Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
After completing my first playthough, I have given this game an extra star. This game isn't really that bad at all, once you've gotten used to the "skill shot" system. This system awards points based on preset lists which can lend a certain repetiveness to the gameplay; once you get familiar and comfortable with a certain weapon(s), you'll tend to use the same shots or combos over and over again in order to get the most points out of the encounters. There are some areas that encourage the use of different weapons or give you opportunities for unique skillshots, but you may still find yourself using the same moves over and over again. It's still good gory fun regardless. A word of caution to those put off by gratuitous vulgarity: this game has a veritable plethora of it. I daresay it makes Duke Nukem sound like a choir boy by comparison (which really doesn't bother me a bit). Although the story is rather weak on depth and detail, the voice acting is pretty top notch. Steve Blum lends his talent as the story's protagonist, and if you gave the character red hair, a braided beard, and made him about three feet shorter, you'd swear it was Oghren with guns. Jennifer Hale also plays a part in this game, and her performance was actually surprisingly good overall (I say surprisingly because I have not been a fan of hers since listening to her bland, monotone droning in the Mass Effect series as FemShep; your opinion of her performance may differ from mine). Again, once you've gotten used to the skillshots, the game starts to move at a rather brisk pace. Encounters are often short, but incredibly visceral affairs, and depending on how stylish you want to be (and you want to be) it can be wonderfully brutal as well. I didn't find the game too overly difficult, however I was thrown off my groove towards the end where enemy numbers increased, and space decreased. So you'll have plenty of time and opportunity to practice skillshotting and having a good time turning your opposition into performance pieces as you turn murder and carnage into an art form. There are some rather nifty weapons in the game, and you can find uses for every one of them (including your basic starting rifle) throughout the game. My only quibble was not being able to get them all sooner, and have more time to let my opposition get intimate with them. Such is the standard in FPS campaigns since time immemorial. My personal favorite is the Headhunter. Although I am a huge fan of sniper rifles in FPS' in general, the Headhunter has a VERY unique feature that I will not spoil for you here. Frankly, picking up this weapon alone made the game for me and the upgrade was just icing on the cake along with a bowl of ice cream. However, the downside is that almost everything you fire at with it reacts in nearly the same predictable manner, making certain kinds of skillshots both easy and, again, repetetive. Even still, it was a permanent part of my loadout and it (literally) kicked a LOT of ass. The most disappointing (and frustrating) aspect of this game is the AI partners you're shouldered with. First, it seems they can't die. Which means they can be bulletsponges and mobmagnets. Enemies for the most part still treat you as the priority target if they can get to you, but a clever player can certainly use the walking meatshield to great effect. Secondly, when your health is running low, and your scrambling for cover, they will ofen block your path or closest cover spot. This flaw is more painfully noticable on some of the more claustrophobic maps. Their worst aspect is that they are unable to help you achieve any skillshot points on even a most basic level. It is not uncommon to be attempting to set up a group of enemies for a domino effect killshot streak (or more noticably, just trying to squeeze more points out of a single target with a fancy skillshot/combo) only to have your "partner" finally ACTUALLY hit something, and basically rob you of the points, waste your ammo, and possibly cause you to spew a series of epithets that would make THESE characters blush. The AI is utterly superfluous and should have been removed IMHO. Neverthess, this is still an enjoyable game and quite well worth the discount price (thank you Steam!). If anyone wants a partner for Anarchy / Co-op, feel free to look me up as I would like to see how a real team handles them.
Game Traits applied to Bulletstorm (PC) by Ravenknight816