Bullet Run PC Review

Bullet Run is one of the latest in the line of "Free to Play" games that are emerging on these here interwebs. Developed by Acony Games and published by Sony Online Entertainment, the game sets you in the near future where killing each other has become the main spectator sport in the history of sports entertainment.

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Having developed "Synth" technology which essentially saves your DNA and dumps it into a body to become "you" once you've been shot in the face, the whole organisation behind Bullet Run is televising all these brutal games of killing each other, while providing crappy commentary on the action as it happens. In theory it sounds like it could be a decent game however the reality of it is that it falls in the realms of the average and mundane.

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Starting out you get to select what your character will look like in-game and immediately we see the complete lack of choices available which can mean only one thing, all customisation has been taken away and locked within the vault of micro-transactions. So aside from selecting gender, one of a handful of haircuts and one of three skin tones you're buggered if you wanted something more unique. Additionally if you want more character slots then tough titties as most of these are locked out too, requiring you to purchase them.

Once you've settled on your clone of pretty much everyone else we move to the weapons. To begin you're given a humble MP5, Beretta 92F, Grenade and Knife as starting equipment; while these are adequate to defend yourself, don't expect to go on rampaging kill streaks or headshotting someone across the map with your guns as they simply don't cut it compared to what else is on offer.

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That being said, there isn't a great deal of weaponry available in the game as browsing the store you see four or five weapons in each category and they all require a certain rank before you may unlock them which can take a long time if you're looking towards some of the heavier rifles and automatics in the game.

We gathered a distinct air of 'pay to win' in the game, by this we mean you gain a distinct advantage if you throw some of your own hard earned cash at the store. Example, the game actually has a subscription method which gives you automatic clearance to all weapons and customisation in the game without needing the required rank, alongside gaining 25% more credits from matches than the F2P players will gain. Furthermore you can purchase starter kits giving you a pretty substantial weapon to play around with straight away.

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F2P users will have to grind a hell of a lot of games and rank to get even anywhere near the kind of weaponry you can buy for around $10/£8/10€. This deems the game, in our eyes, totally against what the free to play model should be; yes have micro transactions in the game but when those transactions start dipping into the realms of granting players distinct physical advantages in game then you're on a path of alienating your playerbase.

If we alter our view slightly to another game in the free to play market, Blacklight Retribution then we see a similar model, players can pay to get the gear they want without having to work for it; however the way Zombie combat the pay to win scenario is allowing all players to rent the better weaponry using the in game currency players earn from matches. You can literally play two matches in BLR and have enough GP to rent an extremely potent weapon for 24 hours.

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Moving back to Bullet Run, F2P players get shafted, they can't even rent the better weapons at all, it's either pony up the cash or bend over and take it until you're at the rank needed for the gear. Oh and what's even worse is that your weaponry has a durability level so you'll be hemorrhaging credits while playing in order to keep your gear repaired. Seriously, durability on weapons? Who the f**k thought that would be a great idea, F2P players get a raw deal as it is, never mind having to worry about durability on gear too. It seems that the game is tailored at every opportunity to make you open your wallet in order to get the best from this game, let me show you what you get for the subscription fee of $14.99 a month.

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  • Platinum Taunts
    • Increase your Fame and Heat with exclusive Taunts.
  • 25% credit boost
    • Your in-game currency is Credits. When you're a Platinum Member, you will earn credits 25% faster than non-members.
  • 10% Group Wide credit boost
    • When you're grouped with other players, everyone in the group will receive a 10% credit boost. Since you already get a 25% credit boost as a member, this means you get a 35% boost when grouped.
  • 10% discount on all marketplace items
    • You'll want them, and now you get'em cheaper.
  • Reduced loss on weapons condition
    • Throughout the game your weapons will be damaged/deteriorate and require repair. As a Member your weapons will need repairing less often.
  • Reduced Style loss
    • Style gives you a boost to your rewards at the end of each match. If you are not a member, Style will go down over time. But as a Platinum Member your Style will never be reduced.
  • Platinum indicator
    • Everyone can see that you are a Premium Member because you will have an indicator on your avatar. Because of the group credit boost, your games will be more popular with other players.
  • No level requirements for marketplace offers
    • Some items in the marketplace require you to have a certain Fame Rank in-game. As a Platinum Member, you can purchase anything regardless of Fame Rank.

