniper rifle (called the Headhunter in game) compatible with the online mode, or brought any new upgrades to the table. Instead what you get is more playgrounds of arcade-flavoured violence with the same template filling up the spaces in between. I would have liked to have seen a lot more from the DLC but it would appear that other instalments are on the way (judging by the abrupt endings of the Echos), so perhaps they are carefully distributing the goodies over several DLC packs.
As it stands I don’t really see this as essential, it will entertain those who are absolutely gagging for a bunch of new maps and set piece skillshots, but I really doubt anyone will be bored of the ones they’ve already got. For all that money you aren’t actually getting anything new aside from some eccentrically coloured leashes. And what the hell does any of it have to do with a sonata? Musical or otherwise. Head over to our online co-op guide to start raking up some truly impressive multiplayer scores.