Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Publisher: EA Games
ESRB Rating: M, for Mature
Grade: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
Controversy has enveloped Bulletstorm, and it’s probably the best thing that could have happened to it. One cable news network even went so far as to say this could be the “worst video game in the world.”
All this just made the game even more appealing to gamers, and probably upped its sales.
Bulletstorm is a game in which foul language, crass behaviour and high body counts are rewarded. This is not new. Plenty of other highly rated franchises (Gears of War, Call of Duty, Killzone … trust me, it’s a long list) have such elements, too.
But Bulletstorm does them to the extreme — mostly in regard to language. However, let’s all calm down before picketing EA’s headquarters.
Serious gamers are going to see that this is just immature more than anything else.
Are younger, innocent gamers going to be warped into flinging people into cacti and shooting off limbs in an effort to score points in real life?
The game takes place in a far-off future and is your typical story of revenge, with two friends mowing down cities full of opposing soldiers. The visuals are colorful and rich in detail, and the action is frenzied and nonstop. There is probably little here you haven’t seen before in a first-person shooter, but the bloody campiness makes it enjoyable.
Playing online is more fun than the main campaign (if only because you don’t have to listen to all the incessant cursing and yammering), but even the game modes there merit asterisks. Mainly, it’s best to play them with friends than random strangers, because both Echoes and Anarchy rely on teamwork (something not always found in online gaming).
At worst, Bulletstorm is an immature romp through gore and crass depravity. It’s at its best when the action is constant, furious and fun, which is most of the time.
de Blob 2
Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, DS
ESRB Rating: E, for Everyone
Grade: 3.5 stars
Political revolution is unfolding — in the real world and in the game realm. And tackling the challenges of political repression in video land once more is our noble hero, Blob.
In his first successful insurrection, Blob and his band of merry friends from the Color Underground beat back the blandness that Comrade Black instilled in Chroma City. With that city safely returned to a colorful existence, Comrade Black turned his attention to Prisma City, making the landscape barren and bleak with shades of gray and a large swath of bummed-out citizenry.
de Blob 2 caters well to both older and younger gamers. It has witty nods to political commentary for the older generation and goofy gameplay and colourful designs for the younger set. There is no denying that the game is less than challenging for more experienced gamers, but anyone who plays this and thinks kids won’t love it is fooling himself.
A little fine-touching could have made this an over-the-top success. This was close to outshining the original game. Some breaks in the action by imparting side-scrolling missions and a few other elements are nice, but they’re just not executed well enough and get repetitive too soon.
With its charming visuals and inventive music, however, de Blob 2 is a fine sequel that should definitely set the stage for a fun third installment.
Chris Campbell is a syndicated Scripps Howard News Service columnist. Follow him at twitter.com/campbler or email him at game—on—firstname.lastname@example.org.