Recently we were given the opportunity to go hands-on with the upcoming isometric twin stick shooter, Gatling Gears. Having little knowledge of the game before playing meant I had very few preconceptions, and let me assure you, I was more than a little bit surprised.
The players drive one of two bipedal mechs, with gatling guns, rockets and grenades at their disposal to help deal with oncoming hordes of enemies. Upgrades to weaponry can be obtained by spending gold collected from fallen enemies at shops throughout the game. There are four stages to the upgrade of each weapon, and you can chop and change between upgrades to suit the situation; having trouble with health? Simply downgrade your gatling gun to pay for the upgrade to your shield.
The emphasis of this game is to have fun, and that rings true from the moment you pick up the controller. Whilst the gameplay is perhaps what one would expect from this genre, the vibrant presentation and drop in / drop out multiplayer – both local and online – result in a promising proposition for anyone with a friend.
We were able to play through an entire level, leading up to an end boss. The larger enemies require a certain amount of strategy in order to progress, with the one we were fighting involving moving out of the way of the boss’s incoming blades; an obvious tactic perhaps, but the blades did nearly fill the whole screen, making this a little more taxing.
The level select screens showed there to be five chapters as well as a tutorial-style prologue set 20 years before the main narrative. Each chapter has five areas to work your way through, and considering the area we played through took around ten minutes on standard difficulty, you’re looking at between five and six hours total play time. On top of that the developer alluded to additional modes; so throw in a survival mode and you’ll have a game well worth the standard XBLA or PSN price tag.
The locales are perhaps the final noteworthy facet of what we were shown. Whilst the level we played took place in the snow, we were shown a sneak peak of other areas including a mountainous region and a factory.
From what we were shown, Gatling Gears looks set to be an entertaining co-op experience for XBLA and PSN and if the remainder of the game is as polished as the taster we were given, this should be an enticing product when it’s released in Spring this year.