The 1920’s. A time when mobsters ruled town, weapons were rife and the gangster way of life was the only thing many people knew. In fact, it was such a way of life that a strange undead army stumbled into view without anyone really paying any attention!
Bringing you guns, plenty of gore and Vinnie Cannoli, a wise cracking, hard edged gangster, Guns, Gore & Cannoli tells the story of a city embroiled in conspiracy and betrayal seemingly oblivious to the fact that the zombie hordes are threatening to overrun their Thugtown home. A well defined, shady city filled with atmospheric areas and over the top mobster stereotypes, Thugtown is a place for the low-life to hang out. It is here where you’ll need to help Cannoli navigate his way through each level, jumping from platform to platform, shooting the hell out of zombies, bat wielding gangsters and trigger happy soldiers, the whole damn town should really have fallen long ago – but it’s still standing and houses just enough excitement to keep both Cannoli and the gamer on edge.
With beautiful 2D hand drawn visuals, the whole mob way of life is played out supremely well, whisking you into a world full of corruption and humour; a world where anything and everything can eventually be solved by pulling out a Tommy gun, spraying some bullets and ensuring any issues get solved swiftly.
Much of the action is set in a standard left to right fashion, but with 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 goes about his business. With a ton of weapons ranging from the standard pistol, assault rifle, flamethrower and mob standard Tommy Gun, each weapon ensures that justice can be dealt out in extreme fashion. There are times when those trying to stop Vinnie will get a bit too close for comfort but a swift kick to the groin will see that they are pushed back enough in order to pile even more bullets into them. If that fails, then a quick chuck of a grenade should just about suffice!
The AI isn’t exactly the cleverest to have ever been placed into a video game though and for the most part are easily dispatched. In fact, gaming veterans may find Guns, Gore and Cannoli just a little bit too easy and a bit too ‘standard’ for their liking. A swift change in difficulty, upping the ante to ‘impossible’ may just see them change that viewpoint however.
With tons of enemies attacking at once, at multiple speeds and with differing levels of aggression, things can get a bit frantic, at times a bit too frantic, and you’ll need to be constantly swapping weapons as bullets run out or reloading needs to take place. In fact, the only real downside to Guns, Gore and Cannoli is that the button configuration for both switching weapons and reloading your ammo are frustrating, with a weapon scroll no doubt having a much better feel if it were assigned to the bumper buttons, with reloading taking place through the normal face buttons. That is however just a minor issue, although one that ensured Mr Cannoli was killed more often than he really should have been…especially when taking on some of the end of level boss characters.
Vinnie’s story could however be made easier should you prefer to bring a mate or three along for the ride. The mob famliy runs as one and Crazy Monkey Studios have tried to bring that feel across to their game. Whilst full drop in/drop out local multiplayer action would have been nice, a quick skip back to the main menu will allow you to continue any progress you had previously taken in with up to three friends. With checkpoints well placed throughout all of the levels, it is never a problem to jump in and out whilst friends join or leave, with the whole flow not being broken up too much to worry about.
Unfortunately, whenever more than one player is present, the gloriously fluid movement that Vinnie holds is held back ever so slightly with stuttering occasionally becoming present. This is never more true than when a couple of friends are in game and a ton of zombie or enemy hordes come rushing onto the screen at once. It doesn’t ruin the gameplay and if you were to play through the entire game with a partner in crime, then you probably wouldn’t notice either way, but going from solo to multiplayer gameplay does pick up on the visual issues.
You could however quite happily decide to go in with others in the full on deathmatch mode that is also present. With numerous maps in play, Guns, Gore & Cannoli brings about some great fun arena based multiplayer madness, with many options allowing for a party mode that is fully customisable to your own needs. It may only be in place as a bit of a filler to the main campaign, but the local multiplayer deathmatch does a decent enough job for those looking to while away a few minutes. It would have been nice to see a few more versus options included however and the likes of a King of the Hill style mode would have made certain that the competitive multiplayer side of things came to the fore just a little bit more.
Overall then and Guns, Gore & Cannoli has been a pretty delightful run through mob territory. If you’re after a title that sends you back in time to a place where guns rule and slapstick humour is rife, then you won’t find much better than that found when checking out Vinnie Cannoli’s story.
Go visit Thugtown right now. Capiche?