 

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Anyway enough ranting about the transaction system and how you get shafted if you go free to play, I really should get onto the actual game.

So we have two game modes in this title, Team Deathmatch and Dominion. TDM is pretty self explanatory, two teams battle it out over 20 minutes in one of the five or so maps available, highest score at the end of the timer wins. This will take place in a number of varied maps, from a disused dusty trailer park with open wide spaces and an underground sewer tunnel system to a more enclosed corridor system of an oil-rig. While the variety is nice, the lack of maps to play on can quickly become tiresome.

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What also becomes tiresome is the supposed match commentary which really does nothing but irritate you due to the commentary being sporadic and next to useless. Nothing that comes from the mouths of the commentators can be deemed as useful information, coupled with the lack of script for them to read you quickly have repeats of the same line over and over again, especially if you die lots. "Do you think he saw that one coming?" YES, YES I DID NOW F**k OFF!

Next up we have Dominion, why it's called Dominion I have no idea as it's more like a capture and control game mode than something that indicates domination. In this mode one team has to defend areas that spawn a capture point while the other team attempts to attack and take control. Once they're successful they can't recapture that point for a minute. Once ten minutes has elapsed, the teams swap roles. In reality the majority of players just continue to play as if it were TDM.

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Overall the gameplay is pretty mundane and run of the mill, nothing really helps it stand out in the crowd of FPS titles. Visually it's not really that impressive either, barely making use of what the Unreal Engine can push out, it seems they've gone for the route of making sure as many PC's can play this game as possible which is admirable, at least you don't need a bleeding edge gaming rig to play this game.

At the end of the day, there are a lot worse free to play games on the market than Bullet Run but then there are a lot better too. While the majority of this review is disagreeing with their MTX model the actual game itself can provide some fun so give it a try, it's free so you really have nothing to lose bar your time while it downloads. Personally I feel if they had provided a store more similar to Blacklight Retribution where the F2P players could rent items then it would have been a more enjoyable game.

Pros: 
  • It's Free
Cons: 
  • Annoying commentators
  • Distinct air of pay to win
  • Free to play users get shafted

Playability:

7 out of 10

Replayability:

6 out of 10

Graphics:

7 out of 10

Sound:

6 out of 10

Overall:

6.5 out of 10
Wedgeh | 6th August, 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wedgeh View Post
Platinum indicator
Total waste of money; Platinum does a perfectly good job of indicating his presence as it is
Kaostic's picture
I had a play around on this. It was average.
This review is very outdated! Many of the issues that have been pointed out here have been fixed. It would appear to me that this review was done on the beta of the game and not the full release which needs to be stated in the review or the review is a fail. You can now rent weapons with money earned in game, there is a variety of weapons available with more being added regularly, lots of ways to customize the look of your character, the weapon durability no longer exist, they have also added a new Search & Destroy mode to the game. This is one of my favorite games and I do not pay a subscription and have not put any money into the game and I consistently rank in the top 3 on the leader board during a match. Over time Acony has been evolving Bullet Run and improving the game dramatically. Just like any of the F2P games out there they very seldom start out being the most awesome game you have ever played, but over time they morph into something much better than where they started. I have gotten many enjoyable hours out of this game and expect to get many more in the future.
Angelfromabove's picture
But if the changes were made after the review went out then what is the reviewer meant to do? Come back and change the review with every content patch? It was reviewed based on what was offered at release, the same as any reviewer would do.


I may have been playing a game of 'let's see how many times I can get the word 'review' in one paragraph'
Wedgeh's picture
Sorry but your comments are irrelevant, I reviewed this when the game was in full live status and when it became available on steam, if you've read this now after the changes have been made then you sir are the fail. I cannot be held responsible if changes have been made AFTER the time of writing when all of what I stated held true.

Also topping leaderboards, why is that at all relevant to your argument? Fair play you like the game but waving the e-peen here isn't going to impress anyone when we've seen, hosted and even competed in a multitude of pro gaming events including the CPL. It makes your achievement look mundane and pedestrian.

