Guns, Gore and Cannoli is one of those games that seemed to come from nowhere and managed to impress most of us here in Enthusiast Towers. For those who missed out, the game was a hand-drawn 2D shooter where you played as Vinnie Cannoli, a gangster in Thugtown. It brilliantly combined a colourful array of characters, with great gunplay, and laugh-out-loud jokes and humour. The game gained a lot of fans and now has a sequel coming out sometime next year. At EGX, I got a chance to go hands-on with the new game and to see how it measures up against the original.
Set more than two decades after the Thugtown Massacre, Vinnie Cannoli is back battling the undead. This new adventure will take him from Thugtown to the European battlefields of World War II. The locations may differ from the original, but the humour, graphical style, and great action are back. The over the top scenario and witty dialogue all contribute to some laugh out loud moments and keep the gore & horror and light and frothy.
While there is a lot kept from the original (it is a sequel after all), there’s also a lot of new stuff here. One of the first things you’ll notice is that the co-op from the first game is back, but your fellow players no longer have to be sat next to you on the sofa. 4-player co-op is now available through Xbox Live making it easier than ever to quadruple the carnage on screen.
Probably the biggest change to the game though is the aiming system. In the last game, you could only shoot horizontally. You would have to aim left or right and either duck or jump to get your bullets where you wanted them to go, but you could only ever get your bullets to go perfectly level along the screen. Now, you can aim in a full 360-degree arc. This makes it much easier to shoot enemies above or below you.
The new aiming system is great, but it does complicate the control scheme. With the right thumbstick controlling the direction you’re shooting, it means more has to be done with the triggers and bumpers. I have to admit to struggling a little with this, but there’s still a lot of time for the developer to streamline it and/or add controller mapping.
Along with the new controls, aiming, and online co-op, there are also new enemies. The notable new enemies in the demo I played were a giant mutant and a mummy-type character. This new ancient Egyptian foe was a particular nuisance as they come at you from any angle they can and when they do attack you, they’re quick. The giant mutants are tough enough when they appear on their own, but the demo I played had a pair of these massive bullet sponges coming at the same time.
I had an absolute blast playing Guns, Gore and Cannoli 2. Crazy Monkey Studios appear to have delivered another brilliant blast of violence and humour. The new gunplay and enemies are great. The fact that co-op is now playable online is brilliant. If it can keep the laughs up throughout while serving up more great gameplay, this could be another brilliant game.