Just about a month ago, the world -- and yours truly -- got its first look at Bulletstorm, the new FPS project coming out of Epic Games in partnership with EA. Today I got my hands on it behind closed doors at EA's booth and I have to say: The demo was every bit as fun (and over-the-top) to play as I hoped it would be.
After a short briefing video going over the controls and basic concept of skill shots (which, like the demo itself, was peppered with salty language), I was dropped right into a firefight on the planet Elysium. It quickly went from a pretty FPS to a fresh, furious and utterly sadistic FPS that had me concerned I was cackling out loud in the presence of developer People Can Fly. Actually, I'm pretty sure I was.
At first, I was playing the game like your standard, run-of-the-mill FPS -- shooting bad guys and getting some points for kills and headshots. Then I started experimenting. I ran up to a guy and kicked him. He went flying back in slow-mo as I snapped into precision aiming and took his head off. That I got more points for. But I was just getting started.
Soon I was grabbing the bad guys using my energy leash and pulling them toward me, through the air, shooting them as they approached. So, next, I snapped one up and reeled him in, kicked him away, shot him, pulled him back, fired a flail grenade around his neck, kicked him back at his buddies then detonated the grenades -- that got me a lot of points. I'm pretty sure I cackled.
I know I did when I wrapped a flail around a trash can, used my upgraded energy leash to grab it and slammed it into ground. It and all of the enemies around me went flying into the air in slow-mo. While they were 20 or so feet off the ground, I detonated the flail and was caught in a storm -- not of bullets, but body parts.
After working some slide-kicks (performed by double-tapping the run button) into skill shots, I slid under a series of obstacles and was met by a giant, mutated plant boss. I opened fire, but the screen went black. Demo over.
The demo was short, but very sweet. And bloody. I came away feeling I'd just played the freshest, most unique arcade-style FPS this generation. Bulletstorm is trying new things, it's not realistic and it's not military themed (I've got plenty of those, thanks). I can't wait to play more.