I didn't yet mention the multiplayer or the "Echoes" replay mode, which I neither liked nor didn't like, I just sort of experienced. Multiplayer is four-man cooperative-only over six maps, in a kind of horde mode that sends waves of baddies and only passes you to the next level if you pass a points threshold dependent on creative kills. Despite the maps' small size I always seemed to be too far from the enemy spawns.


A more preferable replay mode is the Echoes, timed solo runs through the campaign chapters (without cutscenes and dialogue). Your skill points combine with the time on the level to give you a star rating, which goes to a leaderboard. If you want action without chitchat, the Echoes are a nice pick-up-and-play snack without forcing you to repeat all the interstitial stuff in a campaign mission.

The Bottom Line

Bulletstorm's got a bit of a dumb-blonde act going; it bats its eyelashes with gory kills, plot clichés and more quotable profanity than Full Metal Jacket. But underneath is a much smarter shooter than its marketing is giving it credit for, thanks to an economic system in which ammo is the prized commodity. It's a game I didn't really start to appreciate until I got into the second playthrough, and maybe you won't either. But Bulletstorm's still a game that's worth the second go-around.


Bulletstorm was developed by Epic Games and People Can Fly and published by Electronic Arts for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC, released on Feb. 22, 2011. Retails for $59.99. A copy of the game was given to us by the publisher for reviewing purposes. Completed the main campaign mode, played online multiplayer and Echoes replay modes on the Xbox 360. Killed their dicks and came out smelling like sun-dried asshole.