With the exception of General Serano, who remains a twisted, racist, chauvinist throughout, the characters - Grayson, Ishi and foul-mouthed female Trishka - all emotionally develop as the game wears on. Sure, it can feel forced and little melodramatic at times, but it's a welcome change from the single note "hooah" tone of most other shooters.
Bulletstorm boasts a trio of core gameplay differentiators: a leash and kick mechanic, Skillshots and creative weaponry. Each is symbiotically linked, and they form a simple but unique combat experience that encourages experimentation. Just don't expect your mum to be too keen.
The environments double up as elaborate combat arenas, constructed by People Can Fly's top sadists. Useful props range from the common explosive barrel and wall spikes to more unorthodox murder tools such as electrical storms, giant fans, elevators and hungry sentient plant life - and if utilised correctly, they're almost universally satisfying.
Skillshots reward your combination of Grayson's abilities, environments and weapons to kill with creativity, and are all given hopelessly immature names. Bash someone into a cactus and they get 'Pricked'. Kill someone while drunk and you'll be rewarded for being 'Intoxicated'. A bullet to the throat is called a 'Gag Shot' while hitting multiple enemies with a flail shot explosion is a 'Gangbang'.
Okay, so the gross-out gags come thick and fast, and unless you're actually Stifler, we can't attest that the mirth they cause is sustained. They are non-stop and will test your patience, but we found that once the giggles run dry, you soon come to accept them as mere monikers, and they don't grate or interrupt the action perhaps as much as you'd expect.
Combined with a range of OTT weaponry and mini-bosses of all shapes, sizes and weaknesses, Skillshots makes it difficult for you to get bored of Bulletstorm's combat. Your arsenal eventually includes a faithful Carbine that can liquefy enemies, a Boneduster with four shotgun barrels and the Flailgun, which fires two explosives grenades connected by a chain that wraps around enemy limbs to gory effect.
Even the genre staples within your armoury are given a twist, through a neat 'charged shot' meter, which adds to the deceptive amount of tactical thinking you'll have to do. A clever, dumb game, this one.
Though the Skillshots do bring much grisly joy, their potential is not fully realised in the driving single-player campaign, where there is often little pause for breath as you are ushered forward versus a constant barrage of enemies.
Luckily, the game's multiplayer suite picks up the slack, offering a pleasing amount of variety which, once again, harks back to time when racking up kills was a frantic, rather than calculated pursuit.
Our favourite modes include 'Echo', which isolates key moments of the single-player campaign, strips them of their narrative and lets the player compete for the highest score on each level, and 'Anarchy'. This is Bulletstorm's equivalent of Horde, but instead of surviving waves of foes, up to four players must use Skillshots and environmental kills to cooperatively reach a point goal.
Although both of these modes provide potentially unlimited hours of gameplay, we admit that we found ourselves yearning for the boring old straight up Deathmatch modes, where we would have loved to dish out some of the game's more heinous Skillshots on friends online. For shame.
Happily, Bulletstorm's fondness for absurdity stretches to some ridiculous campaign set-pieces, steeped in its typically immature humour. While the usual modern day gaming set-pieces such as the Hekaton - a mammoth city destroying alien creature that could go toe-to-toe with Resistance 2's Leviathan or God of War 3's Titans - certainly don't fail to inspire awe, it's the comparably less epic but bizarre situations that are Bulletstorm's most memorable.