Bulletstorm will put the fun back into FPS. At least that’s what the producer and writer for Bulletstorm is saying, and when you think about that for even a second, it’s actually quite a bold statement. I mean sure, every marketing monkey-act for any game is always keen to convince you that their title has that edge over all the other ‘rubbish’ out there. But very seldom do we see a development team make such an obvious stab at the current craze: gritty-realism.
People Can Fly have already shown us that Bulletstorm is colourful and bright, dripping with badass fantasy, and boasts an OTT kitty of guns that would make Optimus Prime blush. Basically everything the FPS climate isn’t at the moment. The most recent waves of first person shooting games we’ve had, have all been indulging heavily in the established ‘safe-haven’ of ‘realistic’ war settings (at least the vast majority), and very few big time companies are prepared to try to break the loop. Then Epic and its Dark Horse sprung into existence.
I think the phrase “put the fun back into FPS” is fantastic, because to be honest, all the games are starting to look like one another. Even the sodding point counter you get for kills, even the use of ‘killstreaks’ and the bloody term itself, even the need to mimic control schemes from other games in case people *gasp* have to learn a new one. They each obviously have different strengths and weaknesses, but it ultimately it feels like they are striving for the same perfected product. WHY!? These guys are talented groups of incredible artists of all kinds; creativity should be an integral part of their projects.
For me, the guys behind Bulletstorm have got it spot on, the genre is stagnant and playing catch-up with itself. This whole chunk of gaming needs something completely fresh and by the looks of things, Bulletstorm just might be our caffeine-drenched reset button. I do enjoy the dimensional immersion that the grimy and muddy shooting games offer, I get why scrambling about with an LMG in a dust bowl whilst men shout all around you is exhilarating, but I don’t want that experience to smother the rest of my favourite genre.
If People Can Fly, EA, and Epic manage to pull this off, then with a fistful of luck we might see the industry break out of the safety box once again. Maybe even some of the Black Ops boys will turn in the direction of Bulletstorm and its whacky, slapstick, gun porn. That’s probably why Bulletstorm is so chaotic and crazy; to blast the message out there that FPS doesn’t have to be a one note genre, or any other genre for that matter. If there was such a term for gaming politics, now would be the time to use it.
What’s your take on all of this? Are you satisfied with FPS as it stands? Do you miss the days when you could soak up more than 3 bullets? Post a comment and let us know.