— 9:45 AM on April 12, 2011

Finished Bulletstorm last night, surprisingly enough. As many of you know, I often fail to finish games after having had a nice, long sample of 'em, but this one held my attention.

The thing is, I still don't know what I think of the game entirely.

It's certainly different, with a distinctive setting, memorable characters, and a refreshing take on traditional shooter mechanics. The pacing, the cheesy dialog full of half-successful attempts at creative profanity, and the extensive scripting make it feel, at times, like an on-rails arcade shooter, about as deep as a puddle on the sidewalk and similarly annoying.

Yet I learned through a host of repetitive play sessions during GPU testing that the game's core battle mechanics are simply fun. They don't get old quickly, and the full game forces inventiveness on you through various means, breaking old habits to force you into creative play, leashing and kicking your way to glory.

I had slight pangs of guilt as I zipped frantically through most of the game's levels, barely pausing to look at my surroundings—which were strangely sumptuous and colorful, deserving of more than the cursory glances I could spare. Of course, it doesn't take long, as a gamer, to adjust from cursing the repetitiveness of other games to soaking up the visual variety of Bulletstorm. Soon, it feels like your birthright, something other games have puzzlingly failed to deliver.

I developed slight crushes on several things as I played: the sniper rifle with its bend-it-like-Jolie bullet aiming, the explosive cannon with its glorious bouncing ordnance, and Trishka, of course. I also developed a slight rash in reaction to the confused control layout and the game's insistence on using the space bar for menu confirmations where every other PC game on the planet uses the Enter key. Consolitis is a serious condition, kids, and only extended development cycles will truly prevent its spread.

Is this game worth 60 bucks? I dunno, but it was a worthy experiment in variety that held my interest longer than quite a few other games.

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