The project was assigned to People Can Fly, the Polish developer that Epic collaborated with for the PC port of Gears of War. At first they were only creating some extra content, but that soon led to the team handling the entire PC port. They continued to work with Epic on Gears 2, and then later tasked with creating the promotional game, Duty Calls, for the upcoming Bulletstorm, which they developed as well.
A few gameplay flaws aside, Bulletstorm was a breath of fresh air in a genre beginning to stagnate with cliché. The fast paced, over-the-top action, accompanied by immature writing, and a hilariously offensive marketing scheme, brought it to the attention of gamers alike. Packed with it was early access to the Gears of War 3 beta, not a bad bit of publicity either.
An emphasis on colourful environments and characters helped Bulletstorm stay out of the pack
However, Bulletstorm had its fair share of problems, namely the inability to jump. In a first person shooter, omitting this was certainly an “interesting” choice. The game was also fairly short, as most FPS’s are, but that’s not much of an excuse. To put it politely, the writing was “different”, but this isn’t a bad thing, as it’s nice to hear a change in tone in games; and Bulletstorm certainly hit the mark with “I’m going to kill your dick”.
Some would write the dialogue off as drivel, but again, I’m pleased that we can take a break from dreary super-serious dialogue and characters that we find in most FPS’s these days. This approach lead the game to have one of my favourite marketing campaigns, it took a step back and laughed at the current trend in the gaming industry.
Bulletstorm started in space, with pirates, drinking, interrogating, and ejecting people into space, then we crashed a giant military cruiser into a planet. That happened all within about 15 minutes. I’m more than pleased to see that the game took almost zero time getting to the action. Soon, we were whipping people into cacti, throwing multiple baddies up into the air for target practise, and above all, giving every gun an alternate fire.
Pretty much every gun in Bulletstorm had an “alt fire”, mainly it was allowing the gun to go into overdrive, but that helped to mix things up. Alt fire seems to be missing a lot these days, and I was more than pleased to rack up combos with those bad boys.
The new Smart Spawn System promises to change up the experience in Gears of War: Judgement Day
So where does this lead us? It takes us straight to Judgement Day, People Can Fly haven’t fully handled a Gears game, only producing small amounts of content for both one and two, not to mention that they didn’t work on Gears of War 3.It hasn’t been long since Epic lost Cliff Bleszinski, the chief mind behind the franchise, and I feel that might be a problem. It’s also strongly reminiscent of Bungie handing Halo off to 343 Industries. Granted they did a great job in almost every department except for an embarrassingly short campaign; sweet but short.
In the long run, I think that most of the obstacles I have mentioned can be overcome. People Can Fly have picked a great time period to take the franchise, E-Day hasn’t been fleshed out enough for my liking. I always thought a prequel would be great for Gears, and I hope it’s up to snuff. The “De-classified” system hand-in-hand with the Smart Spawn System sounds like a great way to keep fans on their toes for every firefight.
Meanwhile, I finally get a Gears game where Cole and Baird are the stars; I hope that People Can Fly will be able to make a great entry in one of my favourite franchises.