When Gunworld first released, it’s fair to say that I wasn’t its biggest fan. The controls felt awkward, the difficulty was too high for the casual player, and overall it was a disappointment. So upon hearing about the upcoming release of Gunworld 2, it’s fair to say I was a little sceptical. Never one to turn down a review, I held my breath and loaded up the game.
Gunworld 2: Xbox One [Reviewed], PC
Release Date: NA 13 May 2016
Price: £7.99 [Disclosure: Game Copy Provided by Developer/Publisher]
The premise of Gunworld 2 is very similar to that of the first game, in that you will be planting guns and fighting enemies in order to save the world. You’ll be seeing some familiar faces from the first game, including the reintroduction of Dwayne as the main playable character. After a short mission to find Dwayne, which serves as the game’s tutorial level, your mission is to visit each of the locations and defeat the 6 bosses that dwell within them. The game’s story is simple but effective and is certainly more interactive than the first game.
It’s hard to know where to start talking about Gunworld 2, as if you have played the first game, the list of improvements are never ending. The game’s map is now interactive, and you have the chance to walk around it and bump into enemies, rather than simply picking a level and jumping straight into it. This map also allows for hidden areas and secret caves to be dotted around for you to explore, as well as coming up against new puzzles that will require you to utilise new guns and abilities to complete them. With 6 cities, along with the hub city, scattered across 2 areas, the game feels more substantial than the first one, even though there are essentially the same number of levels.
The addition of a hub world, in the form of New Gun City, is welcome and allows you a little rest bite from exploring and fighting. Whilst it isn’t very substantial and more could have been added here, there are shops to buy guns and upgrades from, as well as a couple of other buildings for you to meander around in. Players will also need to come here in order to save the game, and although you are told this very quickly, you might find yourself mishitting a button which leads to you exiting the game rather than saving it. Whilst this is only a minor problem, it is quite annoying having to replay parts you’ve already done because the saving is not made as obvious as it could have been. In the first game, the controls felt very hit and miss, and you could find yourself missing a jump for no reason.
Gunworld 2’s controls have been greatly improved this time around, with character movement feeling a lot smoother. The addition of crouching and climbing means you can manoeuvre levels better, as well as being more interesting by design. Secret areas hide behind breakable walls, and totems and upgrade items are also scattered about levels, so you are constantly encouraged to search an entire level to find items. However, exploration might lead you to a split in the road which leaves you faced with having to pick a path, which you might not be able to go back from once you have decided. The opportunity to go back and forth between level areas would have been appreciated, but the levels are not too long, so running back through them doesn’t take much time.
Unfortunately, the levels have no checkpoints (until you reach the end of an area) so if you die in the middle, you’ll have to go from the start again. You might relish the challenge, but after the 10th time of trying to jump onto a moving platform and missing, it starts to get a little tedious. Items can help you out with this, but you’ll find yourself rapidly running short on funds if you keep buying them.
You’ll need to use each guns various ability in order to get past certain obstacles, this makes navigating the levels more interesting, but don’t be surprised if you find all your money spent on guns. Annoyingly, once you plant a gun you will have used that particular seed, even if you only needed one shot to solve a certain puzzle, if you need to change gun then you’ll have to sacrifice the one you’re using. If there was a way to switch between guns rather than planting a new one each time it would have been helpful, especially if you run out of required guns in the middle of a level, ultimately left with no choice but to leave because of a lack of funds.
The game’s appearance and soundtrack are still reminiscent of days gone by while the 8-bit style has been improved from the first game to look crisper and sharper, whilst still acting as a throwback to a simpler time. The music similarly so, you might easily find yourself bobbing along to levels as you gun down your enemies. It’s evident that more effort had been put into the development for Gunworld 2. One minute you are jumping across moving flags, the next you are riding a gun horse in a flappy goat style level. There’s a lot more variety this time round, and the game benefits from it greatly. There’s also the choice of old school mode, which takes out the interactive map with players going from level to level, or the new level rush mode, which throws random levels at you followed by a boss, which you must complete in one life.
Whilst Gunworld 2 may not be perfect or to everyone’s taste, it is much improved from the first game, and a lot more accessible to the casual gamer. The difficulty is still tough, but a much more reachable completion for the less hardcore gamer. The levels are more exciting to play through, with upgrades giving you the chance to make things that little bit easier on yourself. Checkpoints would have been appreciated, and spending all your money on guns when you can’t get through a level can become very annoying.
The original title required improvements, m07games have certainly delivered them with Gunworld 2. I went from tentatively starting up the game, to thoroughly enjoying my time with it, and it’s easy to recommend to anyone who feels like planting some guns and massacring some enemies.
- Much improved from the first game, especially controls
- Upgrades mean you can make game easier, with extra health, etc
- Level design more unique and interesting
- Lack of checkpoints means you might be replaying bits over and over
- Can run out of guns for puzzles and have to exit level in the middle