There seems to be a constant stream of zombie games hitting the market these days. Each one seeming to get that little bit more realistic and that little bit more terrifying. But sometimes it’s just nice if something breaks the mold and tries to do something, if not entirely original, then at least a little bit different.
Guns, Gore & Cannoli is certainly different. It’s also got more than a hint of nostalgia to it. Playing it made me feel like I was a kid again, putting endless twenty pence pieces into the slot of an arcade machine. A beautiful cartoony 2D side scrolling platformer, Guns, Gore & Cannoli see’s you mowing down hordes of zombies, mobsters and even soldiers with a whole array of different weapons.
Playing as a prohibition era enforcer going by the name of Vinnie Connoli the game sees you going to Thugtown, a town that has been overrun by it’s own citizens that are obsessed with eating the other residents of the town. All this comes about after St. Patrick’s day,when the towns residents drink a skinful of contaminated grog that turns them into zombies. You are tasked with getting Frankie The Fly out of town no matter what the cost and you never fail your boss. He’s the mafia, and with the mafia it doesn’t do to fail.
This game is filled with stereotypes, from the accents to the characters themselves and this is part of what makes the game so much fun. That and killing zombies with a variety of weapons that span from the classic to the absurd. There’s a standard pistol with unlimited ammo, a double barreled shotgun (always a classic) all the way up to a flame thrower and rocket launcher. There is a time and a place for each weapon and in the later levels it becomes important to use the right weapon at the right time. Cycling through the weapons couldn’t be easier, although it can take a lot of practice to get to the right weapon at the right time without taking your eyes away from the action.
The enemies are as varied as the weapons. There are run of the mill zombies, vampires, soldiers and even leprechauns that float around on balloons (yes, you did read that right). The enemies also attack in different ways and have varying resistance to weapons. Some can be killed with a simple head shot while others will still run around with no head, spewing poisonous gas at you as they go. There are variations on classic enemy types as well. There are chargers thrown into the mix, some easier to kill than others. The angry housewife isn’t to hard but the American footballers can be a bit trickier.
The difficulty of the game isn’t too bad at first but quickly ramps up and sees you been rushed by multiple zombies at once. This can lead to a little confusion when they all explode at once when shot at close range with a rocket, spraying blood and guts everywhere. The boss fights are interesting but can get a little frustrating at times as more enemies keep coming in as you try to inch down the bosses health bar.
There are little touches in the game that add to the amusement level. Health packets are wrapped up as cannoli and there are quite a few little pop culture references. There will also be times that you get pinned up against a wall or obstacle with no ammo in the clip but this isn’t a problem as mobster Vinnie is a master at multitasking and can kick enemies away while reloading, all while giving some witty little quip.
Stereotyped twenties music plays in the background adding to the tone of the game and although this music doesn’t really change much it seems to add a little something to the atmosphere and pressure of the game. The repetitive dialogue can get a little irritating but this is only a minor thing and it is more amusing than annoying for the most part.
Having different levels of platforms in the game adds more depth to it and can also give you a false sense of security as well. Jumping on a higher platform won’t save you from the zombies and most of the ones that you pass will eventually find a way to catch up with you which can cause severe problems down the line. Several times I found myself facing zombies on two fronts because I thought I was been clever by jumping passed them.
Crazy Monkey studios have created a classic game here that looks amazing with its artistic style and plays well with it’s simplicity of nature. Considering the budget that this game was made on, it would give a lot of much bigger titles a run for their money. This is the type of game that you can walk away from quite easily but then find yourself going back to without realizing what you are doing. It becomes very challenging at points but there are lots of checkpoints along the way so when you die you’re not set back to far.
The game can be enjoyed by up to four players on the same console so the madness can be quadrupled as four of you charge around blasting all manner of weapons at all manner of zombies. There is also a versus mode that I didn’t get to try so I don’t know what this will entail. I can imagine though that if the rest of the game is anything to go by it will be filled with fun as well as lots of guns, gore and, you guessed it, cannoli.
Overall this is an amazing game and well worth the £7.99 that it costs in the Xbox Store.
This is a great side-scrolling platformer that is a welcome and fun addition to the zombie genre. Well worth picking up if you like uncomplicated, gore filled zombie killing fun, by yourself or with friends.