Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gatling Gears

Rose accidentally bought Gatling Gears on the PS3, so I played it. It's a twin-stick shooter in the Robotron vein, set in a steampunk world.

Copious, slow-moving patterns of bullets (“bullet hell” I think I've heard it called) are a game mechanic that came out of games like Raiden. This mechanic seems to be getting mixed in to more things these days; Outland combined it with side-scrolling platforming (and Ikaruga's phase-changing) recently, for instance.

Unfortunately Gatling Gears looks unfinished in some respects. The gameplay apart from the bosses is very monotonous. I actually found myself looking forward to the bosses which is a reversal from the usual.

The story is nearly nonexistent. There are story cards inserted between the half-dozen chapters, and printed dialog exchanges at points during the gameplay, which you're apt to miss if you are busy. What story there is seems trite and predictable. You're best off reading Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan series (my review) and imagining that story overlaid on this game. It works pretty well.

The graphics are lovely, though. I am going to go back through the game and try to figure out how the environments were assembled.


owen said...

does a game in which you only interaction with the world involves shooting everything in site really need a compelling story?

James McNeill said...

Eh, probably not. Fair point.

It's set in a common universe with Greed Corp, their previous game, and it seems like they're trying to build a rich environment and backstory. That part isn't really connecting.

Mark said...

I just tried the demo myself. I'm not hugely great at bullet hell shooters to start with, but this had the added problem that your player-controlled vehicle is quite large and moves pretty slowly, which would make it hard for me to avoid getting hit even if I was skillful enough to do that to start with.

(Though you do have a health bar in this one, which is also different from most bullet-hell shooters.)

I did like the enemy designs, though, especially the giant boss that appears at the end of the demo.