A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Bulletstorm is an extremely violent video game featuring gratuitous amounts of carnage. The core gameplay mechanic of this first-person shooter is a "skillshot" system that challenges players to be creative in his or her kills. For example, you can use your whip to pull an enemy toward you, kick him up into the air, and finish him off with a headshot. Bonus points are awarded for these moves. Enemies can also be beheaded, impaled, or blown to chunky bits. Blood spews everywhere. The game is also laced with very strong profanity, sexual references, alcohol consumption, and supports open communication in online play. Without question, this game is not for players under 17 years of age or those faint of heart.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
If the name BULLETSTORM doesn't give it away, this is an extremely violent, futuristic shooter. It tells of a space pirate, Grayson Hunt, and his cyborg sidekick, Ishi Sato, who crash-land on the planet Stygia. Problem is, this once-peaceful vacation spot in the galaxy is now overrun by mutated criminals, flesh-eating plants, and larger-than-life boss characters. While trying to escape and exact revenge on their previous boss, the protagonists have to battle their way through hordes of enemies and navigate through dangerous environments. Played from a first-person perspective, the action is fast, gory, and over-the-top in presentation and gameplay.
Is it any good?
Bulletstorm can be fun, but only for those who enjoy violent and irreverent first-person shooters (think Duke Nukem and Serious Sam). At the heart of the action is a "skillshot" system that rewards players for performing kills in a creative function. By stringing your moves together -- kicking, shooting, whipping, sliding, and running -- you can create unique skillshots for bonus points. You can even pause the game to see which skillshots you've performed and which ones haven't been attempted yet. Along with the single-player campaign, the game has online modes and downloadable content. While not likely to win any "Best of the Year" game awards, this shooter will appeal to those looking for exaggerated action with gory visuals.
Online interaction: The game is playable online for all three versions of the game: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. Up to four players can play at the same time over the Internet in a number of multiplayer modes. A headset microphone is supported, which means players can talk to each other while fighting online. That means players may be exposed to foul language and inappropriate topics of conversation, and that they can share personal information.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether players are desensitized to violence after playing these kinds of games. Do violent games breed violent behavior in real life? Can they make someone crave violence after the game is turned off? Could it possibly act as a safe way for mature players to de-stress and blow off steam?
Families can also discuss the game's carefree use of sexual insults and profanity. How do you react to this sort of language? Could the game have been as edgy or extreme without it?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
- Price: $59.99
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Electronic Arts
- Release date: February 22, 2011
- Genre: First-Person Shooter
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol
- Last updated: August 30, 2016
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.