A storm of misconception and a mind-blowing twist

People Can Fly founder Adrian Chmielarz was interviewed by Eurogamer recently about his upcoming FPS Bulletstorm. Apart from looking stunning, the game has often been criticised for looking like a juvenile, brain-dead blockbuster that is more harmful to the games industry than good. I personally don’t see it and think that Bulletstorm is shaping up to be ridiculously fun which leads me onto the Chmielarz’s answer to the question, Is Bulletstorm misunderstood?: “People have a certain opinion of the game, that it’s mindless or old school. We have an amazing ratio of people who are converted when they touch Bulletstorm. I’ve seen people playing Bulletstorm at E3 and other shows, and 98 per cent come away being fans.” And remember people, words can be hurtful: “Because of the fun elements we have, the over-the-top gameplay, people start throwing around words like old school or mindless. Old school, maybe that’s fine, maybe that’s not, but mindless is something that bothers me a lot.”

Going back to my point about the game looking like a great deal of fun, Chmielarz added credence to my thoughts: “If you want to let off some steam after work and just blow s*** up, sure, you can do this in Bulletstorm. We do have explosive weapons and crazy gameplay. But if you really want to play Bulletstorm the Bulletstorm way, which is to execute skill shots and earn points to unlock stuff, it is one of the most engaging and complicated experiences, but complicated in a good way.” I’m one of those people who welcomes any game that can help rid those daily stresses and would happily argue their place within gaming genres. One thing that hasn’t helped with Bulletstorm‘s public perception is the writing and dialogue that’s been shown so far. Chmielarz promises that there’s more to it than that: “The story is way more engaging, serious and, basically, good, than what people expect.” He then states why gamers are yet to see any of the greatness he speaks of: “Here’s the problem. Imagine you’re at a promotional event for Sixth Sense. How does this guy sell this to you? ‘There is a great twist in our movie in which the main hero is actually a ghost.’ That’s the problem.” Sorry if you haven’t seen Sixth Sense yet…

But like Shyamalan first and best movie, Bulletstorm is said to have a twist of such magnitude, it will blow our (absent) minds: “It’s everything. It’s me, right, it’s in my best interest to advertise the game, but we have a moment in the game that people are going to talk about for years to come. I’m absolutely, 100 per cent sure of that. But I don’t want to spoil it for you. I want you to experience it as a gamer who sees that for the first time. That’s the tricky part.” What on Earth could that be? The game’s marketing has centred around the phrase “Kill with skill” but that in itself has shaped the story into the jaw-dropping spectacle that we’re lead to believe it is: “It turned out our story is in the way of that kind of gameplay. It turned out from the various tests we had with regular gamers that they get so engaged in the story they sometimes forget the skill shot gameplay. It’s our job they don’t forget it, so we try to combat that with the design, but they only scratched the surface because so many other interesting things are going on.”

Wow, impressive talk eh? That may have changed your views on Bulletstorm or add to the excitement for February 25th when it’s released on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. I’m a hell of a lot more excited about the game now. If People Can Fly have truly made something that allows you to switch off and have fun one minute or become deeply engrossed in a competent story the next, I’m all for it.


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