Developers Epic Games and People Can Fly's Bulletstorm was released to very positive critical acclaim last year, which is often very hard for a brand new intellectual property these days. It was also very well received by the gaming community. The whole goal of developer People Can Fly was to create a shooter that broke the norm of the never-ending stream of 'realistic' military shooter games.
I got to talk with the Game Designer at People Can Fly [PCF], (also known as Epic Games – Poland) who also happens to have one of the coolest names a gamer could possibly have, Arcade Berg. Arcade starts off by explaining what he wants players to take away from the game, “We want players to remember Bulletstorm as greatly insane adventure.” He goes on to say. “Even though it sounds like a cliché, we designed the game to play out like a rollercoaster ride with ups and downs and awesome surprises that can happen at any time. We want the player to always stay in the moment, to be fully absorbed whilst enjoying an experience that’s crazy yet conceivable. The game is meant to feel visceral, which is partly why it’s an First Person Shooter (FPS). You’re a space pirate in this pulpy sci-fi adventure, surviving in a world with many extremes.”
Arcade also talks a little about the design of a few other characters in Bulletstorm such as the main bad guy Sarrano and he-woman protagonist Trishka Novak. “Sarrano is somewhat of a totalitarian, with his dark clothes adorned with red insignias. That’s what you’d expect from a totalitarian, after all. We wanted to show that he isn’t a pencil pusher. He looks tough and can hold his own on the battlefield. Trishka is a born fighter. Sure, women can have a hard time amongst the male military but she can hold her own. When the guys crack jokes, she pushes back even harder. She’s a badass but still daddy’s little girl, which is denoted by the small icon on her shirt. She’s not trying to be a man. She’s totally cool with being a woman and having feminine perks. She just wants to be the best. It’s not about the gender.”
Alright, let’s talk about the feel of the bad guys! “We want you to go through a range of emotions when destroying Bulletstorm’s baddies,” says Arcade. “Some are pretty basic ones, but still. We want you to feel rage after the Skulls kill members of your team. Then, we want you to feel good when you exact revenge on them in the most brutal way imaginable. We do not want you to feel remorse. That’s why every enemy is a real absolute bastard. You’re killing really bad dudes. There’s no grey area in this. Pun not intended. In combat there’s first anger and then satisfaction from the kill. Sometimes, we even try to stir up some fear. It’s the normal stuff, really. We worked to really crank up the intimate feel. This is a Space Pirate Story and we want excitement! As a hero, we want you to feel like a real badass.”
Playing through Bulletstorm gives one the impression that this was a developer’s playground for the guys and gals at People Can Fly. The fantastic art and Skillshot saturated gameplay gives players a sense of freedom and emotionally satisfying gaming experiences. Not to mention a barge-load of hilarious dialogue and kills. Bulletstorm is a 2012 must play for anyone with either an Xbox 360, a PS3 or a PC.