Bulletstorm is all about stringing together different attacks using a combination of guns, your electrical tether, and even your foot to create combos worth points while slogging your way through a world with a lot of problems. There may be a serious story going on in the background, while you try to fight off mutants and flesh-eaters, but this game is all about over-the-top action and finding out the best way to toss an enemy into the path of your bouncing cannonball.
We've had some hands-on time with Bulletstorm before, but in Tokyo they were showing off a bit more of the game, including a look at a couple of new weapons. We also got to use the in-game upgrade system for the first time, which is actually one of the best parts about the game. Because in a game that's all about stylish kills, you're constantly going to want bigger and better guns to do that with. Either that, or you're going to want to tweak out what you're carrying so much that it warps your brain.
The level we were shown started off with a view of a collapsed building bridging a chasm. Of course, it makes for the perfect way for you to get across, while providing unique level design at the same time since the building is now turned on its side. There are tons of little touches you'll see here that make the environment come to life, like static video-image windows that make it look like you're looking out onto a snowy vista, while the real view looks like hell. In addition, the topsy-turvy level lets you perform some new moves, like double-tapping A to slide. And yes, you can shoot while you slide.
There are also some new weapons to show off, including the Bouncer, which they describe as a "portable cannonball gun." Or in other words, a mini-cannon in your hands. If People Can Fly ever develop a pirate-themed shooter, I sure hope this baby is in it. It also has a charged shot you can purchase that allows you to fire out a cannonball that bounces steadily between the floor and the ceiling. Not only that, but you can toss enemies into the path of that bouncing ball of metal, and you can also interact with the ball by leashing it or kicking it. Yes, rifles and shotguns are cool ... but a cannon? Awesome.
We also saw the "Drop Shops" that appear from time to time. These are jukebox-shaped devices that allow you to access an upgrade system once you leash to them, which lets you purchase new weapons, and upgrade existing ones. For instance, when you first get the Bouncer, you can't perform the follow-the-bouncing-cannoball shot. You have to earn enough points via skillshots to purchase that charged shot upgrade. Thankfully, they're quick and easy to use, and are placed often enough so that you aren't going a long time without any weapon tweak.
They also highlighted several environmental kills in this environment, using the leash to pull down debris on top of enemies, or even activating an elevator that blasts down a shaft and kills multiple enemies, netting you a huge skillshot bonus. There's a chaingun perfectly positioned in front of this very same shaft, but it's honestly more fun (and more rewarding) to use the elevator. Environmental kills are more rare than skillshot opportunities, and you'll see a portion of your surroundings glowing blue, indicating that you can interact with it in ways that are fatal to your foes.
Near the end of our demo, a hulking Cannoneer appears wielding his very own Bouncer, and you have to use all of your tricks to take him down. Especially as you find out that the business end of a Bouncer is really a bad place to be. I'm more eager than ever to learn more about the story portion of Bulletstorm, especially since they censored ten minutes of our demo due to revealed plot points. But honestly, the kick-shoot-leash gunplay has me so interested that you could just be collecting Cosmic Gummi Bears for all I care. Bulletstorm looks to be very twisted fun.