Epic’s Bulletstorm is out of control on PC

by Dave Loft

I had watched enough trailers, gameplay videos and reviews on this game to put on my Steam wanted list. Unfortunately with a price tag of $60 and no demo available to try I was obviously a bit apprehensive. But that changed on Monday when developer Epic Games made a demo available on Steam. I sat down after class on Tuesday to give it a first run through and boy do I hate it.

The controls in this game are some of the worst I have ever seen. Leave it to Epic to fuck up something so simple as a fps on a PC. The biggest issue is with the mouse and especially high DPI gaming mice. I had to turn the mouse sensitivity all the way down and it was still too much. So I then had to turn my mouse down from 5700 DPI to 800 DPI to get it to move at the right speed. But it still just didn’t feel right and was saddled with quite a bit of lag.

Then there was the menu navigation which had you moving around with W and S rather than the mouse. This is just lazy work on the developer’s part. It might make sense to have your move forward and back on the left stick to move around the menu, but it doesn’t work on a PC. Some menus would actually let you use the mouse (I hate inconsistency) but since I had to turn the mouse sensitivity way down, it felt way too slow in the menu.

The game is also very hollow, monotonous, repetitive and clunky. AI is very scripted lacking any sort of intelligence. Gameplay follows a strict guideline of kick, lasso then shoot. Sure you could just shoot, but the shooting is terrible and when you aim down the scope the sensitivity seems heightened making it more difficult to aim.

Bulletstorms clunkiness comes from the movement and ultimately derived from the controls. You hold space bar to slide, but also to jump over things. So if you slide to an object you can’t just hold space bar to jump over, you have to let go then press again. Not really that terrible, but what it sometimes chooses to jump over is really annoying. In my last game I slid to a barrier and pressed the space bar to jump over it only to have my character jump to the right. It was at this point that I realized my character had jumped into some kind of hole in the game. A hole I could no move, jump, slide, lasso, kick or shoot my way out of. After that I quit the demo, uninstalled it and removed the game from my wish list.

I really have grown to hate Epic in recent years and it mainly stems from their outspoken hatred of things I love. It’s clear from the games I’ve played in recent years that any of the talent they possessed in the past is long gone. Rather than complaining Epic should probably just stick to making Xbox 360 and iOS games where things are very predictable and their customers will buy anything.

Epic should also stop whining about how hard a platform is to develop for. It’s pathetic when a company with a history like Epics lashes out publicly against a platform they don’t like. I for one say good riddance and look forward to what a more capable and innovative competitor will do in their place. But I do want to thank Epic for making a demo available as it saved me from wasting my money on this big piece of EPIC fail.

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