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Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

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All hail.

Bulletstorm is a game about shooting other people in the nuts and being rewarded for it. It's a game about kicking people into sparking control panels and watching as their limbs twitch and their eyeballs melt.

It's also about flattening people behind large chunks of metal you've just booted right across the room, and about how a single man can yank a helicopter out of the sky all by himself with his crazy electrical whip. Believe.

Bulletstorm is a shower of nutty weapons and a squirming bundle of single-entendres. It's a frat-boy piñata loaded with sex toys and cheap fireworks.

In other words, Bulletstorm is serious about being stupid. That's why its central Skillshot mechanic, which sees you earning points by killing people in the most imaginative manner possible, is so sweetly appealing.

You can get a good sense of just how serious the game is by playing through a few of the challenge modes. These are a range of sugary side offerings which shake the game's scrapheap landscape free of what little narrative consequence it might have possessed in the campaign – alien planets, mercs, betrayal. They let you revel in a world of pure score attack pleasure as you unleash murder at its most inventive.

EA's only revealing two such modes at the moment. Of these, Echo is probably the most straightforward. Actually, to be honest, it's entirely straightforward, breaking the single-player content up into little shards of score-maximising madness.

Your task is to barrel through the chaos with one eye on your points meter and another on the clock. Decisions, decisions: boot someone off a cliff for the Vertigo Skillshot or smack them with a reinforced door for the Pancake move?

The environment is often as important as the enemies in Bulletstorm. Echo emerges as a smart balancing act as you attempt to maximise the number of Skillshots achieved while keeping your completion time as low as possible.

Are you the kind of person who can't check into Hot Pursuit's Autolog without making sure you're right at the top of the leaderboard on all your events? Then you might want to say farewell to your family and friends and have one last, ritualistic Hoover of the entire house before you fire this one up.

Anarchy mode is a punkish twist on Horde, seeing up to four players take on wave after wave of nasty AI enemies. The Bulletstorm Difference (I'm trademarking this phrase) is that the game won't bring on the next round of baddies until you've finished off the last ones with sufficient style. It ensures you do that by giving you a meaty score target to match each time.