How Bulletstorm Killed My Enthusiasm….for a little bit.

It has been a light weekend of games for me so far. Last weekend was a different matter though.

I took Bulletstorm home and finished the campaign over the weekend. I had a blast playing through it, with each level presenting new context to tear the crap out of my enemies and destroy them in a variety of colourful ways. The only negative point I had about the game, is that it was extremely buggy. On three different occasions I had to restart a level because I’d broken the script triggers, or an AI got stuck somewhere that I couldn’t kill it to proceed.

When you have so much fun with a game though, you can overlook such things, it’s only when the game isn’t that fun, that you really focus in on the annoyances of the title. So, consider yourself overlooked BS.


Bulletstorm felt like a good, high-budget summer blockbuster. Easy on the eyes, lots of big wow “moments” and, I could turn my brain off and just run with it. Just straight up fun, and I love it because of that reason. After I finished the game though, I went into a attention span coma. Everything I tried to play after it, felt too taxing or mundane.

I bought Torchlight on XBLA, I’d been looking forward to it for sometime. I love Diablo II, it’s one of the only PC games I’ve ever finished. I even went on to finish it a second time, and almost a third before I gave it up for other games that were stockpiling. I also like Torchlight’s art-style; chunky, hard edges, colourful and lush but, after only 20mins of playing it, it just felt like too much work. The game, right from the start was throwing stats and numbers at me via the inventory…it felt like a hassle. So I stopped and twitched through other titles I’d barely played.

Super Meat Boy! the game everyone was gushing over was still sat there, barely played. I love it’s 8-bit/retro feel, but it soon became tedious, almost infuriating. I still couldn’t get off the same damned level I’d returned to.

“EXIT GAME” selected!

I pulled Majin out again, and I only managed 20-30mins of that before it felt like a drag, and I thought I was being forgiving with that too. It was like Bulletstorm’s adrenaline laden rollecoaster ride had sucked the excitement out of these other titles, because it had presented so much of it on a gilded plate: a big pile of easy to access, mindless fun serving up a veritable banquet of action .

Damn you BS!

I did plan to play Killzone 3 this weekend, to get myself back in the saddle again, but I forgot it in my drawer at work, so it’s not exactly going as planned 😦

Talking of work, it’s been a great week at Vigil. Darksiders 2 has took nice strides visually, technically and gameplay-wise. When the whole team is focused on a goal, it’s incredibly surprising on how things come together, and it never gets old seeing the game progress like it did. I really think Ds1 fans will love what we’re doing with the second one.

Last week also brought us a few more new design candidates, so my week was also peppered with interviews with combat, encounter and system designers. It’s always interesting to hear how other designers tackle tasks and design issues. How they breakdown games, what they notice, what they don’t, and most importantly, how much they play and love them.

We interviewed at least 1 future-vigil employee this week, who I think will be a great fit for the team and, push it just a little further in the right direction.

Anyways, getting tired and I’m rambling. So I’m going to sign off.



About Haydn Dalton

Creative Lead 30 Years Developing Games

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