Zadzooks: Bulletstorm and Killzone 3 reviews

Bulletstorm shocks, Killzone 3 dazzles

Cyborg Ishi Sato, Trishka Novak and Grayson Hunt survive in the bloody Bulletstorm: Epic Edition.Cyborg Ishi Sato, Trishka Novak and Grayson Hunt survive in the bloody Bulletstorm: Epic Edition.
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 Here’s a look at a pair of video games, with intense stories far better than any recent action movies, for the very mature player in the family.

Bulletstorm: Epic Edition (Electronic Arts, reviewed for Xbox 360, $59.99)  The first-person shooter genre has evolved — as well as devolved — thanks to an adventure tapping into a gamer’s love of sophomoric profanity while celebrating the highest levels of gratuitous violence.

I have to admit, after playing the gooey Dead Space 2, I was not sure how much more depraved game developers could get.

Leave it up to the combined might of People Can Fly (Painkiller) and Epic Games (Gears of War) to deliver a virtual sci-fi B-movie with all the subtlety of a human vivisection.

Through a gutter-humor-filled story crafted by comic book creator Rick Remender (read his work in the wonderful Fear Agent series to fully understand his pop-art sense of humor), players will find themselves in control of an alcohol-guzzling misogynist named Grayson Hunt.

The mighty Grayson was once part of the Dead Echo elite assault squad for the Confederation of Colonies, and now he and some of his mates are stranded on a colorful resort planet overrun with gangs of Mad Max villain rejects.

The player must work alongside some of his old and new friends (including cyborg Ishi Sato or foul-mouthed female Trishka Novak) to survive and eventually confront his former boss, Gen. Victor Sarrano.

In this Wild West land of creative death, it is simply not enough to shoot and kill a screaming bad guy. Players can orchestrate enemies’ demise through movements as simple as a kick to the head, a slide into their legs or a laser whip to hook and yank them into the air where they can be carved up in slow motion using various weapons and environmental obstacles.

For example, a carefully aimed shot to a foe’s throat turns into a blood-gushing Monty Python skit, or a kick to an enemy’s torso might launch him into the voracious lips of a massive man-eating plant.

Sound too tame? How about using a radio-controlled, exploding bullet to sink into an enemy and move him around to other foes before triggering the explosion.

Still not impressed? Purchase a charge shot and fire away to immediately transform a lively thug into a glowing skeleton. Or pull out the Flail gun. This beauty uses two grenades tethered by a chain to wrap around and blow up an unlucky fellow.

Pulling off any of these feats is tied to a creative kill system called skillshots. There are more than 100 types to complete, with informative names such as Grenade Gag, Minced Meat and Head Slicer. Each leads to an accumulation of point rewards that can be spent to further upgrade weapons and buy ammo.

What easily could have become an exercise in bloody executions the Punisher would admire also becomes more and more clever as the game progresses.

Take an early chapter that finds Grayson in a downsized town where he battles among miniature skyscrapers to stop enemies. That’s cool, but soon he uses a radio controller to maneuver the full-size resident monster of that town, (a mechanical beast that looks like a Rancor) to further slaughter enemies using its massive girth and laser beams.

Although giggling and groaning through the single-player campaign, much like watching a “Jackass” movie, might satisfy most, players also can take part in multiplayer proceedings. The most memorable is Anarchy.

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