Or “Why Wolfenstein – The New Order is better than Bulletstorm in making players do things a bit differently (Except, maybe, driving a dinosaur into combat)”.
What’s the deal with that headline?
One of the tag lines for the 2011 Bulletstorm was “Kill with Skill”. It was a core mechanic of the game. It’s something that garnered a lot of praise for the game. And it was one of the things that annoyed me the most about it.
No, I meant, what the hell does it mean?
Oh. In Bulletstorm, you get points for killing fashionably. When you shoot a guy in the face, that’s a couple of points. If you pull him towards you, kick him back, blast him in half with the shotgun and then shoot the pieces with the rocket launcher. That’s a heck of a lot of points. And these points are your currency in the game.
Ok… What’s the problem with that? It sounds cool.
It sounds cool. And that’s about where it ends. In Bulletstorm, ammo and health drops are scarce. You get most of your boosts from some sort of recharge station you find all around and they only accept those points. Otherwise, you can’t get ammo. And that’s annoying.
So, what’s the big problem? Just kill the stuff the way the game says.
It gets tedious. Extremely tedious, extremely fast. You know how when everything is special, nothing is? Well, when every kill needs to be fancy, then no kill is. And some times I don’t want to pull, push, shred and blast someone, I just want a clean bullet in the head.
Ok. I can grok that. So how does Wolfenstein do it better?
The New Order has a perk system. It works by rewarding you for your preferred playstyle. And you can play however you like and get bonuses for that. And you can mix and match and get all the bonuses or not. So, let’s say you like to go stealthy? No problem, perform X amount of thrown knives kills to get an extra knife slot. You like to go guns blazing? Sure, get Y kills in 10 seconds with a hand held turret for more battery on all laser weapons. You like making things ‘splode? Get enemies to drop grenades and die from it for extra grenade slots. And so on. You can do these things for minor “Perks” but you don’t really have to. They don’t hamper the game if you don’t. So they become interesting tidbits you can seek out for pleasure or for a little extra edge, but you don’t feel bad or, especially, crippled if you don’t.
I can see where you’re going with this.
Yes. I did one complete playthrough and unlocked about two thirds of the perks. Then I did another with a bonus mode so no perks but I could have gotten up to about three quarters. Just for the fun of it. Killing commanders with grenades is just plain hilarious. Getting enemies to drop their grenades and kill themselves is too much work. So I did what ever I wanted and nothing more. And it was great to get a speed boost for stealthy movement or an armor bonus every dual wield kill but it was nothing world changing. Much better than Bulletstorm’s “Do it like that, or else…”
I’m just a disembodied voice in your head. You can make me say whatever you want.
Yay. So, I win!
By the way, what’s the deal with the dinosaur?
Bulletstorm lacks on mechanics and gameplay but the story is great, the acting matches, the music is awesome and at one point you get a remote controlled dinosaur. So it might be worth your trouble, anyway.