REViEWERS DETAiLS
Review by The Advocator
Based on 10 Hours of Playing

System
Platform PC
- Intel i7-860 CPU
- Gigabyte P55A-UD5 Motherboard
- 4GB (DDR3) 1600 Patriot Viper2 RAM
- ATI Radeon 1GB 5770 Video Card
- Seasonic M12D 850watt PSU
- Thermaltake V9 Case
- Corsair HD50 Water cooling
- Zalman ZM-MFC3 Controller
- 3 x 120mm Thermaltake ISGC Fans
      (thermal dynamic bearing)
- 1 x 230mm Fan
- 24" BenQ V2400eco LED Monitor
- Logitech G9 Mouse (3200dpi)
- Windows 7 Ultimate (32bit) OS

Created On : 6th of March, 2011
Modified On : 6th of March, 2011
 
RATiNG
This GAME Scored:
Graphics
  7/10
Game Play
  5/10
Game Design
  5/10
Plot/Story
  5/10
Level Design
  5/10
SFX
  7/10
Music
  6/10
Config
  8/10
Navigation
  9/10
Secrets / Rewards
  4/10

FINAL RATING
57 %
C-
( 5.7 / 10 )
 
POSSiBLE iMPROVEMENTS
Here is a list of some key areas that this GAME could be improved.

  • stop associating numerous actions to one key (eg run, slide and vault)
  • not challenging enough, too many dropkits
  • team mates are pathetic and rarely kill anything.
  • enemies virtually ignore your team mates and only target you.
 
 

Shooting - First person shooter

A Realistic Review of BULLETSTORM

ELECTRONIC ARTS
BulletStorm
( BS2011 )
This First Person Shooter game has aimed high and has introduced some unique and interesting game ideas, while still including the run of the mill equipment and limitations expected from this type of game, however it has attempted to get you involved with the characters through the story (what little there is), but then matched that with graphics that more resemble Borderlands! (and for those unaware of the game Borderlands, that was not a complement.).

The graphics are ok, but compared to more recent titles they leave a little to be desired. The game has focused more on methods of killing that you can perform, than they have on anything that I would consider to be more important, such as diversify the levels, extend the game play, provide a bit more range to the enemies and increase the AI quality.

This is a very short game and playing on HARD level difficulty I finished the game in 10 hours and I was playing at a slow pace and sometimes sitting back just to see how the AI team mates reacted to situations and to how the enemies react.

CONCLUSiON
A very short game that I did not really enjoy. The game requires virtually no skill to complete. Even playing on hard difficulty I only died a few times and that was usually due to getting stuck on environmental objects (read Level Design for more details). There is virtually no exploration value in the game. Every level is extremely restrictive and there is never more than one path available and there are no puzzles to be found anywhere. This is just a brain dead shooter. Once you encounter a specific enemy type it will only take you a few seconds to identify how to defeat them and if you take longer than that then your team mates will tell you how to defeat them.

The game certainly feels as if it's target audience is far below that of the alleged 17+ age bracket.

Replayability Factor: ZERO.

ELECTRONIC ARTS BulletStorm BS2011
AVAILABLE PiCTURES
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PiCTURE DESCRiPTiON
 



A More Indepth Analysis of each Section.
Click on each "Tab" to read about that section.

Graphics
Game Play
Game Design
Plot/Story
Level Design
SFX
Music
Config
Navigation
Secrets / Rewards

(This Section equates to 15% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Graphics

The Good

The level design graphics are average and feel more cartoonish (like Borderlands) than they do trying to represent anything realistic. The water effects though are very good, but you can't enter the water.

The character modeling and detail is quite good.

This is a first person shooter so there are no additional camera angles available, however the game offers a Right Mouse Button action look mode, so when an event happens that the game wants you to know about RMB and it will focus in that direction for you.

The Frame Rate was consistent during the first few chapters but as the game progressed it deteriorated and felt quite erratic, the game felt a bit jerky.

Vision Range is limited due to the game design being a "drain pipe", however when you could look out the landscape was always hazy or covered in sun flare.

