The first Guns, Gore & Cannoli game initially released solely on the PC, later coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4. At the time, I had seen the name and the game tossed around in a few places. I usually have a flood of emails in my inbox with different pitches from various PR companies. It was one of those games that, just by looking at the title, I kind of glossed over and went about my day. After playing through Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2, I wish I would have paid much more attention to those nagging emails.
As the title suggests, silliness and blood await you on your journey. In the game, you play as Vinnie Cannoli, the dessert-loving, gun-toting antihero. Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2 takes place years after the first title–so many years, in fact, that the game has shed its roarin’ ’20s skin and puts us right into the World War II time frame. Newspapers during the loading screen as well as posters depicting Uncle Sam urging you to join his cause give reference to the era.
What would a WWII-era shooter be without its guns? Many of the weapons available are easily identifiable by anyone who has played a first-person shooter about that period. Guns like the Thompson Submachine Gun and the MP-40 are available weapons.
The guns are fun to use, and each comes with its own quirks. Even melee weapons like the chainsaw (That’s a melee weapon, right?) and baseball bat find their niche. Although throughout the game, ammo for each weapon never really seems to reach full capacity. I often found myself toggling through each weapon to find the next-deadliest one when ammo was expelled. I also didn’t care too much for any of the pistols, most becoming obsolete after the first act. These could have been taken out altogether in lieu of better weapon variety.
One of the best features of Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2 has to be the aiming system. I recently played through another title in the same genre, Rise and Shine. One of the most debilitating flaws was found in its gunplay. That is the complete opposite situation here due to one simple feature.
Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2 has an auto-aim feature in the options menu. I was actually looking for additional dead zone controller tuning. When I realized this, I began changing how I played, taking notice of where my line of sight was being directed. This is not a handicap per se; it does, however, provide for a more fluid experience all around. This is especially the case in situations where precision becomes a necessity. In some cases, you might not see another health pickup before reaching your next checkpoint.
The weapons system and controls for the game is something I never really took a liking to. Holding the R button displays all of your selectable weapons. Moving the RS around the wheel selects the weapon, while ZR fires it. On the other hand, the ZR jumps and the L button does an evasive roll maneuver. The button mapping and combat is something I never really became comfortable with it, clumsily thumbing through buttons in moments of panic. None of the face or trigger buttons can be remapped, which might be fitting for others, just not me.
The overall difficulty for Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2 is fairly manageable. Enemies throughout the game come in a decent variety. At any given time, you’ll be fending off mobster goons, mutated rats, and military artillery. This was probably my favorite aspect of game, as it never really becomes stale. I found myself wanting to continue my playthrough and finally reach the end.
In terms of visuals, there are definitely moments of praise. Boss battles are unique, and environmental hazards create challenges throughout each level. But oftentimes, it is hard to determine which platforms you can leap to. This might be due to the game’s overall resolution, which looks as though it might play in 720P both handheld and when docked. This doesn’t take away from the overall quality, but once you notice it, it’s hard to not scan environments and nitpick. The game did chug a few times in the latter levels when there were floods of enemies on screen, so that might be the reasoning behind it.
Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2 is a worthwhile experience. It’s the perfect game to plop down on the couch and run through in a weekend. Heck, you could probably even do it in a single sitting. There are plenty of weapons and enemy variety. But, be warned, the button layout isn’t that inviting–and not remappable, either. Still, the game hits right in that sweet spot that an action platformer should hit. There’s enough action to carry you through the game, with challenges and light exploration. It’s a fun platformer with moments of ultraviolence and comedy. Sometimes the jokes miss their mark, but for the most part, it’s the perfect helping of delicious goodness.