Swimmin’ with the dead fishes.
There are a lot of games released on both consoles’ download services every week. Most come and go without much fanfare, but every now and then one comes along that really sticks out. For me that is Guns, Gore, and Cannoli. At first glance it looked like any other side-scrolling action title, but the sharp visuals and addictive progression turned it into an obsession over its brief campaign. The idea of pitting mobsters against zombies is certainly a refreshing idea, and developer Claeys Brothers Arts has nailed the look and feel perfectly.
At the core, this is a left-to-right shooter that focuses on big guns and lots of enemies. It gets tough fast, but the generous checkpoints keep it from getting overly punishing. Playing solo only compounds the difficulty; this is definitely a game that was designed with local co-op in mind. Sadly, there is no online, in either the main game or the versus mode. I died…a lot, but I was always right back in the action.
Platforms: XB1, PC
Price I’d Pay: $9.99
There are plenty of weapons to toy around with. Each one delivers a different satisfying way to dispose of zombies, rats, soldiers, and even other mobsters. The shotguns deliver and the flamethrower is divine. It did take me some time to perfect my grenade and molotov cocktail throwing though.
The campaign isn’t overly long, but it is challenging. The variety in the levels keeps it fresh though. I found myself working through sewers, streets, and of course a strip club. The mindless shooting is broken up by boss battles that are puzzles in their own right.
The visual style is also fantastic. Characters animate in such a way that they are impossible to take seriously, but also impossible not to love. The environments have a colorful cartoon look to them, and the enemy variety is fantastic, except for the football players. I despise these concoctions. The voice acting is cheesy as it should be and the music is a mixture of familiar tunes. One of the boss battles had me humming along for a while before I realized the familiar tune. Good stuff.
While my words are mostly positive, players should know what they are jumping into with Guns, Gore, and Cannoli. This is a hard, repetitive game. With two or more players, it is a blast, but without online it becomes much harder to find local friends to play with. The versus mode is also cool, but again lacking online functionality. It feels like Smash Bros. with guns tossed into the mix. It’s fun, but more of a diversion than anything.
Guns, Gore, and Cannoli is a great, if not short romp. The art style pops and the game play is smooth. Just be aware that it can get frustrating attempting to fly solo. Outside of that I definitely recommend checking it out. It knows what it is from the first level and never tries to be anything else.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.