Welcome to “At a Glance” where first impressions mean everything! Ladies, gentlemen and lovebots, I present to you; Tower of Guns.
The FPS market is experiencing a very interesting growth of late, and I feel like I am talking about it more and more. What with the drastic leap and bench mark of the genre that was Titanfall releasing or Bioshock Infinite:Burial at Sea Episode 2 ending the series that changed how we look at narrative in FPS, things are either changing drastically or sadly coming to a close. With this being such an interesting time in gaming and FPS, I think its only fitting I look at a title that simultaneously harkens back to the good old classic FPS days of Unreal Tournament and Quake whilst looking forward with a robust rouge-like system in regards to guns and level layout. Yes today ladies and gentlemen join me as I look at a title that understands that a FPS can have a hell of a lot of charm, no plot, a fast movement speed and a hell of a lot of bullets.
This is a classic FPS in regards to plot, really there isn’t one(Not to say older FPS titles didn’t have plot, but really, did anyone actually care what was happening in Shadow Warrior?) The point of the game? You are tasked to get to the top of a large tower, and it has a hell of a lot of guns in it, and everything is trying to kill you, which works out great, because you want to kill everything.
So seeing as the game has no plot, its all up to the game play, and I am happy to say its fantastic. The game is a weird mix between a classic FPS(Unreal Tournament) and a modern day Rouge-Like(The Binding of Issac). Before every game of Tower of Guns, you must pick a loadout, this includes the gun you will be using for the game, and a perk. There are 10 guns available ranging from pistols to rocket launchers. The perks are rather interesting, as they include things like immunity to environmental damage or my personal favourite, the ability to triple jump(What can I say, I love movement in FPS). The combination of perks and weapon layout while change a run drastically, as one game you may want to go all damage as a tank, or others you want mobility over the enemies, its how you want to play.
As I mentioned earlier, the game is not only a FPS, but a Rogue-like, which comes with a set of characteristics that games like Spelunky and The Binding of Issac have made so popular these days. These include Perma death, randomized levels and of course, levelling up your character as the game goes on. By killing enemies you can experience, which levels your character and guns up, so the longer you stay alive for, the more powerful you are, which certainly helps in the later stages. The transition from the usual 2-d or top down layout of those games to a first person title works very well, and even more so with a gun. The only other title I can remember from recent memory that has tried this change in perspective in the genre would be Para nautical Activity which released last year and to be honest I feel like while this title certainly looks better and has more charm to it, PA had more going for it in terms of the items, and while the items here are interesting in their own right, they don’t tend to greatly affect the game play as much as I would like.
No rogue-like title would be complete without boss fights, and damn are the ones in this massive, I am talking room sized at times. Bosses range from large rooms full of spikes to massive laser turret guns, and all of which can get very very very hectic at times. The amount of bullets on screen during these sequences can even rival some of the most hardcore bullet-hell titles. These boss fights can range from taking no time at all to a lengthy struggle, and progressively get more difficult as you make your way through the tower.
Visually the game is very striking, with a weird comic book/papercraft style going on. I love how the game looks, as there is just so much detail and charm on show here, from the range of cannons and bosses to the adorable Lovebots. Its an art style that isn’t used much, and the dented and mechanical level designs complete the insane amount of bullets very well. The soundtrack is also of very high quality, ranging from heavy rock ballads to a synth heavy trance.
Tower of Guns is one of those rare instances where a FPS got me to care. You can see so much love and attention put into every crevice of the title, from the descriptions in the loading screens to the adorable lovebots, the entire game just feels fun, frantic and had genuine passion put into it. Its a fantastic melding of everything I love of classic FPS and the triumphant return of rouge-like elements that have exploded into the industry today. All this from just a one man team, it certainly makes you take a look at just what the industry can do. I have loved my time with Tower of Guns, and if you are like me and love fast moving FPS titles and rouge like elements, then you will enjoy this game tremendously.
You can purchase Tower of Guns on Steam, GOG, ShinyLoot, Gamersgate, the Humble Store and IndieGameStand.
For more information on the title you can visit the official site!