Any cut sequences that appear, the game provides an ESC to skip, however most were interesting and reasonably short, so I watch all of them without skipping, but at least the option is available.

The Bad

I found the level design graphics to look very unrealistic, chunky and plastic looking, which includes the weapons.

Most of the levels were the same and showed very little diversity.

When you get into a battle the particle effects were just ridiculous. Far too many that it completely hindered your vision, however had no effect on the enemy (how typical is that). Some fight sequences with Boss's I had no idea where i was firing or even if I was hitting the specific point I was aiming for.

Vision aspects in some fights is also hindered by the constant shaking camera, and while running expect a large amount of head bob.




(This Section equates to 20% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Game Play

The Good

This game relies heavily on scripting. Cross a certain point and expect action to occur.

You are given team mates for every section of the game other than one small section, however do not expect them to be any good as quite frankly they are totally incompetent.

Each enemy has a specific weak point so you have to target that point in order to kill it. Often it will only weaken it to reveal another weak point that you will have to target. You can also use numerous environmental objects to kill the enemy as well, such as shooting exploding objects, or using plants to kill them. You can also kick enemies causing them to be impaled on plants or spikes. Infact this is probably one aspect of game play that is actually fun. How many ways can you find to kill enemies, or what combinations can you use. For example you could kick a plant onto the enemy head, pull him close with the whip, kick him backwards, shoot him in the genitals and have him impaled on a cacti.

You have a few modes of movement, Walking, Running, Crouch, Vault and Sliding. There is no health in the game, once you take damage you will get the "TAKE COVER" alert and the screen goes red, once you get out of enemy fire for a few seconds you're back to full strength again. I write this in the good section (mainly because the bad section is very full) and as some people do like this pathetic idea. I alas, am not one of them and think this is just a really cheap way of handling player damage.

One aspect of game play that I did like is the inclusion that some enemies are immune to certain types of damage. For example some enemies you can't kill with bullets, and others you can't use the whip.

The Bad

Your Team Mates are utterly useless. At numerous points in the game I tested this, by simply not attacking the enemies and simply running around to avoid being killed. It literally took minutes (of real time) before any of your team mates even HIT the enemy with a bullet, let alone kill it. I don't think I've ever seen such incompetent AI. Now the game portrays these people as Elite Soldiers. Hmmm pitty the actual game logic does not. I was playing on HARD difficulty setting and virtually had to do everything myself. Now normally I would enjoy that and would often wish for NO team mates, however in this game the team mates would also get in the way by standing in front of me, blocking my line of sight while I'm firing at a target.

In a few battles when there was only one enemy left I would simply watch what the ai would do as I run around the room dodging enemy fire and was quite stunned to see that my AI team mates spent more time vaulting over cover in the room than they did actually firing at the enemy, EVEN when the enemy was right beside them. Your team mates would virtually never fire at the "weak spot" for that enemy, but when you consider the above paragraph and the fact that their aim and weapon skill was undoubtedly the most incompetent I've ever seen that is not all too surprising. THANKFULLY your team mates are also immune to damage and I never had a single team mate die even though they were taking a huge amount of splash damage from explosions and grenades.

The Enemy AI are not much smarter. They virtually never target your team mates if you are there. I even tested this by entering a room (ie crossing the activate scripting line) then exiting that room and running back a room or two. Even though my team mates stayed in that first room, all of the monsters simply ignore them and came after me. In the instances listed in the above paragraphs, the enemy would simply chase after me and totally ignore the team mates even though the team mates were the only ones firing (as I had ceased fire to judge their skill level. Even if I had never fired a shot after the script activated, the enemy only ever targeted me.).

SCRIPTING is considerably blatant and expected to be hit with wave after wave of threats. In some chapters it felt as if the spawning would not stop until I achieve the objective or perform a specific action with the Whip.

