Bulletstorm and its developer are now independent and I’m so happy I could kill my dick


One of the most overlooked developers and games of the last half-decade have gone independent. Let us count the ways we’re wishing for a new Bulletstorm from People Can Fly!

2011 was one of the most stacked years when it came to Game of the Year candidates; the likes of Portal 2, Arkham City, Skyrim, Dark Souls, Dead Space 2, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword can stand amongst the greatest games of the last generation. Yet if you asked me (Dave) what my favorite game of that year was I’d say Bulletstorm, without hesitation. It’s what I said during my job interview at Official Xbox Magazine in mid-2011, and that opinion remained throughout the rest of the year. Unfortunately, it was a sentiment that the public at large did not seem to share, as the unique first-person shooter failed to sell well enough to warrant a sequel in the four-and-a-half years since release.

Putting Bulletstorm out at all was a bit of a risk for the publisher (EA), the developer (People Can Fly), and the developer’s owner (Epic). An unproven IP doing new things (adding Tony Hawk-like tricks to standard FPS gunplay while forgoing competitive multiplayer) needs a heck of a push to get noticed by the public, and Bulletstorm never really got much of the spotlight due to the deluge of top-tier 2011 games. More than any other underperformer this decade, Bulletstorm’s lack of success has saddened me the most; as a guy who tends to cling to one gun during FPS campaigns, Bulletstorm’s “Skillshot” list highlighting special moves unique to each weapon — like bouncing a cannonball a certain amount of times before contact or using chained bolas to attach an enemy to a part of the environment — encouraged me to change things up.

And then there’s the campaign itself. It’s plenty profane, which rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. I have a high tolerance for swearing, but it got to be a bit much even for me, but you know what? I’d rather have a shooter rub me the wrong way on occasion due to showing too much personality than slog through another bog-standard military FPS campaign where everybody spouts orders with nary a joke to be heard. Anyone who played Bulletstorm will never forget the “I’ll kill your dick” exchange; can you say the same about whatever happened in the Call of Duty single-player campaign that year?

After Bullestorm failed to connect with the gaming public, developer People Can Fly worked on Gears of War: Judgment, and that never felt right to me. A developer who made a unique shooter with an out-there story working on a shooter series that has its gameplay and narrative style set in stone? Since then, PCF has aided Epic in the development of Fortnite, again toiling on work mandated by others.

However, now that People Can Fly has announced its departure from Epic, renewed independence (info via GameSpot), and ownership of Bulletstorm, I’m hopeful that PCF can return to its forte of creating insane shooters with equally crazy dialogue. Even if another Bulletstorm isn’t in the clouds, I’m hopeful there’s something just as weird on the horizon.

19 thoughts on “Bulletstorm and its developer are now independent and I’m so happy I could kill my dick

  1. I loved BulletStorm it is in my top 5 favorite games of all time. I would love to play something like that again on next gen. Maybe they could team up with Bethesda and use whatever engine Doom is running on.

  2. I adored Bulletstorm. Never had an issue with the jokes/language. I recall it having some wonderfully creative cursing. Maybe we can get a smaller digital-only sequel/expansion.

  3. Another one for the Bulletstorm circle-jerk party here. One of very few games I’ve ever managed to ‘single-session’ right out of the shrinkwrap, I was having that much fun with it. It wasn’t big, it wasn’t clever (although the ‘points’ hook was inspired), it was just unashamedly fun – something bigger-budget games don’t do as often these days.

    Shame the Steam Sale’s just finished, could probably do with replaying it on PC.

    1. That’s a sticky situation with the PC. It runs on GFWL and from the looks of it, it isn’t going to get patched to run without it. I tried playing last year and it was a nightmare. That GFWL was a blight on PC gaming.

      Buyer beware.

  4. Oh my fucking god, such fantastic news! Bulletstorm was probably my favorite shooter of last gen. I think the people who hated it just didn’t understand how clever that damn game was. Sure it had “melon farmer” language but if anything, it was parodying the FPS genre. I think it was Dave Houghton who gave it a ten and said something along the lines of it being the first real evolution of FPS’s in years. Couldn’t have agreed more. I’ve been waiting patiently for a sequel but if a kickstarter is announced, it can have all of my money.

    Great article Dave!

  5. This is the first time in a while I’m reminded that I’m not alone in loving Bulletstorm. I felt awful vulturing it’s position in stores waiting for its inevitable drop to ~$10, but at the same time I was eventually able to buy an entire stack of a dozen or so copies to hand out to various friends so they could know the glory that is killing dicks. Weirdly enough, that wasn’t the only game I did that exact thing with in 2011, the others having been EDF: Insect Armageddon and Shadows of the Damned. What a year.

  6. I’m looking forward to the next People Can Fly game, and maybe it could be the sequel to Bulletstorm. Bulletstorm was a whole lot of fun, and the filthy language was just its crazy, over-the-top personality that made Bulletstorm’s dialogue so memorable. Who can forget Waggleton P. Tallylicker?

    Like Platinum Games, Sunset Overdrive, and Saints Row, Bulletstorm was just plain fun. My favorite games are the one that focus on being fun instead of focusing on hitting certain AAA requirement.

    Also, the repetitive complaint made by certain gamers was unwarranted because all it means is you are playing it wrong. The game encouraged creativity and I think certain gamers just chose to not be creative.

    Sorry for any typos, typing this on my phone.

  7. Bulletstorm was awesome. It will always be one of those games that baffled me as to why it wasn’t a bigger hit. If there was any flaw with the game, I’d say it was the (lack of) multiplayer. Such a missed opportunity with all of the cool weapons and colorful environments.

  8. I have this and think it will be the next game I play, started a couple years ago and enjoyed it but it fell by the wayside for some reason. Loved the ridiculous dialogue throughout can’t wait to see the rest of the idiocy.

  9. I’ve really wanted a Bulletstorm sequel for years now. It’s one of those games that just dumb fun that works. It was my shooter of the year for 2011 and would have been my game of the year if Portal 2 had not come out that same year.

    1. Nordic holds the Painkiller IP, and seem more than content with making increasingly horrible remakes with it. That being said, I’d love to see what People Can Fly would do with the license. It’s a series that deserves something more bombastic and constant than Flying Wild Hog has done with Shadow Warrior and Hard Reset, and PCF would bring enough of old and new shooter styles together. Damn it, you’ve gotten me excited for a game that’ll never happen. I’m going to replay Blood to make up for this.

      1. lol, sorry, I loved the original Painkiller games. Hopefully PCF will do something in the same vain as the original Painkiller.

  10. Excellent news, I’m still shocked that Bulletstorm didn’t do better.

    Now, if only the same could happen to Raven “Singularity” Software…

    1. I loved Singularity so much, Raven is a real solid developer too. Wolverine, Singularity, Marvell UA and the Jedi Knight games. It’s a shame they’ve been delegated to working on COD.

  11. This is incredible! I absolutely adore Bulletstorm. I loved every minute of the campaign, actually thought the characters were well developed, and even played the multiplayer enough to reach the max level of 65 (which I only even remember because of how much fun it was). I would be amazed and thrilled if this got the sequel it deserves.

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