BulletStorm’s Cliff Bleszinski Explains Co-Op Anarchy Mode, Favorite Kill Combo

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“Kill with skill” sums up BulletStorm’s M.O. admirably. But now that the ultra-violent PS3 shooter is nearing its February 22nd release date, long-awaited details are finally coming to light.

Details including the game’s multiplayer mode, which has remained shrouded in mystery since the game’s unveiling. While BulletStorm won’t include Versus, it will feature a separate four-player Anarchy mode designed for co-op play. While Anarchy may draw instant comparisons to the co-op modes found in other online shooters, Epic Games Design Director Cliff Bleszinski pointed out that Anarchy is “not like a Nazi Zombies where you just have to survive.” Watch the video above to learn more about Anarchy’s unique score-based progression system, CliffyB’s all-time favorite kill combo in BulletStorm, why BulletStorm on the PS3 will “very much take advantage of what the PS3 is capable of,” and why he’s a fan of Blu-ray’s storage capabilities.

BulletStorm for PS3: Anarchy

Based on my hands-on time with BulletStorm, the game is a radically different beast than the current crop of realistic military shooters. Though you can aim down the sights a la Call of Duty, this isn’t a game where cautious ninja sniping will get you far. Instead, BulletStorm takes a page out of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater handbook by challenging you to create the most punishing, destructive combo of attacks possible. When it comes to launching a kill combo, your yo-yo-like Energy Leash and powerful kick set up your target for a series of devastating follow-up attacks that can clean out a room like Hercules washing out the Augean Stables.

That’s not to say that traditional FPS tactics won’t be useful in BulletStorm. Though I didn’t encounter any sniper rifle-type weapons in my hands-on time with BulletStorm, Bleszinski noted that not all of BulletStorm’s weapons have yet been revealed. While Bleszinski hinted that long-range weapons may make the cut, he stated that if they did, “they would have to have a unique twist” to match what he called “some of the most unique weapons of any first-person shooter on the market.”

While Bleszinski’s enthusiasm for BulletStorm is infectious, we found time to discuss a host of topics, including his recent podcast with BioShock Infinite director Ken Levine and his recent comments regarding Heavy Rain. Read up on the rest of our talk below.

BulletStorm for PS3: Anarchy BulletStorm for PS3: Anarchy

Q: One of our readers had a question: “We want a BulletStorm beta!” Actually, that’s not a question…
A: We haven’t announced anything about a beta with BulletStorm. I don’t know where we’re going to go with that. I have a feeling you may get hands-on with BulletStorm at some point, potentially without buying it. You’ll have to wait and see.

Q: On that note, you’ve spoken before about your philosophy on betas. So what’s your beef with betas?
A: Well, there’s a difference between a beta and a demo. You have to be careful. Sometimes certain gamers might play the beta and then feel like they’ve had enough. Lately, I’ve come to realize there’s a lot of value in doing a beta, especially with online multiplayer. Gamers get to feel like VIPs, they can suss out issues and contribute to make a more solid product, and you get a little hype bubble before the game hits. So I’m more of a fan of betas now than I ever have been.

Q: One PlayStation.Blog reader wanted to know what kind of environment variety we’ll see in BulletStorm. Are you going to mix up the visual variety later in the game?
A: Without spoiling too much, certain sections might take place in outer space. And the planet is a big place and the city you are in is huge — there are all sorts of different locations that you go. It’s definitely not all desert or all city. We’ll have tons of variety and tons of different textures.

Q: There was an old PlayStation game by Shiny Entertainment called Wild 9 that, from what I remember, had some similarities to BulletStorm. Was Wild 9 a gameplay inspiration?
A: I don’t know if it was deliberate. That game encouraged you to keep your enemies alive as long as possible — like a cat playing with a mouse. BulletStorm is very much like that! In most shooters, it’s all about killing enemies quickly and moving onto the next room. But in BulletStorm, you see a bunch of enemies and say, “Ooh! I’m going to farm you for 5000 points and farm you for 4000 points and then we’re going to buy a bunch of cool stuff.”

Q: You and Ken Levine have been talking! What do you think of BioShock Infinite so far?
A: I think BioShock Infinite is amazing and I want to have its children. I’m a big fan of Ken Levine, I have a lot of respect for him. He’s incredibly intelligent, far more intelligent than I am. I was up in Boston recently and swung by to do a podcast with Ken. That’s something I’d like to see more: to see a lot of the creative types in the industry get together and shoot the breeze.

Q: You’ve recently gone on the record with some suggestions concerning Heavy Rain. Would you like an opportunity to clarify them?
A: I think Heavy Rain is an amazing game. As a gamer I wasn’t sure I was going to get into it, but then I started playing and I loved it. It’s one of my favorite games that came out this year. I think there may have been a bit of a missed opportunity to appeal to a female audience. It’s essentially an interactive crime thriller. And if I know anything about women, it’s that they love two things: true crime and queso dip.

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