Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
2011's most controversial game? Fox News certainly seems to think so:
the network ran a story earlier this month headlined "Is Bulletstorm the Worst Video Game in the World?"
which accused Bulletstorm (and other violent video games) of including gratuitous violence and sexual references in order to drum up media attention, among other more lurid claims.
Launching this week, Bulletstorm is already in the hands of the gaming press, but will they agree?
Racking up an aggregate score of 86% so far, the answer's a solid "no," and there's a broad consensus that Bulletstorm's over-the-top violence and crude humor hide a deep and
engaging shooter that's a real gem.
In fact, one critic -- Games Radar's David Houghton, in a glowing 10/10 review -- dubbed it better than last year's smash Call of Duty: Black Ops, and calling it "the first real evolutionary landmark in the genre for a good long time."
And while it might be lowbrow and violent, it's played entirely for laughs, says Eurogamer.
"This is a game that wants you to laugh so hard that you sneeze on
yourself, but it's also a game that wants you to experiment as much as
possible with the tools you've been given," said Christian Donlan,
calling Bulletstorm "an astonishingly clever game folded up inside an
exquisitely stupid one." A stellar 9/10 is his verdict.
1UP's Taylor Cocke isn't quite so pleased, handing out a B- -- one of the
game's lowest marks so far. Bulletstorm's surprising strategic depth
earned it accolades with some critics, but for 1UP they just seemed to
get in the way. It's a game "unsure of what it wants to achieve," they say. "When it lets itself, it's a fantastic adrenaline rush through well-constructed set-pieces and
gloriously fun-to-watch violence. But it too often drags itself down
with overly structured situations and restrictive, strategy-heavy
But we'll leave the final word to the video game ratings authority, the
ESRB. Slapping the game with an "M" (for Mature) recommendation, the
organization's highest commonly used rating, it had the unenviable task
of summing up, in family-friendly language, just why concerned parents
should, well, be concerned about Bulletstorm. We'd give you an excerpt,
but it's nowhere near family-friendly enough for us. Those not of
nervous dispositions can read the whole thing at the ESRB's web site here.
Also Out Now:
Farm Frenzy: Ancient Rome
If Bulletstorm is too much for you to stomach, here's something much easier on the digestion. The latest in the Farm Frenzy series takes players to a bygone age of
gladiators, purple togas, and names with -us on the end: the Roman
Empire. With 90 all-new levels to master and 16 Roman-themed buildings
to construct, you'll enjoy making yourself a slave to its addictive
gameplay. Just watch out for the Visigoths. And the Huns. And the
Vandals. And...oh, you get the point.
Third in the smash hit Playstation 3 shooter series, Killzone 3 introduces
two new firsts: it's the first Killzone to include Move motion controls,
and it's the first to add stereoscopic 3D support. Most critics put it
as the lesser of the week's two big shooter releases, but if you have
the hardware to see it at its best, don't hesitate to pick it up.
Fallout: New Vegas -- Dead Money
Platforms: PS3 (previously on Xbox 360)
After taking Xbox Live by storm in December, Fallout: New Vegas's first
downloadable expansion pack comes to the PS3 this week. It ups the level
cap by five, and adds a four to six hour quest focusing on the haunted
Sierra Madre casino and its fabled treasure.
de Blob 2
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii
2008's award-winning de Blob was a surprise hit on the Wii -- and a real
favorite round these parts -- so we're delighted to see its
paint-slinging, puzzle-platforming gameplay back for another outing. de
Blob 2 adds family-friendly two-player co-operative gameplay, a stack of
new 2D platforming levels, and expands to the PS3 and Xbox 360 for the first time.
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3
If you've ever nursed dreams of being an immortal, scythe-wielding
executioner (and who hasn't?), Namco's Knights Contract could
be the game for you. It pits star Heinrich and his array of pointy
agricultural equipment, plus witchy sidekick Gretchen,
against all the foes its fantasy take on the Middle Ages can provide.
- Farm Frenzy
- Xbox 360
- Ancient Rome