Twin stick shooters usually take the form of a 2D edge and very rarely go for the whole 3D environment feel. Gatling Gears fills the void, giving us a sublimely beautiful backdrop to wreak havoc upon interwoven into a neat story and plenty of tough boss battle fights.
In Gatling Gears you run around with the left stick in a gear (mech warrior) waging a war against a tree munching faction. The right stick see’s you firing your gatling gun wherever you point. The R1 button fires missiles and L1 grenades, both of which pack a punch but require time to replenish. There is also your last gasp electrical attack with triangle that damages all enemies on-screen. Over the course of around 20 levels you’ll upgrade these by finding gold bars tucked away slightly from the linear path which you can spend at the pirate shop.
The enemies themselves come thick and fast ranging from one man missile launchers to turrets to tanks and tree munching machines. Anything coloured red is bad. Occasionally you’ll have some blue coloured fodder on the screen but they are allies however they rarely help because they set up set pieces of destruction that play out beautifully before you. The controls are spot on too although guiding your grenades can be tough at times in the heat of battle as you’ll be needing to move as well as aim.
The difficulty curve is well-balanced too as each levels gives you three lives and they replenish each level. While that might sound generous, the crux of staying alive and not being hit in general is the aim of the game because it’s directly related to your overall score. Each enemy drops gears (cogs) when they die which you collect. Each six gears increase your score multiplier. Each hit you receive on your health bar reduces your score multiplier by one. Therefore you wonder if going for some of the gears in a heated battle is actually worth it as you may get hit four times and drop your multiplier down but if you grab all the gears possible you’re looking at multipliers upwards of 40. Overall scores go onto the online leaderboard and give you XP to unlock new liveries and bizarrely a pet animal to follow you around in levels!
If I were to have one gripe at Gatling Gears in what is an excellent game, it’s that the camera sometimes doesn’t move at the speed you’re walking at and it can catch you out as you walk to the edge of the screen to get the camera to move and suddenly there’s a tank right on top of you. Aside from that, this is a fantastically fun game that has tons going on all at once but never too much to seem impossible.
~Controls are responsive and sturdy
~Excellent scoring mechanics
~Impressive bosses and set pieces
~Occasional dodgy camerawork that doesn’t keep up
Lavish visuals, solid controls and a bucketload of firepower. What more do you need! Buy!