Demo Sunday – A New Tradition

As some of you may be aware, I’m a fan of video games.  As a working adult, I don’t get to play as many as I would really like, and well… games ain’t cheap!

So this weekend I had a glorious idea which will fulfill my need to play a wide variety of games without being a burden on my oh-so-limited free time.

And here it is: Every other Sunday, I will be playing 1 or 2 game DEMOES, and transmitting my experiences directly into the collective brain-matter of the PaleoPosse!

So what are you waiting for? Let’s do this! Today I’ll be reviewing the demo for Epic Games’ new IP, BulletStorm.

BulletStorm is a brand new game from the Polish developing house called People Can Fly, who previously helped Epic to port their Gears of War franchise to the PC (who are now publishing BulletStorm).  Apparently, that experience with Epic has transfered a certain amount of grit, grime, and bad-assitude to those Poles, which they have grown into their own damn game.

BulletStorm is about…well, I’m sure there’s a story in there somewhere, but in the Demo, all I got was that you play some badass dude who enjoys killing bad guys (The ol’ “Chaotic Good“, if you will).  And through some high-quality voice acting, this guy tells you that the game isn’t just about killing dudes…that’s too easy… it’s about killing dudes WITH STYLE. Watch this video and you’ll understand… WARNING: NOT SAFE FOR WORK AUDIO

The last little bit at the end (where you see all the numbers fly up into the air) is what the game is all about.  The more skillful your kill, the more points you get!  In the demo, I was about to get some sick points by kicking enemies into sharp obstacles, throwing them into the air and getting mid-air headshots, and even shooting them in the butt! (teehee)

The game’s premise is a bit sophomoric, for sure, but the demo was genuinely fun. And after performing a completely scientific, informal study of at least 3 hardcore gamers, I have determined that BulletStorm contains exactly 7 of the 9 defining characteristics of a “Badass Game.”

Defining Characteristics of a Badass Game

  1. Guns – Check
  2. Boobs – Check
  3. Humor – Check
  4. Futuristic Setting – Check
  5. Grappling Hook – Check
  6. Sliding Dash – Check
  7. Leaderboards – Check
  8. Wall Jumps – NEGATIVE
  9. Jetpacks – NEGATIVE

So given this completely true and 100% valid criteria, BulletStorm looks like it could be a pretty fun game.

There were a few things that I couldn’t really judge from the demo.  First of all, it was hard to tell if the storyline is going to be anything worthwhile.  At first glance, it looked like it was going to be another “hellish outer-world planet” environment like Pandora in Borderlands, or the similar environment being copied for Rage and a few others.  That’s fine if you make the environment a part of the story and the gameplay, but by itself, a post-apocalyptic wasteland does not a storyline make (See The Book of Eli).  However, if People Can Fly is getting some help from the core writing team at Epic, it could still be very good. The Gears of War games all have very strong story-lines and characters, and I would be more than happy to see what other characters that team could invent in an entirely new world.

Secondly, I’m not sure how Multiplayer is going to work in this game.  Epic is known for having world-class multiplayer – They broke into the scene with Unreal Tournament, and completely changed the way that people played FPS’s for nearly a decade.  Then they revolutionized console multiplayer (in a way that hadn’t been done since Halo) with Gears of War.  So as long as PCF is using Epic as a resource for how to structure a multiplayer game, I’m sure it will be incredible.  However, the demo seemed to indicate that same of the CORE gameplay mechanics (i.e. the “time displacement field” that allows you to toss enemies into the sky while you score headshots on them) wouldn’t work in a deathmatch-style multiplayer, and instead only revealed that the game will have co-op multiplayer.  Given the competitive nature of the “kill points” system, I think it will be a sorely missed opportunity to leave out competitive multiplayer.

Anywho, that’s what I got from the Demo anyway.  If I actually buy the game, I’ll let you know how it goes in a follow up post.  But in the meantime, look for these Demo Sunday posts every-other week, and in the meantime I’ll keep filling your brain-holes with SCIENCE for the other weeks.

It’s like a Science-Video Game-Science sandwich.  MMM.  Make mine a doubler-decker.

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