It was VERY obvious when action was to be expected. When entering a room you would see a large assortment of "chest high walls". These are objects low enough so that you can fire while standing behind, however still high enough that when you crouch provide you cover from enemy fire. The second give away was how your team mates react. If there are no threats to appear in this room, they simply run on ahead. If there are threats to be expected in this room they will instantly take cover behind doors or chest high walls and wait for you to cross the "activate the script" line (usually this is a door threshold or vault over a specific object to enter the room). Still on SCRIPTING and it pertains to the illogical issue of achieving the objective but still have a negative outcome. Clearly these events must happen and it looks dumb when it appears you have achieved the goal only to find the scripting kick in and you've been captured or damaged... An example of this is you attack another space ship and your objective is to shoot out the defensive guns, on the first pass I shoot and destroy them all (or so it appeared), then on the second pass i'm shooting and yet the guns now just don't blow up and my ship crashes. An even more obvious example is you get attacked by enemies jumping down from the vents. You are in an enclosed room (how typical) and I manage to kill all the threats, then a cut sequence kicks in and i'm lying on the ground as all the enemies are now around me as if they won the battle?

Final point is the movement options. You can walk, run, crouch, vault and slide. All great HOWEVER the game forces multiple actions to a single key. In this instance Run is also used for Vault and Slide. This is just annoying. When you need to vault over an object if you are not at the exact spot where you can vault, your character will try and run or if you hit the key twice he will instantly slide and being this close to the object the slide turns into a kick. Next aspect is if you're in a battle and you're health is low you need to run. Often you'll find yourself sliding instead of running. Now that can be a good thing because sliding is faster? HUH But you stop sliding the instant you come in contact with anything on the ground (which you could run or walk over). Once you touch an object, which could be a join in the floor, you stop sliding. This can leave you in a position that you're still close to the threat which can result in you being dead.

Actions that you use constantly through out the game should all have their OWN key binding!




(This Section equates to 15% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Game Design

The Good

WEAPONS you have the ability to carry 3 weapons and if you come across another weapon type you can pick it up by switching out an existing weapon, however the game will not allow you to switch out the assault rifle you start the game with, so that virtually means you only have two inventory slots for weapons of your choice.

Each weapon is unique in how it operates and can be upgraded. The upgrade path is very limited to: increase ammo and provide an alternative fire option.

In order to upgrade your weapon, you need to acquire skill points. You obtain skill points by perform skill kills, such as head shots, impale them on plants, shoot them in the genitals, in the ass or in the throat, plus a huge number of other ways. The game keeps a list of all the kill types you have achieved and some skill styles are worth more skill points than others. Then when you find a Dropkit you use your whip to interface with it. The whip has analyzed your abilities (ie skill points) and rewards you with additional upgrades (which as mentioned above is only increase ammo carry capacity or install an alt fire feature for the gun).

The game provides you with a unique skill. The Whip. You can use this to move heavy objects out of the way and you can also use it to pull enemies to their death, or simply get them closer to you so you can kill them some other way.

SAVING This is handled by a checkpoint system that you have no control over. There is no manual save option at all.

You get the option of controlling other objects in the game such as a huge robot.

The Bad

WEAPONS even though you get skill points for kills, there's just too many dropkits around and too much ammo. Only fighting one boss did I ever run out of ammo and by the end of the game I had upgraded every weapon I was carrying to maximum and still had over 40,000 skill points left (average upgrade only uses 1200 points). This just makes the game way too easy, especially once you work out the most efficient method of killing. In fact many of the battles I encountered I'd defeat all enemies and not even fire a single gun.

Still on guns the Sniper Rifle is interesting in that you can aim the bullet after you have fired it. Great idea however what's strange is the enemies must "sense" you have fired a sniper rifle and they can dive out of the way of the bullet? HUH.. Also while you're aiming it you MUST be locked onto a target, so quite often you'll just get the message target lost. That's just dumb if I'm aiming the bullet I should be able to send it where ever I want.

Controlling the robot becomes annoying quite fast and i was glad when that sequence was over. Trying to aim the robot was an issue because the aim receptacle was in relation to your position, not that of the robot and as you could not steer or move the robot, if you try and aim at something and the cursor shines on something close to you, the robot would completely turn around and head for your location rather than the threat. Very cumbersome.