End of the day, you don't agree with my views and I don't agree with yours.
Must resist urge to find WoW reviews and tell the authors that they are outdated...
Ewok's picture
Sgt Blood

You are very right that in many F2P titles, and even in many premium MMOs, the product receives substantial attention after launch and many changes are made.

Of course, we can only give fair criticism of any game based on what it is at the time we play it - and I can confirm that this is a review of the retail release. I'm not aware of any site or publication that consistently revisits reviews based on updates to the game.

However, your comments on the changing nature of F2P games and how this affects reviews are an interesting one and open to debate.
Ewok's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelfromabove View Post
I may have been playing a game of 'let's see how many times I can get the word 'review' in one paragraph'

Well, if you were I have no hesitation in declaring you the winner!

Yay Angel!
Angelfromabove's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ewok View Post
Well, if you were I have no hesitation in declaring you the winner!

Yay Angel!
Woohoo!!

I never win anything!
My, my touchy folks, I guess free speech isn't what it used to be. My comments about being able to rank in games wasn't an attempt at patting myself on the back, but was in response to the comments made that you must be a paying player in order to compete, which any intelligent, thinking person would have been able to comprehend by the context of the statement "I do not pay a subscription and have not put any money into the game and I consistently rank in the top 3 on the leader board during a match."

My comments are relevant as they identify improvements that have been made to the game allowing anyone who has not played the game to have an accurate idea of the current state of the game. Isn't the purpose of the comments section for people to comment about the game or is their purpose to bash those who choose to comment?

Thank you Ewok for being interested in intelligent discussion and debate.
Ewok's picture
I believe Wedgeh interpreted your comment as an attack on his review. To be fair, reading between the lines you did suggest he may have reviewed based on a beta without admitting it. I can see why he went on the defensive as that is something we would never do.

Still, I'd rather get past that and focus on the issues raised. The changing nature of online titles was something that was very much on my mind when I reviewed The Secret World back in July. I enjoyed the game very much and gave it a decent rating, but saw a lot of potential beyond the initial release and given Funcom's commitment to releasing monthly episodic content I knew the game would be a very different beast a few months down the line. Of course you can't review a game based on it's future potential, you can only rate what's been put in front of you.

I suppose there is probably a market for doing a contemporary look at online MMO games to highlight the choice between them as they are in the here and now, I know I'd be interested in something like that. UNfortunately though it would be a massive and expensive undertaking - which is probably why no site I know of has done one.
Well maybe I will have to look into launching a site that does do contemporary reviews of online MMO games. I have my own hosting and the ability to start up a website along these lines. I believe it is something that would make the reviewing of such titles much more pertinent to the gaming community that wants a current and accurate opinion of such titles.

If anyone would be interested in joining such a venture please let me know.
Wedgeh's picture
I think i'll leave it at this.

Bump of a bump

Do we have to update the review for this as well?

Quote:
After much review and consideration, Acony Games and Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) have mutually made the decision to discontinue development on the free-to-play FPS game, Bullet Run. As a result, SOE and Acony will sunset the game and end all game services for Bullet Run on March 8, 2013. We would like to thank the players for their dedication and support of the game.
https://www.bulletrunthegame.com/new...=022013&id=108

I would think removing the review would be a better choice than updating it at this point. I have to say your community here is quite lame. I have felt quite welcome here by your members especially the Super Moderators they just make you feel right at home. Thank you Ewok for not being a dick like everyone else here. You should find a better community to hang out with these guys here are jerks.
Rasher's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by SgtBlood View Post
I would think removing the review would be a better choice than updating it at this point. I have to say your community here is quite lame. I have felt quite welcome here by your members especially the Super Moderators they just make you feel right at home. Thank you Ewok for not being a dick like everyone else here. You should find a better community to hang out with these guys here are jerks.
Cronos's picture
Le sigh.
Kaostic's picture
I played this game for a bit actually. It wasn't very good.
Ewok's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaostic View Post
I had a play around on this. It was average.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaostic View Post
I played this game for a bit actually. It wasn't very good.

.........
Kaostic's picture
Yes, both mean the same.

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