This ménage à trois between EA, Epic and People Can Fly is set on a ruined planet and features more swearing than an issue of Viz and an abattoir worth of gore. So we’re going to be looking at war-torn environments coloured with grey and brown hues, right? Wrong – the planet was intended to be a vacation resort so there are hotels, nightclubs, botanical gardens and even a theme park to trek through as space pirate Gray and his cohorts make their way to an evac point. As soon as the second chapter you’re thrust into the great outdoors, with the sun beating down constantly. Indeed, this is a game that many developers can learn from.

“Kill with skill” is Bulletstorm’s moto. Equipped with an electric leash and a big old pair of boots, Gray can yank enemies back and forth and kick them into loose electrical wires, giant cacti and dozens of other hazards. In fact, there are 131 ways to kill enemies in total. A list is available from the frequently placed drop kits and soon I found myself making a mental note of which kills I still needed to perform, thus making the whole shebang instantly engaging. Each kill is rated – from as little as 10 points up to 500 – and some of the names given to these skill kills are bound to raise a smile. I personally laughed out loud making a gang member spin around on ground via the drill weapon to get the ‘breakdance’ skillshot.

The more points you have the better weapons you can purchase. They’re the usual assortment of shotguns and rifles but each has been cleverly tinkered with to make them feel fresh and exciting to use. The sniper-rifle gives you control of the bullet’s direction while every weapon also has a charged shot that causes more destruction. The leash can also be used to send enemies airbourne, thus giving you more ways to cause pain.

From start to finish, Bulletstorm never fails to grab your attention. Even without the skillshots it would be a brilliant game – it flows superbly with plenty of surprises and set-pieces, and as the story progresses you slowly learn how the planet came to be in ruins and how the gangs took over. You’re always accompanied by AI cohorts too who provide some often witty swear-word laden banter. You never have to watch their backs or worry about them taking all your kills – they usually take down one or two enemies and leave the rest for you.

Due to having an addictive nature, it’s not impossible to imagine most gamers getting glued to their joypads and thus finishing it rather quickly. Fortunately there are extra modes that extend its replay value. Echoes features bite-sized chucks of the single player mode and ranks your score against your friend’s scores. Trying to unlock 3 stars on every level will take thoughtful planning. Then there’s Anarchy mode, a four player co-op arena battle against swarms of enemies. Here you need to work as a team as a certain amount of points are required to go onto the next stage. If some idiot is simply running and gunning, netting a mere 10 points a piece, then chances are you won’t get very far pharmacieviagra.com. There are few unique skillshots to find – like ‘Tug-o-war’, which involves ripping an enemy apart with two leashes – but I did find that luck of the draw plays a big part. Some arenas have more environmental hazards than others, see. The online lobbies appear to be ripped straight out of Gears of War 2 while much like Call of Duty, you rise up the ranks and unlock new armour and the like.

Shigergu Miyamoto once suggested that adding excessive gore into a game is just a lazy way for developers to compensate for a lack of fun. I think though even the creator of Mario would enjoy playing through this one – it’s mindless violence without the mindlessness.

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