James Ireland On March - 12 - 2011

Bulletstorm leapt off the page as being a Multiplayer hit at the Eurogamer Expo 2010, it made sense given it’s style that a multiplayer experience would set the bar highly. Given that this game was to come out of the publishing arm that is Epic would also suggest that there would be an online campaign or sorts, sadly that didn’t materialise. What we have then is a very shallowed down multiplayer experience which offers just one game mode. The game mode that you’ll be playing is called Anarchy and it’s essentially Horde but with a skill points barrier that needs to be eclipsed in order to successfully progress onto the next wave.

It maybe worth noting that at this point whilst taking a look at the Bulletstorm multiplayer element we’ve been getting countless messages stating “The game lobby has been closed” which would either mean a rather sly way of saying “no games found” or that indeed there are connectivity issues surrounding matches currently. However, throw in a few of your party members to the mix (best served on the Xbox 360) you’ll be leashing monstrocities in no time and ploughing them into the ground.

There are six maps to choose from, each of which have an individual flavour and that certain skill points can be ascertained by manipulating the environment to it’s greatest effect. You can also chain together unique multiplayer kills that cannot be achieved in the single player campaign - along with those multiplayer map specific environment skill points too. If your killing in particularly good fashion you’ll be offered the opportunity to activate a small power up called blood symphony which will result in enemies raining blood upon being leashed, bullet slided or kicked at every opportunity. Throughout the wave there will also be a unique multiplayer team skill objective such as ‘Double Penetration’ (don’t ask) and bullet sliding an enemy. At the end of each round you’ll be able to see whom has performed best by seeing a line graph of whom has done the most damage, kills and attractive fevority in the arena.

As every new round progresses you’ll have a dropkit opportunity to buy ammo, add in some charge slots and also increase your speed and leash re-charge. Unlike the single player, your character feels more restrictive at first, your leash takes time to charge and your slower than Grayson is originally - something purpously done to keep you towards levelling up and gaining XP to buy your upgrades. Actually levelling up for reward isn’t as good though, you can unlock different coloured leashes and characters skins but nothing particularly that exciting to keep you towards hiiting the multiplayer train. If you are having connection problems or the lobbies just are dead as a dodo you can set up a private match and go it alone. Early waves are ridiculously easy that even you can survive alone but as the score target increases you’ll have to use your imagination and work as a team to prevail.

Now for some of those maps - Waterworks featurers plenty of radioactive sewage to kick your foes into and a middle fan which will slice the fuck out of your enemy opponents. Grand Central is the only map set at night offering an electric charged water fountain and plenty of cactuses for enemies to get pricked. Turbine does what it says on the tin, there are plenty of turbines and plenty of mushed up guts by the end of it- not to mention the explosive barrels adding a little chargrill into the works. The strongest of the multiplayer maps though is Powerplant. In Powerplant there are three grinding cogs at the bottom of the map some high rise platforms electricity and explosive barrels, it is the carnival of carnage which will no doubt do the most rounds on the playlist. Each wave not only gets difficult because the score target goes up, it is also because bigger enemies come at every wave making for some real strategic play coming to the fore. Junkyard is an altogether forgettable map, it’s biggest notable highlight is that you can slide down a waterfall to get to the lower platform, but other than that it’s a tad boring. Lastly we have Dead Rock a map set at dusk with plenty of character, it features a central area with an electrified tornado and on the outskirts of this dinosaur boned map you’ll find the T-Rex mouth that if you kick an enemy into it, it’ll slam shut nom-nom-nom indeed.

If you have friends that play Bulletstorm you’ll see their top scores and that’ll encourage you to play some more but don’t expect social media wizardry like EA’s autolog feature in Need for Speed. Multiplayer is entertaining in Bulletstorm but it lacks the areas we’d like to have seen, the ability to control Ishi or Trishka in the single player campaign, a game so perfect for split-screen multiplayer yet it was also absent coupled with only one multiplayer game mode and you have an experience that just doesn’t hold enough punch. Fortunately Echoes and the campaign back up the price and value as the multiplayer alone is most certainly it’s weakest aspect.

Review

ProsCons
Nice maps, cool skill kills, horde with points!no splitscreen, no online co-op, one game mode
Rating
70%

Categories: Feature, PS3 Reviews
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