Bulletstorm sales “disappointing” – is Epic’s shooter too goofy for modern tastes?

As much as I enjoyed the core gameplay of Bulletstorm, I for one was put off by the overly goofy sense of humour that somehow still plagues any attempt to inject comedy into the first person shooter genre. Was it just me or has this inability to move on from the crude humour of the mid 90’s had something to do with the relatively weak sales figures for Epic’s latest shooter?

While technically brilliant, fun to play and visually outstanding, I found myself cringing every time someone opened their mouth in Bulletstorm – haven’t we moved on from the days of Duke Nukem and Serious Sam? Obvioulsy not. Other than lazy attempts at self referential humour, this is still the kind of stuff that reminds me that the industry still has a hell of a long way to go before it is taken seriously as an art form.

I know, I should lighten up right? It’s not like Epic were trying to make Braid 2? Well, no actually. That kind of lazy response just doesn’t wash with me. I’m all for humour in games, but like any other form of entertainment, I don’t want it to be lazy and aimed almost exclusively at the lowest common denominator. Let’s face it, this kind of ‘comedy’ wasn’t funny in the mid 90’s and it sure as shit doesn’t cut the mustard today.

I would love to think Bulletstorm’s ill advised attempt at tickling the funny bone is something of a one off but with the return off Duke Nukem just around the corner, I fear the worst is still to come. Maybe Duke Nukem Forever will be a pleasant surprise and the Duke will have finally found a sense of humour worthy of a grown man, but you know what, I’m not going to hold my breath. I’m not expecting a work of comedic genius here but there is a way to do crude comedy and Bulletstorm’s weak attempt is certainly not it.

Bulletstorm is a fantastic game, one that is sadly marred by a terrible, juvenile and ultimately moronic sense of humour. I hope its poor sales are in light of this rather than a lack of interest in its stellar score chasing gameplay. I guess we’ll find out when the Duke makes his return later this year.

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  • Evaaaaaaan

    I actually really enjoyed the dialogue and it’s complete unseriousness. I’m completely fed up with modern war shooters, though. Most of them revel in vapid mediocrity, and the only one I can stand is Battlefield. It’s nice to see a deviation from these bland dime-a-dozen games, and I embrace more, because the truth is I just haven’t enjoyed very many first person shooters lately. I can’t believe some people scorn Bulletstorm, but then wait in anticipation for the next Call of Duty, a series that hasn’t changed anything since its fourth iteration…

  • Liam

    No, I’m all for comedy and do agree that fps’ are generally too generic and bland. I liked bulletstorm’s game play and it’s visuals. I do think it needed a sense if humour to work with the mechanics and as a way to distinguish itself, I just think the attempt was poor and crass. I’m all for the comedy as long as they get decent writers in.

  • Irra_Jahad

    I can see your point but you could argue that the vast majority of games coming out now take themselves far too seriously and refuse to laugh at themselves anymore. Take Bulletstorm for what it is and now what you want it to be…

  • I’m all for comedy in games…….i just like it to be funny is all.

  • Bilvers

    I think the point of this comedy is to be over the top, and they did it brilliantly, the script was perfectly written as well. It’s a mock of most first person shooters out there today. When put in the position of some of the characters of COD or BFBC2 you wouldn’t actually say half of what they say, you would say 110% more swear words and wouldn’t be able to finish a sentence, which bulletstorm writers noticed and you can tell by the script, “I will kill your dicks!” kind of gives this away a bit. I myself am fed up with serious games these days, and to get any real comedy you need to buy games like crash bandicoot because no other game companies tread into comedy, with exception to rockstar (which is why them and epic dominate my games collection). Other companies do try for a bit of comedy, but they just can’t cut it like they did with bulletstorm, the most unserious, misunderstandable, farfetched game ever! I love it..