Cliffy B Explains Why Bulletstorm Has No Campaign Co-op, Competitive Multiplayer

It often seems like folks who develop games adhere to a template for designing games; shooters must have competitive multiplayer, JRPGs have to be 70 hours long, etc. And while one could cite many, many examples that support that line of thought, there are plenty of other examples that decry it. Today, we have one of the latter examples.

Bulletstorm has no competitive multiplayer, as we know. The Telegraph asked Cliffy B why that is. His answer is amazing.

We empower the player through the verbiage and the weapons so much that if you were in multiplayer on the receiving end of that, it would be the most agonizing, unpleasant experience. It is a solvable problem, I do believe, but it would basically require building an entirely new game that is in many ways not even Bulletstorm. The flail gun, for example, where you wrap up enemies for up to 6 seconds, which would be an eternity if you’re playing an online first person shooter. People in Gears of War, where we’d have a pause for half a second for an explosion or something, were raging, they wanted to keep moving.

Wait wait wait. You’re telling me Epic and People Can Fly chose not to have competitive multiplayer because the experience would not have jived with the world they were creating? What a novel concept!

Really, that’s amazing, particularly when we’ve just seen a horror game with deathmatch stuck on for no reason. Good work, guys.

There is some multiplayer in Bulletstorm in the form of a co-op campaign. The Telegraph asked why they went that route rather than integrating co-op into the main story.

It was in there at one point and it actually worked, but we found that the game shifted from being this kind of puzzle shooter into essentially this downhill skiing simulator, where people were seeing how fast they could get to the bottom of the mountain. Really the game just broke down, and it was a situation where people would race through the game, ignoring the vistas and they wouldn’t set up as many skillshots.

There it is again; they’re trying to respect their vision for the game by not adding extraneous elements where they don’t fit. I don’t think I’ve talked much s–t about Cliffy B in my time here at GF, but I promise to definitely not do that in the future at least until I forget that I made that promise. Or until I’m egregiously offended by Bulletstorm.

The game is out Tuesday. Look for Ross’ review roundabout that day.

Check out our full Bulletstorm walkthrough!

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6 Comments on Cliffy B Explains Why Bulletstorm Has No Campaign Co-op, Competitive Multiplayer

Phil Hornshaw

On February 18, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Hey, I liked Dead Space 2′s multiplayer.

Phil Owen

On February 18, 2011 at 6:16 pm



On February 18, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Translation: “We did not include competitive multiplayer in this game because it is a gimmicky single-player FPS that gets old quite fast. After a while, skill-shots are just boring and you realize that’s all the game really has to entertain you. Obviously, multiplayer does not fit into this model. We chose not to make another spectacular competitive PC FPS game like Painkiller because we are catering to the casual console gamers. Why? Because that’s where the money is.”

Zzz. If there’s no demo, I might pirate it, play it for 30 minutes, and delete it. No competitive multiplayer? No purchase. Killing AI is boring.

Phil Owen

On February 18, 2011 at 11:20 pm

You’re boring.


On February 20, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I’m no fan of multiplayer, so no big loss. But I do love coop! I wasn’t even going to give this game the time of day before, but it seems like they want to cater to me, so I’m gonna let them :P


On May 2, 2011 at 9:13 pm

@Ryan This is way late, but how about this one: “I play on PC and don’t have any friends because I’m a whiny douche.”