Bulletstorm VR – The Review

February 25, 2024 ·

For some, the name Bulletstorm alone will bring memories of shooting whatever you can in a bombastic single-player experience where you go in, take out whatever may be in your way, and enjoy the conversations that go along with it without thinking twice about it. The kind of fun where you can even join online with some friends while everyone enjoys the action. But does developer, Incuvo, bring the VR action with this port? Let’s find out with Bulletstorm VR for PlayStation VR2.

Bulletstorm VR is a brutal first-person shooter that puts you in the butt-kicking boots of the hotheaded space mercenary Grayson Hunt, who gets stranded in the hostile world of Stygia, where he has to confront the ex-commander who betrayed him. Get the hands-on creative carnage experience with classic, fast-paced gunplay and devastating melee combos powered by fully redesigned controls for Virtual Reality.

So before you go in shooting at whatever you can, there are a few things that you should be aware of. First, make sure you have your favorite spot. The action is going to get crazy at times, so you might as well be prepared. Second, make sure you have your Sense controllers charged. You don’t want to be in all the action only to not stand a chance all because you forgot to charge them now, do you? Third, I am not going to spoil anything for anyone. And finally, just try and have some fun. With all that said, let’s continue…

Now, before you even get into the action, you will want to go into settings and change a few things. Decide if you are going to play seated or standing, decide if your movement and rotation types are going to be smooth or snap, your slide and reload type, and your Leash Aim Method. Don’t worry if you need to change a setting later on as you have the option to do so.

When you first start the game, it appears as though you are leading a very interesting interrogation meeting. Besides what is going on, this allows you to look at the smudge marks on the glass and your weapon, which I have to say, seems to be fine-looking and would seem to do some incredible damage this close to the person and the bottle that is on their head, which you would think by the amount of moving that they are doing that the bottle would fall. Not being impressed with the amount of bounty on your head, it’s time to move on with the tutorial on how to use your weapons, move, crouch, slide, and kick. But it doesn’t take long for you to get in some of the action.

One of the things for those who have played the original and now to with this version are the different ways of reloading and playstyle. You can manually reload which will add to your gameplay when things get chaotic or the ability to simply press a button and reload automatically which is all fun except when you reloaded way too much and are shooting and wasting ammo. This is not recommended for any weapon, but sometimes you just need to show the enemies that you did not come empty-handed, but they don’t care and attack you anyway. But you are Grayson “Gray” Hunt, you don’t care if they don’t care, because soon they won’t have anything to care about.

New to the VR version of Bulletstorm VR is the ability to play as Trishka Novak where you can dual-wield your Energy Blades, and yes, getting up close with enemies and using the blades feels pretty good, well, maybe the level where you need to run and wave your arms, but hey, at least you have Energy Blades while doing it.

Another thing that carries over from the original is the cut scenes. However, for me, watching these just seemed off while playing the game in VR. Luckily, there is a Stereoscopic mode that allows watching the cut scenes as if it were looking at a 3DS. I didn’t experience any choppiness while selecting this mode and almost wish all VR games that have cut scenes to have this option as watching them in their 2D format almost breaks the immersion.

One of my favorite weapons in the game is the sniper. There is just something about being able to hold it up near your eye, fire it, and then direct the bullet. It came in handy so many times. But along with trying to gather more ammo along the way, be on the lookout for pods as you can buy new ammo and max out the weapons. But don’t forget about the Energy Leash on your hand. Being able to grab enemies from a distance and make them hit objects or just bring them close as they are getting shot by their companions is pretty satisfying in VR.

Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. Yes, this is a port of a game from 13 years ago, but what the developer was able to do is great in its own right. Sure the resolution may not be something that was made for 2024, but still being able to play a game that many are fond of in VR, takes what you see and gives us the action that doesn’t stop. Did I go along at a slower pace at parts to just admire everything that I could before being shot at? Yes, I did. Was there lighting where it should have been to give the environment some depth and life? Yes, it did. But did I have fun playing? Yes, I did.

From the sound, being able to hear alarms go off as they should to jamming doors, to even the voice acting even if parts are over the top at times, using language, had me laughing at parts. Explosions sounded loud and overall had some bass with them that sounded clear either from a distance or up close. It was just fun to listen to when everything was going on all at once.

There are some things I would love to see. First, the online co-op is missing from the regular version of the game. I think if this can be added with cross-platform support, along with the ongoing patches the developer is making, this game would see even more players. Second, a visual upgrade. Yes, again, this is a port, but it would be interesting to see what the developer could do to improve the visuals while still keeping or maybe increasing the action. Third, using the headset’s features. With the PlayStation VR2, you can hear the explosions but also feel them in your hands. It would be interesting to feel the headset rumble when being shot in the head or something falling near you or seeing some type of Mixed Reality on the Quest 3. And finally, a sound upgrade. When you are playing in VR, you want to be immersed both visually and with the sound. We want to hear that 3D Spatial audio

Bulletstorm VR brings over the action while trying to keep the original through new eyes. Many can have a great time playing if given the chance, especially after the recent patches. It shows that the developer is listening which is always a good thing. It may not be perfect in every way, but neither is a lot of things. It just depends on how you see it. In life, we expect perfection for a certain amount of things, but many of us don’t give that same expectation back. And maybe we shouldn’t try to be perfect ourselves, but just simply improve on the best versions of ourselves.

Bulletstorm VR is out now for PlayStation VR2 on the PlayStation Store and is also available for the Quest 2, 3, & Pro on the Meta Store, and Steam VR. A review code was provided.

To learn more about Incuvo, please visit their site, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, follow them on Instagram, and subscribe to their YouTube channel.

In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I am going to go on my second playthrough.

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