'Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition' Preview: A Perfectly Cathartic, Chaotic Splatterfest

Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition came into PAX East looking to make an impression. The April 7 release is on the horizon and this refurbished shooter (originally made by People Can Fly and Epic Games) is a refreshing reminder that Gearbox does fun shooters better than almost anyone. Based on the cult classic shooter Bulletstorm, the new version features all the content in the original game (including add-ons) plus a bunch of new stuff for old fans. If you’re like me and never experienced the original you will wonder how you missed it. Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is not a game about loot or stealth or tactical cover. It’s about answering the question: what kind of killer are you? The weapons and abilities are OP and the name of the game isn’t THAT you kill scores of enemies, it’s HOW you kill them that is a true test of skill.

Gearbox puts skillfulness front and center with the skillshot system. Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition players are judged by the creativity and carnage in their kills. Shooting ten shots into a torso isn’t impressing anyone, a few points. But levitate an enemy using your magentic whip and give him a hefty kick so he impales himself on some rebar? Mad points. There are 135 different skillshots to accomplish in the game ranging from the visceral to the twitchy. Kill an enemy the instant he’s in your sights? Skillshot. Set a guy on fire? Skillshot. Set a guy on fire and shoot him in the head? Skillshot.

The drive to kill creatively becomes immensely satisfying as the game goes on. In my short time in the game I got out of my usual FPS mode of just killing guys to taking big risks to get environmental kills instead. You start to feel godlike and aren’t satisfied with vanilla death anymore. You want to exert your will on your opponents and eviscerate them just for the lulz.

Oh, and I got to play as Duke Nukem, a cool pre-order bonus for fans of the foul-mouthed antihero. Even better, Gearbox got the original voice of Duke Nukem, Jon St. John, to record some new dialogue for the character too. He fits right into the madness of Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition and although I normally think pre-order bonuses are very, very stupid this one actually seems fun.

Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition was without a doubt the most fun thing I played at PAX East 2017. It went from a game I never heard of to a game I can’t wait to play again in the span of one demo. That’s hard to do. And I didn’t even get into the multiplayer shenanigans. I imagine getting a group of friends together to do impressive kill after impressive kill might be even more fun. But there was plenty going on in the single-player demo too, and I didn’t get the sense that this is a game that won’t be fun alone. If you don’t take your shooters too seriously, or if you have fond memories of the original, then Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition won’t disappoint.

Here’s the rundown of the new features straight from the press release. Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition release April 7 for Xbox One, PS4 and PC:

Killer Visuals: Updated models, environments, animations, and a new rendering mode, all running at a smoother framerate than ever before.

The Complete Experience: Loaded with all of the original Bulletstorm and add-on content plus all-new experiences exclusive to Full Clip Edition! Play through a multi-playthrough campaign, 30 single-player Echo challenge maps, 12 co-op multiplayer challenge maps and more, all to your favorite modern platform.

New Overkill Campaign Mode: Blast your way through a cranked-up version of the campaign with an unrestricted arsenal of weapons and skillshots!

New Echo Maps: Showcase your skills on six brand-new levels for the addictive score-based Echo Mode exclusive to Full Clip Edition.

Visceral Audio: Indulge your aural senses and bask your ears in skillshot glory with lavishly remastered audio effects.

The Art of Destruction: Unleash over-the-top kills by mixing fast-based gunplay with unique kick, slide, and leash combos with Bulletstorm’s distinctive “skillshot” system that rewards creative carnage.

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