(This Section equates to 12.5% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Plot/Story

The plot / story is very thin but still it made the cut sequences worth watching, however they have attempted to add emotion to the characters but that just doesn't sit well with the style of graphics used in the game.

There are quite a few funny lines of dialogue, however majority of them are all associated with various innuendos of male genitals




(This Section equates to 15% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Level Design

The Good

This is a very restricted fixed level design game. You have the ability to move some objects in the game, that you can kick or pull with the whip but the majority of the level is all fixed and can not be damaged.

Some areas are interesting, such as walking down the side of a building, however this unique perspective was short lived as it only lasted a minute or two at most. Other areas of the levels look good but then after you seem them constantly for the next few chapters the appeal has worn off.

Later in the game the levels are not flat. You will find yourself walking at a steep angle. All looks good and interesting at first.

The Bad

The levels are all very similar in the appearance and you will find that the path you can choose is extremely restricted. There are very little areas to explore and usually the instance you go through an opening it will instantly seal / close or cave in behind you.

You can use the Whip to move big objects around, but only those that the game allows. These objects usually have the help prompt associated with them, to inform you of what you can do. For every other object you will constantly finding yourself getting stuck. Even when there appears to be a large enough gap between a chair and a coffee table, you will find yourself coming to a dead stop and even though these objects are small, the game will not allow you to move them out of the way. They are all fixed and appear to weight 10tonne each.

Many small objects in the level will cause you grief. There is NO jump option in this game and as such even the smallest object on the ground will prevent you from moving. When you match that with the issues associated with sliding and it just gets annoying. Here is the information regarding sliding: Final point is the movement options. You can walk, run, crouch, vault and slide. All great HOWEVER the game forces multiple actions to a single key. In this instance Run is also used for Vault and Slide. This is just annoying. When you need to vault over an object if you are not at the exact spot where you can vault, your character will try and run or if you hit the key twice he will instantly slide and being this close to the object the slide turns into a kick. Next aspect is if you're in a battle and you're health is low you need to run. Often you'll find yourself sliding instead of running. Now that can be a good thing because sliding is faster? HUH But you stop sliding the instant you come in contact with anything on the ground (which you could run or walk over). Once you touch an object, which could be a join in the floor, you stop sliding. This can leave you in a position that you're still close to the threat which can result in you being dead.




(This Section equates to 10% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about SFX

Every thing sounded ok. Nothing in particular stands out as being exceptional apart from when you are being chased by the large mining wheel. The sound effects used there I found very compelling.


(This Section equates to 5% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Music

Every thing sounded ok. Nothing in particular stands out as being exceptional.


(This Section equates to 2.5% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Config

The Good

All quite good. You can change settings with the graphics and adjust the key bindings and mouse sensitivity

While in the game the help prompts you are shown clearly indicate which key to use and that key is the one you have assigned. The game allows primary and secondary bindings for each action. I have only used the primary key bindings.

The Bad

When you go to bind a key that has already been assigned the game prompts you that it is in use but does not disclose what it has already been bound to. Now this is in the bad section however it is not really an issue in this game because all the key bindings fit onto a single screen (no scrolling and no multiple pages), so you can easily see what you have already used that key for.

Certain actions unfortunately are bound to a single key. You will find the game will use your RELOAD key as a general purpose Action or Use key as well, such as climbing, or activating levers and elevators. Another multi use key that is more annoying is the RUN key. The game will also use this for Slide and Vault. This will find you in situations that you end up doing one action instead of the desired action. Especially in times of intense action sequences and it is then that you need the least confusion between these three actions.




(This Section equates to 2.5% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Navigation

All navigation was good


(This Section equates to 2.5% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Secrets / Rewards

There are no secrets or rewards or easter eggs that I found. There is very little to explore in each room and at the most the only thing you will find is a small box of ammo.

There is a small side mission where you can destroy all the news robots.

However the game does reward you for the number / diversity and style of kills that you perform. These rewards though only seem to be skill points which you need to upgrade your weapons (as limited as that is).



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This Review was Last Modified on : 6th of March, 2011