Bulletstorm’s online co-op is the FPS answer to the over-rich military genre in the same way Burnout is the rebel’s hero to the simulators of GT5. The game’s multiplayer mode is called anarchy and if you haven’t played it you’re missing out.
EA and Epic promotion aside, we’ve compiled a list of some of the key ingredients you can play about with to max out your skillshots and dominate the 20 waves of enemies Anarchy throws at you like a king of carnage and gun porn. More often than not when we’ve teamed up with random folk online, after round 13 or so the required number of points gets difficult to reach. Admittedly Bulletstorm is virtually fresh off the factory and people are jumping online relatively early in the campaign cycle, so it’ll probably get better in the coming months.
Hopefully you can put some of these tips and tricks to good use – namely utterly decimating hapless mutant dudes. So…on with the show…pencils at the ready.
1) The first obstacle you ideally want to get around is the communication – or rather the lack of it. If you have a headset (even better if you have friends with them to) then switch it on, more often than not you’ll find that most players have microphones but don’t bother putting them on unless they hear others using them. Start it off and you can find a whole lobby crackling away in a minute or two (most of the time).
2) When you first fire up the game and delve into the surprisingly robust single player you are encouraged to be bold, untamed, merciless, and downright crazy. With anarchy obviously you are still going to be ripping your foes up like it’s going out of fashion, but you should hold back a little bit. Just in small ways like if you leash or kick an enemy, wait and see if one of your buddies can finish them off or contribute to the skillshot. Paying attention to each other makes this relatively natural after a few minutes, and you can start spamming the team skillshots – which reward you with more points across the board.
At the beginning it’s so tempting to just hog all the kills and work inside your own little amusement park of blood and death, but if you restrain yourself a little bit the benefits soon rear their heads.
3) The other main issue is space. People seem to either huddle together in a corner, or run as far away as possible from each other, neither of these work well. If you clump together to closely it all gets way to frantic, with all of you kicking enemies into a tangled and confused mess of bodies. When this happens it’s impossible to chain together the right moves to get the big scores and you end up all getting 10 points per kill, wasting precious opportunities.
I’d recommend staying in the same area together (this way the enemies run towards you), but moving into enough space so that you can work with a couple of enemies at a time. Some of the smaller maps make it harder but the majority of them are more than big enough (Grand Central and Turbine being favourites).
4) A useful little trick I’ve found when trying to nail a ‘team bulletslide’ (one of the easiest team skillshots you can do), is that the person who is doing the slide part of the move, when they skid into them the enemy can hit the ground before your teammate has managed to kill them (ending the window for the skillshot). What I’ve discovered is that you can double slide them, and that the second slide knocks them above your head – giving your partner in crime plenty of time to do unholy things to said victim.
5) Another sneaky thing you can try out is when you or a teammate thumps a crowd high into the air; the person who used the thumper can fire a couple of shots into each suspended target while the other players finish them off. This not only gives you the normal ‘team trap shooting’, but also ‘double penetration’ thanks to that quick spray of bullets. You can use this cheeky trick to double up most skillshots (e.g. ‘team juggler’, ‘tug-o-war’, ‘team pricked/voodoo doll’, ‘team make a wish’, ‘team flattery’, ‘team mile high club’ etc) as along you are careful not to kill them with your quick spray.
6) Keep track of who leashed/kicked/slid/thumped which enemies that are within range (hopefully all of them will be if your team is strong) and try to prioritize focus on the ones you didn’t leash/kick/slide/thump, this way you are far more likely to get ‘team’ headings on your skillshots. Remember if you link everything together correctly, nearly all of the skillshots in the game can be achieved and credited to more than one player at once – there are over a hundred so experiment if you reach the round score early. Team ‘smart bomb’ and ‘twisted’ are personal favourites.
7) The bosses (chainguns, bouncers, penetrators) can quickly take your health right down if you’re not careful so the sooner you deal with them the better. However when you do manage to blow their armour off (they’ll be nearly dead at this point) don’t just continue shooting at them till they die – you can get a whole heap of extra points is you finish them off in a special way. Most players kill them as quickly and as easily as possible due to the fact they deal a lot of damage, but there are a number finishing touches your team can enact which will increase your points counter a bucket load. To start you off try thumping them when they are down, pulling the plate off and shooting them in the ass (more common in matches), using the flail gun inventively, kicking them in the head, or team leashing them. Experiment a bit and see what works for you.
8) Another problem is that some people spend their money clumsily at the beginning of each round. Clearly each player with have their own tastes and preferences according to their playstyle but some upgrades should be avoided if possible, and others snapped up as soon as you can afford them. Firstly I’d always stay away from upgrading your personal power because it increases your kick and slide strength which basically means you can kill them too early when you are trying to link together a combo. From experience I can tell you this gets very frustrating.
Secondly I’d urge folk to upgrade their leash recharge so they can join into or start combo’s more quickly – and hence more opportunities per round . Maxing out your Peacemaker damage output is incredibly useful because it enables you to move onto another skillshot more quickly – a good chunk of team skillshots use the PMC so being able to blast enemies with less bullets means your area of effect can be far greater. Upgrading reload time is essential for similar reasons to the leash.
9) A slightly irritating and subtle point is that of weapon choice. Unfortunately if players use the same secondary weapons it can lead to you overriding and cancelling each others skillshots. This isn’t always the case (depending on what you are trying to do) but equipping different secondary’s opens up a larger range of team skillshots, and makes them team kills far more accessible overall.
10) The final tip we can offer for now, is to take your time. There is no time limit to the rounds and your enemies can’t actually kill you very easily (try standing still and you’ll see…assuming you’ve dealt with any bosses). Relax a little bit and move around or lead enemies where you can line them up for stuff, often it can mean the difference between passing a round and having to start it over again.
If you have any tips, tricks, or cunning strategies you’d like to share then don’t hesitate to post a comment or two. Exchange PSN/Xbox Live names here too if you want, but other than that; “a toast to skills”.