The United States of America in the 1920s; an era of mobsters, the prohibition and zombies. Wait, what? Whilst it may re-write history in its undead filled tale, Guns, Gore & Canolli certainly has a lot of fun doing so. Whilst originally appearing on Steam back in April this year, console owners will finally get to experience developer Crazy Monkey Studios’ Godfather/Night Of The Living Dead hybrid 2D shooter. They’re in for a treat too.
Guns, Gore & Canolli pits you in the role of Vinnie Cannoli; your stereotypical hot-headed mob enforcer. He is tasked by his also stereotypical mob boss (so much so that he bears an uncanny resemblance to Vito Corleone) to recover somebody from Thugtown; a job made all the more difficult due to an untimely invasion by zombies.
Despite the premise of the game being a somewhat run of the mill affair, there are quite a few twists and turns throughout the story that offer a lot of depth to a game whose genre is typically devoid of vast story details. Sure, the story can be somewhat predictable but it’ll keep you entertained. The cutscenes between levels develop the story plenty too – they also look pretty good which is another plus.
Whilst we’re talking about things that look good, the graphic design of the game is absolutely fantastic. The hand-drawn visuals look amazing with levels that are packed full of detail and characters that are both creative in design as well as beautifully animated. Devastation hasn’t looked this good in a long time. There are plenty of visual details such as blood splattering all over the screen that really give the game extra ounces of character too; they’re minor touches but add so much to the game.
Whilst the levels of the game are visually attractive, they’re also fun to play through. The game takes place on a 2D plane with multitudes of levels to venture through; you start on a docked ship but you’ll also find yourself heading through a strip club, sewers and along rooftops among many more environments. However, whilst there are plenty of levels to play through the only differences you’ll notice are cosmetic; the level dynamics never seem to vary up too much. It’s always just a case of heading from point A to B and blasting your enemies to pieces along the way.
That’s not to say gameplay isn’t fun though. Whilst initially equipped with a basic handgun, you eventually unlock weapons starting with a simple shotgun all the way to a missile launcher; you can be as destructive as possible whilst taking down your foes, both those that are alive and dead.
That’s right – it’s not just zombie you battle but a host of foes that still have their humanity too. These consist of rival mobsters and soldiers; both equipped with weapons and a real threat to your life. They’re also clearly equipped with the brains that the zombies so desire; they’ll pick shots carefully and hide behind cover to evade yours. They also come with some use; they’ll take down zombies too. There’s a three-way war going on here.
Zombies come in plenty of varieties – whilst you have your typical, slow zombies you also come across a wider variety that include those who emit a poisonous gas along with charging zombies that wouldn’t look out of place in the NFL.
Such a variety of foes would suggest you need to be careful when playing; that certainly is the case with Guns, Gore & Canolli. It’s a tricky game and if you’re not careful you can find your self inundated with enemies. Enemies are quick to fill the screen and equally as quick to kill you; you won’t be able to just rush through each level but will instead have to take your time and have a little bit of strategy.
Whilst I’m full of praise for Guns, Gore & Canolli, it does have a few flaws that hold it back – the most obvious being the lack of variety. With all levels playing out the same way things can start to get a little repetitive. The game isn’t too long though, clocking in at between two to three hours, meaning it’s repetitive nature doesn’t cause it to outstay its welcome. Another gripe, albeit minor, is the clumsiness of the weapon switching system; an easier way to quickly switch between weapons would’ve been appreciated as opposed to having to cycle through each of your weapons.
Moving back to praise, the game features some fantastic Godfather-esque music, along with great voice acting. The multiplayer modes are enjoyable too; you have local co-op through the main story along with a local death match mode. Death matches are surprisingly fun – with a plethora of maps and weapons, along with the option to face bots, the battles you have are often action packed and very enjoyable.
There are plenty of zombie themed games out right now, but none that blend in with 1920s mobsters quite as well as Guns, Gore & Canolli does. The visuals are outstanding and enemies are a treat to blast away – even if levels do start to feel a little repetitive over time. You’ll have a great time, be it alone or with friends, and even when you’re finished with the story mode death matches are a surprisingly enjoyable addition. You’d be as brain-dead as the zombies in the game not to give Guns, Gore & Canolli a try; a game that has minor flaws but otherwise offers a great, little experience.
– Fantastic visuals
– A wide variety of foes to take down
– Great sound design
– Enjoyable multiplayer options
– Level design gets a little repetitive
Format Reviewed: Xbox One