Difficulty Mill - Bulletstorm

Polish developer People Can Fly has made numerous video games that are slavishly devoted to shooting things in quick succession. Much like Doom, Quake and PCF’s own Painkiller, Bulletstorm rewards its player for skilfully dispatching adversaries in a timely fashion. Bulletstorm makes this tried and true formula a little more interesting with Skill Shots, a series of violent challenges the player is tasked to complete in exchange for points. Simply shooting an enemy to death gains the player 10 points, for instance, while kicking him in the face and then shooting him in the crotch until he dies, for instance, spews forth a reward five times fatter. Once enough of these points have been accrued the player can reinvest them into ammunition replenishment, new weapons and upgrades. As each of the game’s seven weapons has a special fire mode - that usually deals more damage by orders of magnitude - Bulletstorm equips its players handsomely, making tackling the Skill Shots system very enjoyable.

As with most shooters of the modern day, the campaign takes between six and ten hours to complete, leaving you with an average play time of around eight hours. HowLongToBeat.com has an ‘average’ play through pegged at seven and a half, though to argue with that figure would be splitting hairs. As always, we’ll be looking at how difficulty settings affect enjoyment, completion time, self respect levels, repetition tolerance and visual fidelity. 

Robbing Peter to pay Paul or How Remember Me undermines its story to be a video game

This writing contains 'bare spoilerz' of the story of the video game Remember Me.

I barely feel the need to write about Remember Me because Darius Kazemi has already done it here, albeit without ever mentioning the game once. At its heart, Dontnod Entertainment’s depressing Neo-Parisian future-revolution simulation poses a very interesting question. How would humanity fare if memories could be digitised, edited and shared? Would a utopian society free from pain and suffering, or at least all evidence of them, be created, leading to unending peace and prosperity for all? Of course not, we’re postulating on the dangers of invasive technology here. What I did expect from RM’s admittedly solid premise was a moderately thoughtful exercise in examining the human condition, something akin to Binary Domain with a lighter touch, perhaps. What I ended up with was a video game that wants to make it crystal clear that it is a video game, often at the expense of its narrative and the world created to house it all.