Gunnheim is a fast-paced action top-down co-op shooter that will have you on the edge of your seat while you’re playing it. It is rather hard with no choosable difficulty levels. You play a viking; with a gun! Here is why should wait to buy it.
In an attempt to sell you an unfinished game the undeniably very talented team of SIEIDI Ltd. – the games indie development company – gives you this in their product description: “… the equation is simple: vikings + guns = mayhem!” Well, ok, this might be true, but if you don’t really add anything else but vikings and guns, all you really have is an unfinished game.
If this was a pre-release review, holy smokes would I rave about this game. It just works. The soundtrack rocks and adds to the viking feeling (it’s common knowledge that vikings listened to metal right), the low-poly graphics are nicely done and you have no problem figuring out what’s what (except for the occasional “Oh, well I guess that was an abyss then.”) The rendering works smoothly and is easy on your machine thanks to an insanely low polycount, even though there are some weapons in this game who really require some huge “blow-shit-up” and “tons-of-damage” effects. Everything is looking great. You know, except for the fact that it’s just not a game you can charge ten Euros for (yet).
The gameplay is hard though. Even though there are not a lot of buttons to remember, it needs quite a bit of getting used to, so expect some desperation when you are freshly starting out. After about 20 minutes of gameplay though, you get the hang of it (and you also learn to distinguish meadows from abysses).
Let’s take a look at the story. The problem is: The is none. I have no idea why those little hedgehog-like creatures and their friends are mad at me. In fact, I’m only shooting at them because they are attacking me. For all I know, this might all just be a huge misunderstanding and they think I took the last Freddo, which would be awkward because I didn’t. Paul did.
It really is huge missed opportunity to leave out a story mode, espescially since the premise “vikings with guns” and the splendid character design are prime setups for a story. I mean, come on guys, even Speedrunners has a story mode and that’s just some weirdos racing each other.
No story mode, I’ll get over it eventually, so I guess this game is all about co-op then. Really, that’s the only way you can play this game. You can open a local or online lobby or connect with a friend via direct IP. Since I don’t have any friends who own the game I guess I’ll have to join an online lobby then. Which is a problem, because I can’t. There is point in the main menu that says “open local or online lobby”, but what it does is: It opens a local lobby, that’s it.
When you’re buying this game, what you really get is a good co-op experience, that you really can only play alone. You get some beautifully designed characters that can smoothly steer through the killing fields and spectacularly blow stuff up with, although the motivation behind it stays a mystery.
Frankly I’m a bit baffled about why you would release a game in this stage of development as a “full release”. If you like the top-down shooter genre, here is my recommendation for you: Follow this game on Steam and check for updates they might release, then get the undeniable indie-king of the genre: Running With Rifles.
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