Guns, Gore & Cannoli was released back in April on PC from Crazy Monkey Studios. It’s now playable on Xbox One and PS4, and is a decent little game that has surprised me. You take on the role of Wise guy Vinnie Cannoli, who is a member of a mob, and your task is to capture a goodfella who has disappeared. It sounds fairly straight forward, but there’s a twist! The city has become overrun with zombies. You must battle through hordes of Zombies, rival gangsters and the army to find out what has happened.
The game is an over-the-top, comical, fast-paced side-scrolling action shooting platformer set in the Roaring Twenties that requires skilled movement and thought. The appearance seems simple enough and at first the gameplay feels very simplistic, but I slowly realised it requires more thought and precision that I expected. There are well designed levels and decent platforming mechanics in place, you’ll need to ensure that Vinnie is jumping and ducking in and out of trouble as he makes his way through the game. You’re able to use a variety of weapons that you pick up during the game, these include pistols, machine guns, shotguns and even Molotov’s. The enemies are varied and mainly consist of flesh-eating zombies. Some crawl, run and there’s even zombies in American football kit that charge at you. The key is experimenting with weapons to see what is most effective against certain enemy types. There are twelve levels to make your way through and the difficulty quickly ramps up with more enemies.
You have a health bar that can be replenished by eating Cannoli that is placed in certain areas of each level. These significantly help you out but there fairly rare so it takes patience and good timing when taking out the enemy. There are also checkpoints throughout the levels in the form of bus stops which helps a lot. Ammo in the game is plentiful, so don’t worry about being a gun nut a blasting your way through the bad guys. The only problem is that switching to the weapon you want becomes harder as your inventory increases in size. You have to flick through your guns, which can leave you fumbling around when zombies are attacking.
There’s also multiplayer mode, which is nice to see and is great fun to play alongside someone. Guns, Gore & Cannoli brings that little extra with a versus mode which is a 4 player no holds barred Deathmatch covering similar levels that were within the story mode, this mode can be played with 3 other friends or with 3 AI characters One thing I also really liked about the game were the jokes and one liners that made me laugh a few times during my playthrough. Guns, Gore & Cannoli also tests your skills with a few major boss battles. They’re challenging, too, but careful observation and using powerful weapons will aid you well and help you take out the enemy.
The style of the game is awesome. It looks like a comic book and its nicely animated. The style reminded me of a game I played a while back called Valiant Hearts, which is also a fantastic game. The zombies are well drawn and excellently animated, mixing that cartoon, comic style with the gore of the undead. The game has a 1920’s style soundtrack that works really well with the tone of the game. There’s great sound effects from cars exploding, bullets whizzing and blood splattering.
Overall Guns, Gore & Cannoli was a nice surprise once I got into it. I could certainly feel similarities to Metal Slug and other side scrolling shooters. The setting is interesting, art direction and soundtrack is unique and suits the game well. It’s nice to have a wide variety of weapons and throwables, and you can even kick enemies away to bide you time, but it would a been nice to have melee weapons at your disposal. The game isn’t hugely long, but it doesn’t need to be. Its compact, exciting and even funny at times. It’s fun, despite being repetitive, and features a lot of tongue-in-cheek humour that keeps things lively. I would certainly recommend this game and its worth playing if you want to blast your way through hordes of zombies in a unique setting with fluid animations, a wide variety of weapons and tasty Cannoli.
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