Bulletstorm Demo – Hands-On Impressions (Bonus – 720p Gameplay Video)

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So as you all know, the Bulletstorm demo landed on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 yesterday and we made sure we downloaded it to give our impressions to those of you who couldn’t.

Last year, Gavin managed to get some hands-on time with Bulletstorm at E3 2010 and boy, oh boy was I jealous that I had somewhere else to be on the floor that day. So after a 1GB download, the demo was finally ready and waiting so I booted it up and gave it a smash.

Here’s how it went.

What you need to basically know about Bulletstorm is that it’s somewhat of a revival of old school mindless shooters like Duke Nukem, Doom, Painkiller, Serious Sam… heck, pretty much anything that came out pre-Half Life.

Now, we as gamers are a pretty smart bunch, and smart people get grumpy really quickly unless they are experiencing something new, so the people at errr… People Can Fly decided to add an additional layer of interest to the crazy gameplay.

Bulletstorm isn’t about mindless killing. Well… it is, but in order to keep your face glued to your screen Bulletstorm requests that you not only murder and maim, but that you do it with more finesse and style than a skateboarding ballerina doing a half-cab heelflip tailslide down a set of stairs while simultaneously stretching out a most beautiful pirouette.

I may have lost you there. What I mean is, Bulletstorm rewards you for killing with style by wielding the almighty combination of creativity and weaponry. In a normal game, you would see an enemy and then shoot him, done deal.

In Bulletstorm you get to do much cooler things, like grab the dude with a whip and zip him towards you in the air only to lay a fat boot to his face and send him into a wall of iron rods, but only after planting a few lead kisses into his nostrils. This gets even better when you are given access to some pretty groovy weapons as well as environmental elements such as loose rocks, mounted weapons, entire trains and more.

Instead of slipping gamers into a short segment of the game’s campaign, the demo shows off a little more of the importance of the style points and leaderboard aspects by offering a single level that is designed for gamers to play over and over again, with the aim of achieving the highest score possible.

You rack up points by getting as creative as you can and stringing massive combos together, and hey, if you can pull it off while your character is pissed on some booze he just picked up… even better.

The gameplay itself is pretty fast and frantic and will have you giggling like a little schoolgirl as you watch your enemies get completely obliterated in some very new and ridiculously violent ways.

Visually, Bulletstorm is pretty darn stunning. The Unreal Engine 3 is firing on all cylinders and the result is an immensely good looking game that manages to cram in tons of detail and beautifully smooth graphics while still keeping a solid framerate to go with it.

From my time spent with the demo it became very clear the Bulletstorm is going to be one hell of a rollercoaster ride. Fun gameplay and sweet graphics make it feel like something I am going to definitely want to sink hours into.

Stick around for our full review when Bulletstorm releases in February.

Video: Gamersmint

Last Updated: January 26, 2011

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since '08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

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