Originally released last year for home computers, Tower of Guns has made the move to consoles, bringing a distinct spin on the first-person shooter to new audiences through a simple set-up on which several eccentric, fourth wall-breaking narratives are built.
Tower of Guns’s titular structure is maze-like, packed with an array of cannons and turrets, but there’s a straightforward goal: reach the top and destroy the final boss. It’s also partially procedurally generated, meaning enemies, stage order and such like are semi-randomised through each playthrough. It’s a risky approach that has the potential to leave a game feeling shapeless and unfocused, but here it’s implemented with flair. The result is refined, unpredictable and remarkably rewarding.
Its form also owes a little to arcade gaming. Tower of Guns is difficult, fast, and dying means going back to the beginning. It’s the reason the game is short, but immensely replayable. And unlike most in the FPS genre, there’s lots of dodging bullets, marking something of a nod from the third dimension to 2D shooters such as Gradius V. Visually the game is distinct but a shade underwhelming, and a dash more variety in bosses and enemies would not have gone amiss. But as a whole, this is a refreshing spin on the form, with much to recommend it.
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