Imagine playing a game where every time you load it up, everything changes.
Yes you read that right, everything.
The levels change, the enemies change and you even play as a different character randomly when you load it back up.
Well that's what Tower of Guns throws at you. You can select a weapon at the start, and activate a random option to effect the world, or leave it to the game to decide what's what.
It's never the same game twice and there are not too many games that you can say that about.
If you are looking for an orderly, by the book, on the rails shooter like Call of Duty, forget it.
This is a potpourri for sure, the only way this represents C.O.D or M.O.H is in the control
layout, left stick move, right stick too turn, right trigger to shoot etc etc, so there's no struggling to get to grips with the controls at all.
It's all intuitive and to be honest the action does not flow as quickly as the C.O.D battlefields but what it lacks in speed it makes up for in intensity.
The screen can soon become full of enemy targets so learn to duck and dive amigo, duck and dive. You can sprint, jump and side step and you are going to have to do this a lot.
On top of all the above, there are the usual collectable items to pick up, such as health, coins or tokens and blue chips which are very important. The blue chips give XP, bit NOT too you but to the gun.
The weapon can be leveled up but you cannot, but leveling the weapon increases magazine size, fire rate, damage etc. Also whilst dodging missiles and the like, exploring the level can reveal doom style hidden areas where extra cash, lives etc can be found or a an item that can be bought with the money you have collected.
These items are usually weapons that can be purchased, negating the need to fight on and on to unlock them.
The mission and story are simple to the extreme, get out of the tower by blasting and shooting your way to the top of the structure and eventually escaping.
This is not as simple as it sounds, no sir. If you are used to the idea of dying a lot, and don't mind that then this is for you.
Like Dark Souls this game is quite unforgiving and likes nothing better than hitting you full in the face with cannonballs, missiles or whatever it feels like throwing at you.
It's possible to fall off bridges and ledges and that will deplete health. Sometimes you will do that by accident but nine times out of ten, it's because some projectile fired at you by your enemies has hit you.
The game is not easy and will try your patience for sure.
Graphically this utilizes cell shading, so you get that Borderlands vibe going from the get go. Levels are well lit, and colorful, not that you have much time to admire the scenery.
The bullets start flying the moment or soon after, you unlock the door to the level (locked door? Shoot it) and cross the threshold.
Frame rate is reasonably smooth but lag can sometimes kick in.
These two elements provide the games most obvious drawbacks. Jumping is a hit and miss affair, even if you have earned or the random element selected at the start of the game has granted you the triple jump feature.
There can be an annoying lack of response hitting the X button and the player actually performing the jump. Whilst stationery that's not too much of a big deal, but when trying to run and jump to a ledge to avoid fire, or collect some valuable power ups or health it can lead you to falling short of the mark, and if you have not dealt with the enemies in that part of the map, then they have all the time in the world to blast you in the back.
If you die it's game over and you have no choice but to start the game from scratch.
No checkpoint saving points here, it only saves data at the end of your session, whether you have survived to the end or not.
Shooting is reasonably well handled, aiming and targeting are accurate, but the incoming fire is even more accurate, so like I said duck and dive or at least side step to avoid flack.
Explosions and gun fire sounds nice and meaty and the music isn't too bad but doesn't exactly stay in the mind afterwards.
Like I said the control layout is more or less what you can expect from most modern shooters.
Some may roll their eyes at that but then again it does mean you don't have to wade through a tutorial or struggle getting to learn a new control layout.
That does not let the game down at all, but what can and does let the side down is the games hit and miss jumping, some rather poor collision detection at times and the toughness of the boss fights.
These occur after every three levels or so and that lack of response you experience makes the battles harder than they should be. It's tough enough finding the weak spots on a boss whilst trying to dodge the missiles it's firing, let alone actually dealing damage too it.
If you get hit, you won't lose XP and level down, but your weapon will. It can be a real pain to suddenly lose that meaty damage bonus you had fought so hard to earn or have the magazine size suddenly depleted and more often than not you get the feeling that the bad guys get too much of an edge so gameplay at times seems unbalanced.
This game is like Marmite, (and yes I know I use this expression a lot) you are either going to like it or loathe it, there is no middle ground.
There are times when I was thinking yeah this is fun but then the glitches kick in, the enemies seem to be able to find you no matter where you are trying to hide. Add to the fact that if in a previous level you have taken damage, and you have very little health left, then it's possible to be shot and killed before you can even see your enemy let alone a much needed health boost.
i like the fact that you play a different character each time, and you are guided by your non combative partner which can be your wife who chides you for misreading the GPS in the car, the developer and the man who composed the music for the game and perhaps somewhat worryingly, the young niece aged about 10, guided by her older uncle....
I like the games mixing up the levels, BUT I do not care much for it's somewhat steep curve in learning how to survive rather than play, this does impede the enjoyment of the title for me.
I don't love the game, I don't hate it either. It amuses and entertains sure, but it also frustrates, annoys and sometimes it lacks that "Oh I died, well this time I'll show you" feel that makes you want to replay it.
I find to play Tower of Guns, I really need to be in the mood to play it, where I can find that something like Borderlands kind of gravitates to my hand if I want a real fun shooter.
It works yes, but there are better games out there.