Attack of the Fanboy

Bulletstorm: No Team Deathmatch,Traditional Online Modes

by William Schwartz


One thing you’ll notice when you fire up Bulletstorm’s single player experience is the lack of more traditional online game modes.  Cliff Bleszinski explains why a less traditional approach was taken with Bulletstorm, and the game is better because of it.  In a recent interview with The Telegraph, Bleszinksi explains in more detail the specific reasons that Bulletstorm has taken a party cooperative approach to multiplayer.

Telegraph: What was the reasoning behind not putting in traditional multiplayer modes like team deathmatch and so on?

Bleszinski: It’s a fair question, and I guess it’s one of those situations where you have to look at what it would take to build a traditional team deathmatch in this game. We empower the player through the verbiage and the weapons so much that if you were in multiplayer on the receiving end of that, it would be the most agonising, unpleasant experience. It is a solvable problem, I do believe, but it would basically require building an entirely new game that is in many ways not even Bulletstorm. The flail gun, for example, where you wrap up enemies for up to 6 seconds, which would be an eternity if you’re playing an online first person shooter. People in Gears of War, where we’d have a pause for half a second for an explosion or something, were raging, they wanted to keep moving. It could be something that could happen, but in this day and age, with the Wild Wild West nature of Xbox Live or PSN, where for every friend made there’s someone insulting you, I’m a fan of co-op. I like the idea of four players teaming up, cracking open some beers and having a good time together.

It was also noted in the interview that the campaign experience in Bulletstorm is limited to a single player.  The developer also explains why co-op play needed to be cut from the game to improve the overall experience.

Telegraph: So why is there no campaign co-op?

Bleszinski: First off, it was in there at one point and it actually worked, but we found that the game shifted from being this kind of puzzle shooter into essentially this downhill skiing simulator, where people were seeing how fast they could get to the bottom of the mountain. Really the game just broke down, and it was a situation where people would race through the game, ignoring the vistas and they wouldn’t set up as many skillshots. So when we made the decision to go straight campaign, it gave us the chance to put in one-offs that could only be controlled by one player, like the giant robotic dinosaur, where you don’t have to worry about Player 2, or slow motion one-offs that could only occur in a single player game.

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