I’ve played through the original Bulletstorm campaign more times than I can remember. I adored the game’s absurd humor, explosive action and superb visuals, even if there wasn’t much replay value beyond the campaign. During my last venture on the PC version, I became frustrated with the infamous Games for Windows errors and remember begging for a potential remaster that nixes Microsoft’s cursed DRM service.
Well, here we are only a few years later, and Gearbox is bringing us a refined upgrade to one of 2011’s most frantic shooters. Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is a fantastic upgrade that brims with nifty cosmetic improvements and explosive action, but considering the game’s age and lack of substantial content, the sixty dollar price tag may be a tough pill to swallow for those who’ve already played through the original.
Developer People Can Fly has taken a relatively straightforward approach when it comes to the Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition upgrade. There are notable improvements to lighting, textures, models and shading, but aside from added eye candy, this is precisely the same game we’ve seen back in 2011. Sure, there’s a new Duke Nukem DLC that lets you play the entire campaign as Duke, but it’s pretty disappointing and it actually worsens the experience. There’s also a new Overkill Campaign Mode that let’s you play through the story with no weapon and skill restrictions, but it doesn’t really feel like a substantial addition, nor does it add that much replay value. Overall, most of the additions are things you’d typically find on modding forums, and not something you’d expect from a AAA team.
Since I’ve played Bulletstorm on the PC in 1440p at 60fps back in 2011, the remaster doesn’t make the best first impression. In fact, I had to open the old release side-by-side just to see what changed, and even though the differences are obvious when comparing the two next to each other, it’s definitely not up to par with what Bluepoint Games did with the Nathan Drake Collection or Gravity Rush Remastered. Then again, very few remakes compare to Bluepoint's masterful recreations.
There are also no Playstation 4 Pro features, nor is there HDR support, which is shocking considering that Bulletstorm has always been praised for its vibrant visuals. Furthermore, the frame rate can’t keep up with some of the frantic action scenes, and the resulting fps drops and screen tearing are particularly jarring when your life is hanging on a thread.
Thankfully, the gameplay remains genuinely unique, and Bulletstorm still holds its own in 2017.If you missed the original release, you’re in for a real treat. Despite my general disappointment with the lack of improvements, Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is unquestionably the best way to enjoy this chaotic and colorful adventure.
Conclusion: This is a tough one….
As a big fan of the original, I am disappointed by how little this “remaster” improves upon the 2011 release, and the full price is a giant middle finger to customers. On the other hand, Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is easily the best version of the game, and newcomers aren’t likely to be bothered by most of my complaints. But a line has to be drawn somewhere, and I feel that Gearbox has made an astronomic mistake by slapping a full sticker price on a six year old game. Don’t get me wrong, Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is a damn good time! I would give it an 8/10 in a heartbeat if it retailed for around thirty bucks, but as it stands, it’s hard to recommend when the original release can be found for around three dollars on most online stores.