Some of you may have missed Crazy Monkey Studios' Guns, Gore & Cannoli when it came out a while ago. That's a shame, because it's one of the better modern takes on Contra and Metal Slug that you can find right now. This run-and-gun shooter mixes the frantic action of a side-scrolling shooter with artwork that's akin to the classic Shank series, right down to the ridiculous amount of gun-toting bloodshed.
But here's your chance to discover what the series is all about, as Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2 is available for more platforms, including the Nintendo Switch. What's more, it improves upon what made the original game work so well -- run and gun -- while flourishing with its local and online co-op features. If you're a fan of mowing down enemies with a splash of style on the side, this game is for you.
The main story focuses on Vinnie, a gangster who survived an undead and Nazi onslaught the first time around. He's about to be sacrificed to a mysterious foe named the Dark Don, but manages to free himself and pick up a weapon, looking to get some answers. However, that doesn't mean he's going to get them the easy way…
What follows is a series of stages where the goal is to blast your enemies to bits with a number of weapons. These range from a pistol (which never runs out of ammunition) to speciality weapons like twin pistols, shotguns and assault rifles that can make short work of even the strongest of enemies. That's useful, because you'll run into everything from running freaks that can take a boatload of bullets to stronger foes that require a bit of strategy. And that's just the start of the game.
Crazy Carnage For Solo or Co-Op Play
Still, the sheer satisfaction of what Crazy Monkey Studios has put into Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2 is refreshing. The game always feels like a joy to play, whether you're hopping into a turret and mowing down armies of enemies, or getting the most out of kills by using items within the environment, such as conveniently placed chandeliers that can do a lot of damage upon landing.
What's more, you can take a pretty good amount of damage instead of the "one-shot kill" that older games had you succumb to. And you can score health pickups along the way, just in case you require them. And on harder difficulty settings, you will.
The multi-directional firing is handled very well, letting you aim and shoot with precision. What's more, you can switch between guns with ease, in case you want to use a specialty weapon on a foe that truly deserves it.
You can play Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2 by yourself, and it's a blast to do so. But the game really shines with co-op, as three other players can jump in and join the fun. It's a great co-op-supported game, one that shares power-ups and health evenly. If you pick up something, your allies get it as well -- a smart system that prevents "hey, you stole X thing from me" arguments. The only downside is that the camera gets a little distant with four characters on-screen, making it somewhat difficult to see your character -- especially when it comes to tabletop play.prevnext
Yep, Take the Cannoli
There's online co-op as well, though it can take a little while to get started, depending on who's playing. Connectivity could use a little bit of patching here, but it's a neat option to have in case you don't have any buddies around. There's voice chat as well, handled nicely through Discord.
The game's a bit on the short side, but has replayability with score challenges, along with just having a good time with friends. This is one of those games that doesn't require too much thinking -- just a helpful trigger finger and occasional defensive skills to avoid dying quickly by, say, flamethrower. Ouch.
Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2 also has a terrific art style. The Shank-style design returns, along with creative level design that really challenges you at every turn. For instance, during one stage, you actually have to avoid enemy searchlights by shooting your way underground, while also dealing with zombies that may come your way. It's just as fun to watch as it is to play, especially when it comes to certain character reactions. The animations are a little stilted at times, but still true to the form of the game.
The presentation rounds out with great music from the 40's era (especially in the movie theater -- it sounds like the old-school!) and fun sound effects. I would've liked to have heard from more characters, but as it stands, the game offers more than enough to soothe the ears.
While Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2 could've used more content for the long haul, what's here is a joyous shoot-em-up that fans of the original should enjoy. And even if you didn't touch the first game, you can jump right in without missing a step here, especially if you've got a good group tagging along with you. And it won't be a burden on your wallet either -- it's just $12.99 and can be purchased here.
So if you're all about the run and gun, do yourself a favor and get a plate of Cannoli. You certainly shouldn't hesitate in taking it. (Yes, Godfather reference. It fits.)
WWG's Score: 4 out of 5.
Disclaimer: A review code was provided by the publisher.prev