We know what guns are, we certainly know what gore is and I’ll admit, I had to do a Google search on what Cannoli was, but all in all just from reading the title alone, one can assume that this game includes violence. This game also includes an overused theme too that I’ve moaned about in my previous reviews: Zombies.
It’s not that I think Zombies aren’t cool; Zombies always bring a universal enemy to any movie or video game and in an interesting way too, but can a developer out there not create a new enemy without bowing down to the formula of, ‘Zombies plus random thematic choice here equals success?’
This is not to say that this game sucks on gaming pleasure like a malnourished zombie would a living and breathing human being – in fact – this game is actually tons of fun, but unlike the effort put into the artwork, creating yet the 666th game with zombies in it makes me realize the Zombie fad is far from over. I would happily carry on this rant for the unfortunate ones willing to carry on reading, but you’re saved from how well this game actually plays.
Gun’s Gore & Cannoli is a side-scrolling shoot ‘em up game designed around traversing levels and collecting a ton of weapons to dispatch your rotting foes. Think Left 4 Dead but 2D. Like L4D, this game shines brightest when played with others as when carnage ensues on screen, your buddies are not only there to help you get through the levels, but there to enjoy the absolute wacky gameplay that is Gun’s Gore & Cannoli.
Multiplayer comes in two formats: deathmatch and co-op. Deathmatch is played similar to how ‘Apotheon’ is played (for those familiar) and puts players against each other on a map with various weapons to see who comes out victorious. Co-op play is what you imagine, but I strongly suggest you experience this four-to-five hour game with friends, as I believe this game was made for just that.
The controls are easy enough to get the hang of. There’s a kick button, a shoot button a swap weapons button and the ‘this grenade is going to cause so much wreckage – everyone stand back’, button. See, the game’s fun comes from the hordes that come at you from the right-hand side of the screen and the challenge is how well you fend these zombies off. Unlike the weapon choices, ammo is scarce so conserving different ammo types for the different types of zombies is vital as there has been significant effort in the development of the different types of enemies and their relative difficulty. For example, your normal bullets may drop a single walking Zombie, but you may need something a little bigger to get rid of that American football Zombie (Plants vs. Zombies eat your leaves out).
I also get faint wafts of nostalgia when playing this game as it reminds me a lot of the whole old school side-scrolling action platforms, such as Ghouls and ghosts, Contra and even Robocop Vs. Terminator in some respects and I say this not just because of the way it looks and feels, but because of its difficulty too.
When playing the game by myself, I was met with frustrating difficulty when on an average setting middle way through the game because at times, you are swamped and the only way to escape is either to kick or jump; I felt annoyed at times when I couldn’t escape as swiftly; I’d have liked but the checkpoints in the game feel reasonably placed to encourage the player for another go. My only gripe about the controls – and believe me, there’s not many at all – is the jump action. To try and make as much sense as possibly, the jumping seems to awkwardly slide in mid-air and at times I plunged straight into a group of zombies, or missed a particular platform I was set to land on.
As solid as the gameplay is, however, I believe that it’s the artwork that takes the high score here. As much as there is indeed gore to satisfy your sadistic needs, there is also a lot to look at as you make your way through a 1920s America. Where the Italian gangster quips from the protagonist fall deaf on my ears from sometimes cheesy and mediocre dialogue, the hand-drawn artwork here bleeds imagination and creativity and is enough to prove to me that the developers here have put time, care and effort into their game.
This game is guaranteed a giggle when played alone and an absolute coffin of laughs when shared with others. Where I personally don’t applaud the story or dialogue much, I do take my trilby off to the solid gameplay and hours spent with this indie gem. Lastly, this game is super cheap for the content you’ll be purchasing. As it stands, in the UK the price is only at £7.99, it’s a must purchase.
Guns, Gore & Cannoli