Six years is an eternity in the fast-moving world of video games. But it’s been that long since People Can Fly graced us with their frenetic Bulletstorm. While the game never broke even financially, it has remained something of a cult classic that has yet to be replicated. Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is almost out; a remake for the current generation of consoles. Time to see if the old game has found new life on the current generation of consoles.
Old Drunken Mercenary
In Bulletstorm, you play as Grayson Hunt, leader of the Dead Echo squad of black ops mercenaries. Long story short, you are tricked into murdering innocent civilians, and go rogue. The crux of the campaign is one long revenge story, with a bro-centric cast. Everyone has a large vocabulary that includes various forms of the word “dick” tacked onto it – including the leading lady who, other than possessing slightly exaggerated breast physics, is mostly just “one of the guys” with a sailor mouth as dirty as the rest of the cast.
If you happen to own a PlayStation 4 Pro, then Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition will run with upgraded visuals compared to the base PS4. It looks okay, but the Unreal Engine 3 is undoubtedly showing its age. It would have been nice to see this ported over to the Unreal Engine 4 and some of its newer rendering techniques, but given that the original game never even made a profit, sticking with the same engine makes sense. Oddly, even on the PS4 Pro, the engine has issues keeping the frame rate steady whenever fire is present on the screen, which isn’t actually too often to bring the game down much.
In case you’re not familiar, Bulletstorm is a first-person shooter with an emphasis on stylish kills, known as Skillshots. Using an energy leash you find early on in the game, enemies are quickly at your mercy as you can use the leash to yank them towards you, slowing them (and other projectiles) down mid-air to unleash a clip into them. Coupled with a kick that inexplicably does the same mid-air slowdown, Bulletstorm is a high-gore kill-fest, where every different type of kill is worth a certain amount of points.
A new Overkill mode has also been included, which is essentially a New Game+ plus that is all the rage these days. Complete the campaign once, and this mode will unlock, allowing you to play through the entire game with all your progress on each weapon, which is, as the mode’s name suggests, overkill for the first portion of the campaign. It’s still fun nonetheless. Attempting to perform all of the game’s skillshots, such as exploding an enemy who has already been tossed 20 or more feet into the air, is a decent challenge that will take several additional hours to complete.
Multiplayer also makes a return in Full Clip Edition. Since the energy leash is such a powerful device, multiplayer consists of competitive score challenges, and a rather meaty 12 co-operative maps to contend with. Echo Mode is here as well, where you are placed on a map and tasked with killing enemies as creatively and quickly as you can. The remaster adds a new Ultimate Echoes mode on top of this. You play through each map three times, with progressively more challenging and creative requirements in order to clear, such as only receiving points for basic skillshots (forcing you to go for a “Bullet Kick” and headshot for every enemy), or being locked to certain weapons. Complete the challenges, and you are granted access to compete on the leaderboard for that map for bragging rights. There’s new life to be found in these Ultimate Echo maps, and die-hard fans of the original will find a lot to like with these new additions.
Hail to the King, Baby
If you pre-order the remaster, or pony up $5 after release, you’ll gain access to the special Duke Nukem’s Bulletstorm Tour campaign mode. This enables you to play as the legendary Duke Nukem through the entire single-player campaign. Jon St. John even provided his voice acting once more to give fans the full treatment. I have to admit, I went into the Duke Nukem mode with fairly low expectations. Yet somehow, the hectic action and bro-centric plot fit right in with The King. While the rest of the characters have the same lines as in the original game, Duke has his fair share of jabs at this fact, and adds a whole new angle of humor to a story that might have taken itself a little too seriously the first time around. Given the travesty that was Duke Nukem Forever, I’m saying it now: Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is the best Duke Nukem game we’ve seen since 3D.
Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is a fun trip down memory lane. A bloody, violent, slick memory lane. While the game is showing its age even (or perhaps especially) when upscaled to 4K resolution, the fun of the original shines through. The addition of more challenges will bring back vets of the original, and multiplayer might even be worth another trip. Fans of the original should consider picking this up, while those who skipped the original should give it a go as well.
Review code for Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition provided by publisher. Reviewed on PS4 Pro. For more information on scoring, please read our Review Policy here.