It ain't just a balanced I-talian meal, ya follow? It's an attention grabbin' title for a game that snuck its way onto the Xbox store as well. All's for answerin' now is whether it's the cat's pajamas, or in need o' rubbin'-out.
The game boasts a pleasing cartoon aesthetic, well-animated characters and detailed environments with a real sense of depth. Despite that we couldn't shake the feeling that it was eerily reminiscent of a browser flash game - it certainly perform like one too, with regular framerate dips during more action-heavy sections. It all makes the £7.99 asking price akin to undercooked cannoli - a little hard to swallow.
Those detailed environments are many, though an uninspired bunch. You'll find yourself traversing docks, a construction site, a strip club, sewers, rooftops, back alleys - I could go on. We've seen these places many times over in games and Guns, Gore & Cannoli does nothing to set its versions apart; whilst they may have been used self-reflexively for the purpose of parody, it doesn't make them any more fun to trudge through. That said, one exception sees Vinnie joined by an AI partner in a seemingly helpless attempt to overrun a military base, all set to the backdrop of 'When Johnny Comes Marching Home'. Epic.
Unless you have real world friends willing to come over and play up to 4-player split screen, storming the aforementioned base is as close as you'll get to playing cooperatively. Unfortunately there's no online functionality and it undoubtedly hurts the product as a whole.
Enemies fall somewhat into the same trap as the level designs do, in that parodying existing types just makes Guns, Gore & Cannoli part of the problem for further perpetuating them. Zombies run the usual gamut of fat exploders, muscular tanks, legless crawlers, poison spewers, gun wielders, chargers, and of course, projectile throwing airborne leprechauns that dangle upside down from balloons... wait. You'll also tackle human adversaries that possess the sense to take cover, but otherwise share much the same behaviour, whereas giant moonshine exposed rats are a more aggressive and pack based threat. The three factions don't particularly get along and can be played off against one another other to buy yourself time to blast them in the back, blow the clustered pack to pieces with a well placed grenade, or simply hightail it outta there.
Running is a tactic you'll likely come to rely upon (at least if you're this guy) as the difficulty significantly ramps up in later levels. There's no life system and checkpoints are frequent, each providing cannoli for Cannoli to cannibalise for health. It never becomes aggravating as a result, but if you're having real trouble the difficulty can be changed at any time via the pause menu. Now you didn't hear it from me, but you can cheese a few achievements with that little trick, kapish?
Guns, Gore & Cannoli lives up to its name, providing each in varying quantities. The game provides a few simple hours of fun and nothing more - but that's not always a bad thing - if ever you're in the mood for some mindless action to disengage your brain, you could do worse than checking it out.