Bulletstorm’s art direction and game engine both deliver very attractive visuals with gobs of graphics fidelity for those with hardware that can handle it. As it turns out, the real-world graphics card requirement is fairly low: a Radeon HD 5570 or GeForce GT 430 can handle medium settings, while a GeForce GTX 550 Ti or Radeon HD 5770 can handle maximum detail plus 4x AA at 1080p.
The CPU results are far more surprising, since it’s rare to find a game engine that takes multithreading very seriously. A triple-core Phenom II at 2.5 GHz is the minimum to get the most out of this game, while a quad-core chip can squeeze by at 2 GHz.
We thank MSI for supplying the graphics hardware for this article. The company’s proprietary Twin Frozr II and Cyclone coolers impressed us with great thermal and acoustic performance.
Almost as impressive is the company's sponsored freeware overclocking utility, MSI Afterburner. This software continues to serve as a staple for us due to its flexibility, and we applaud MSI for getting behind a tool that can be used with graphics cards from any vendor. This is the kind of open-minded innovation that makes everyone’s life easier. Of course, the company adds value for those buying its hardware by giving Afterburner the power to alter voltages on specific models.
To summarize, this newest representation of Unreal's latest engine continues to provide excellent visuals without requiring high-end graphics hardware, although it does utilize multiple CPU cores. As for the game, Bulletstorm is a goofy, sometimes hilarious, gruesome romp of mindless first-person shooter action. Like the Jackass movies, it can be a lot of fun, but you might be embarrassed to admit you enjoy it.