Thursday, December 16, 2010

AA Look - GunForce 2

These days it seems like everybody is trying to put the "hell freaking yeah!" in a videogame. Go on the Xboxlive Indies service and seemingly every day there's some game that promises explosions, stuff blowing up, and death. One day developers are going to figure out how to make games where the hero dual-wields an M-40 and a hot blonde. In the movie Predator, Dillon gets one of his arms chopped off by the dread-locked hunter so he has to reach for the big-ass gun strapped around his other arm. That's the kind of macho-action I'm just not seeing games. At the rate videogame technology advances the way it should be is even if the main character is little more than a head covered in scars he's going to be oozing so much testosterone that he'll be pulling the trigger with his tongue and suplexing aliens with his eyebrows.

Yeah it all sounds ridiculous but that's the point. Sometimes the manliest games are the ones that are able to poke fun at themselves. Japan has always been a bit ahead of the curve in this regard because after all they created Contra. You can't really question the masculinity of Rambo and Dutch teaming up to take on an entire alien armada by themselves. Gun Force 2 (or Geo Storm) is a game in a similar vein. The big difference here is that the two main characters carry guns in each hand. At first I thought it was a fair fight but it's clear that the mutant cyborg aliens have no chance at all.

The story goes something like this: There's a big hole where a city used to be. I think that's really all that needs to be said. It's like punching somebody back because they gave you a black eye. No wait it's more like punching that person so hard that their head explodes. Gun Force 2 is all about taking it to absurdity. Both of the main characters will shoot in every direction, put bullet-holes into every possible object, and rescue nothing but hotties in skimpy clothes. They also collect medals and are then rewarded at the end of each stage for their effectiveness at getting riches and slaying baddies.

The first stage starts of with the good guys hopping on the back of a train from their armored truck. The truck basically explodes for no reason and makes one of those ridiculous effects where the explosion goes all over the entire screen. The truck doesn't explode from crashing into the train, no it explodes when the main character lands on the train. It's like getting out of bed with such intensity that the bed disintegrates. This more than anything sets up exactly what you're getting into when you start this game. Since real men(and women) don't get shot at all the heroes of Gunforce 2 die in a single hit. Sure it's rough but hey that's what run & guns are all about.

The entire game goes along this same course. It's like the guys at Irem went stir-crazy and just started cramming in anything explosive they could imagine. Somehow though they let the odd gag slip by like the beginning of stage 2 starts with a fence being climbed over instead of being blown up like it was a fence made out of combustible barrels. Half the time I'm not even sure why everything is being obliterated but it's all fun stuff and my brain is free to leave town for the next 30 minutes.

Most anyone could enjoy this game even if they ran face-first into every bullet. It may not be the best way to play any game but for some that sort of thing doesn't even matter. Still it's easier than similar games in the genre and those games don't seem to throw in heaping bundles of kaboom every few seconds. Though the pacing never really seems to move past "kill a bunch of stuff, move forward, then kill a bunch of stuff" it always feels different somehow, like the enemies are new, maybe there are vehicles involved, and so on. Fans of high-scores will have to keep an eye out for hidden hostages but other than there is little if any complexity to this game. Furthermore this seems to be one of those games that could probably loop forever if the player is really serious about their score.

Really I have nothing else to say about this game. Check it out, blow stuff up until you're bored, and maybe give it a serious play by trying to stay alive the next time around. It's about as deep as the average Metal Slug and it certainly won't require you to understand calculus like some shooters but eh who cares? Maybe all you really want is to see everything blown to pieces.

Game rating - 3.5 out of 5
My rating - 4 out of 5

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