Guts and Glory is absolutely insane, there’s no two ways about it. It’s completely ridiculous, the idea is stupid, the controls are terrible and the music is annoying as hell. So why did I enjoy it? Because of all the reasons listed above!! It’s unlike any video game I’ve every played before and I just don’t understand why I want to keep playing. I will however try and explain why.
The premise of Guts and Glory is simple: you must guide your player through a series of obstacles, hitting checkpoints along the way to eventually reach the goal at the end. The more you play, the more you unlock. It’s a tried and tested genre that’s exactly what you’d expect, but that’s where HakJak’s game throws in a bit of a curve ball. It’s just f*@&ing insane.
In regards to storyline, there isn’t really one, but the levels themselves have some vague relation to some of the specific characters you can use to complete them. For the most part though, it’s just outright anarchy.
The obstacles you come across in these sorts of games are usually something simple, like a hill or ramp (although those things are there). In Guts and Glory it’s usually a land mine, a rotating saw on a pole or an 8 foot cactus. These hazards don’t always kill you though and sometimes when you hit a slow moving object it’ll just break your bones and leave you with a limp or lifeless limb just hanging there. Maybe it’ll even chop it off completely and you find yourself having to complete the track even faster just so you don’t bleed out. Usually though, you’ll be killed, instantly, and in hilariously gruesome fashion. You’ll see yourself explode, be decapitated or pierced on a spike straight through the crotchal region. There’s even “manual driver-ejection” which can be used for a good old leap of faith to either shave a few seconds off your time or get to those hard to reach checkpoints. This is just one more thing to go wrong that’ll see you not only die, but hurt the whole time you’re doing so.
This is what gives Guts and Glory its main appeal; you will die in so many ways you’ll lose count and just when you think you’ve seen all the ways you can, a little accident will happen and BOOM!… another surprise.
This survival racing experience is split into 9 different worlds and has 70+ official tracks, but that isn’t even including the 1000+ workshop levels, that are constantly increasing. So it’s definitely not short of variety. Guts and Glory gives you the tools to create your own levels and challenges, although rather than creating something simple that actually flows well, you’ll most likely just constantly find yourself making the most unforgiving, stupid and outrageous levels the editor allows, making for some huge laughs between friends. These levels are created with over 500+ level editor items and that’s a lot of craziness! The fun, though, can eventually wear off as it can take a long time to create and edit these levels of madness, but if you are happy with the grind, some monstrosities can really be made here.
On the topic of variety, you get to experience all of this mayhem with numerous different players, 8 to be exact, and each has 100% ragdoll physics. This means any corner, slight bump in the road or jump will see limbs flying. Each player has their strengths and weaknesses, so you need to take their pros and cons into consideration, sadly though you can’t always pick any rider as only a handful can be used for each run. This means your attempt to not be dismembered can be tackled in numerous ways – do you want to be extremely nimble? Than play as the husband and wife duo John and Debra. Or are you just after a solid ride that is fast to accelerate? In which case play as Earl. You’ll eventually find your favourite and you’ll do your best to keep them alive as long as possible.
Graphically, Guts and Glory isn’t exactly a marvel to look at. It’s very basic and does kind of look like a low end PS3 game at best, but if I’m honest I don’t care. The point of the game is that it isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing thing you’ve ever seen, it’s point is that it is crazy. It doesn’t need good graphics to pull you in and have a laugh. Granted, it may have been nice if it looked a tad better, but again, that’s really not the point.
One thing I will say about Guts and Glory is that is does tend to get a bit old, a bit too fast. As mentioned before, yes the music is annoying and the physics are mental, however it is only really funny for the first few hours, after which it does start to get frustrating and a little tedious, especially when players don’t go where you want them to or you find yourself listening to the same track over and over again. It’s great for quick pick up and play action, but I certainly found my sessions getting shorter and shorter as time went on.
Another downside to Guts and Glory is that there isn’t really a reward system in place. In most time trial games there’s some kind of prize or trophy for breaking certain time brackets. Guts and Glory, however, doesn’t have any of this. You just set a time when it’s finally completed and then the game just expects you to challenge yourself to try and beat it. Maybe eventually the addition of an online scoring system, where you can see worldwide scores or times so you can be the best in a region, will be introduced.
All that’s really in place at the moment, in terms of recognition, is “The Halls Of Glory”, which is dedicated to the Guts and Glory community. This is a long hallway level, kind of like a credit sequence, showing those that have helped out with the project – Kickstarter backers, beta testers etc. It’s a nice touch, but nothing of extreme importance.
Guts and Glory is a good old bit of fun. It’s the perfect game to play with some friends for a few hours, just so you can see who can be obliterated in the most hilarious way and who will come out on top with bragging rights and the fastest times. However, these sessions won’t last too long and you will find yourself getting a little tired after the game begins to repeat itself for the umpteenth time.