After releasing the original game on the platform at the end of last year, Crazy Monkey Studios have finally brought their gangster-filled follow up Guns, Gore and Cannoli 2 over to the Nintendo Switch. I was a fan of the first game anyway so it’s a title I’ve been looking forward to, but with the sequel the developers have actually made some significant improvements – the most notable being the addition of the incredibly fun online multiplayer.
Guns, Gore and Cannoli 2 puts you back in the shoes of Vinnie, the zombie-killing hero from the first game and a pretty vintage gangster stereotype. After finding himself the victim of an attempted hit by a mysterious mobster known only as the Dark Don, he decides to pursue his new-found enemy – this means heading across Europe into the battlefields of World War II and, of course, facing off against some zombies along the way. They don’t play as big of a role this time around with Nazis and mobsters at the forefront, but it’s good to know that Vinnie hasn’t changed his ways too much.
So the narrative isn’t anything special, but it doesn’t have to be – Guns, Gore and Cannoli 2 is more about the action than telling a gripping tale. Don’t get me wrong, the silliness of the story can be pretty endearing, but in all it’s full of clichés and won’t do anything that’ll blow you away. Fortunately, the run-and-gun shooting of the game more than makes up for it.
Gameplay-wise, you’ll be blasting all different kinds of enemies across fairly sizable levels that send you all over the world. These levels are well-structured too, with them full of different sights to see and even sending you up and down the map as much as they do across it. There are always plenty of different opportunities to sneak across levels a bit or find some hidden little area too, though in honesty you’ll spend most of your time running head on into your unfortunate foes and, of course, blasting them to smithereens.
So yeah, Guns, Gore and Cannoli 2 is pretty brutal, though I think that the ‘gore’ in the title gives that away – you’ll certainly be painting the floor and walls red with the blood of your foes after taking them down with one of the many weapons in the game. One change from the original game is that you have full 360-degree control of your guns in-game, with the player able to rotate the right stick to aim exactly where they need to. It was something that was a bit fiddly and actually took a little bit of getting used to at first thanks to the game’s 2D set up, but fortunately everything fell into place comfortably after a short while with the game.
The guns are all satisfying to use, with a good variety on offer throughout including the usual suspects of pistols, shotguns, machineguns and also some destructive heavy artillery like rocket launchers. They all feel great in-game and compliment the new 360-degree shooting well – there was never a moment in the game where I didn’t enjoy blasting a foe to pieces with them, but maybe that’s just me though. Players who prefer to get up close and personal will be pleased to see there are the likes of chainsaws and baseball bats to beat your foes with too, so you’re never just stuck with firearms.
That being said, Guns, Gore and Cannoli 2 has a surprisingly tactical edge to its level design where using guns is often the most effective way to play the game. There are always plenty of different areas to take cover as well as plenty of different hazards littered around, so thinking carefully and using them both to your advantage can certainly be the difference between life and death. You can weave your way in-between enemy bullets too – some of my favourite moments came when I would jump between incoming enemy fire and then shoot an explosive barrel to take them all out in the process. Enemies always put up a hell of a fight (especially in the boss encounters) but the game’s levels are designed to give players the upper hand too.
One of the big additions to Guns, Gore and Cannoli 2 is online multiplayer, with up to four players able to work together to fight through the game’s campaign. It’s an absolute blast and was certainly my favourite way to play, especially when you’re all working together and co-ordinating your assaults on your foes carefully. The additional characters don’t affect the story in any way with all of the cut scenes still focusing on Vinnie alone, but it just makes it all the more fun having a few extra pairs of hands to help you out. Add to that the destructive nature of the levels in the game (and the fact you can play as Santa), and it makes for a very satisfying formula.
The only real issue I had with it was that thanks to the screen zooming out to fit in multiple players, it could be a little difficult to make your character and the environmental details out. It’s not as big of an issue when playing on the big screen, but I certainly noticed it a bit when playing on the Nintendo Switch’s handheld mode. It’s not a deal breaker, but it’s noticeable.
Visually, the game looks good with its cartoony style working well with both the environments and the enemies that are littered across it. Between the metropolis-like city, the zombie-filled Thugtown and the European battlegrounds you’ll see a heck of a lot of different sights, and in fairness they all look great in-game. There’s almost endless chaos taking place too, which plenty of destruction to be seen as you work through each area – it certainly adds to their personality and makes each level feel like it’s part of a proper little world… albeit one full of gangsters, Nazis and zombies.
It also just so happens to run flawlessly on the Nintendo Switch, both in docked and portable mode. Everything was smooth and I didn’t encounter any technical issues, with the game keeping a constant framerate regardless of all of the hectic action taking place at the time.
Guns, Gore and Cannoli 2 improves upon the formula of the original game with its refined shooting mechanics, whilst the new and utterly chaotic online multiplayer is an absolute blast to play through. Add to that the fact that the destruction and brutality of the original game remains intact (seriously, there’ll be blood everywhere) as well as the solid level design, and it’s easy to see that this is one run-and-gun shooter that’s definitely worth checking out.
Developer: Crazy Monkey Studios, Claeysbrothers
Publisher: Crazy Monkey Studios
Format(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC