Guns 'n' Stories: Bulletproof
Tackle wave after waves of enemies while unlocking more and more of the primary plot. With A single player campaign mode, arcade mode and an wide assortment of weapons, Guns ‘n’ Stories will provide hours of wild west entertainment.
Genre: Wild West Wave Shooter
Controller: Move Controllers
PlayPSVR Score: 5
I’ve always done pretty well with games that are western themed, whether it was selling knockoff Sunset Riders cartridges for SNES or my infamous post on reddit where I claimed Cold Iron was the best game of 2018 (I posted it on the third week of January and it really was the best game at that point dang it!). Either way, Guns n Stories is another western styled game for the PSVR, joining Cold Iron and Hopalong: The Badlands. These three westerners all provide a wide range of game play styles with GnS being the wave shooter of the group.
I am going to try to suppress my hatred for wave shooters for this review, because as bad as I hate wave shooters, GnS is a pretty good one. The game begins with a young child finding a gun and asks his grandfather where it came from. This is the premise of the game and with each stage the grandpa tells more and more of his far-fetched story. Although the plot isn’t anything mind blowing, it’s a fun loving idea and allows the devs to be really creative with their ideas.
Throughout the game you enter a stage and fight wave after wave of enemies and then once defeated, the grandpa tells a bit of his story. Again, it’s a really simple idea and although it may be disappointing if you were looking for something unique, it serves the purpose of progressing the game. There are bosses after each round of stages and in the game there are little bottles that you can shoot to challenge yourself and test your skills.
The first thing you will notice is that the game is actually pretty dang hard, even on normal difficulty. The number of enemies are unrelenting and you have very little room to avoid bullets. To defend yourself you can shoot the oncoming bullets with your own or you can hit them with your gun. But unlike Blasters of the Universe you can’t really move physically very far to avoid fire, which is your first instinct. Often time you are can get so busy avoiding fire that you can’t focus on actually shooting the enemies.
A big part of the difficulty is the fact that even on level 1 each enemy takes at least 3 hits. Most wave shooter enemies take only 1 or 2 hits. But not this game. This makes is so much harder. When you have 10 enemies on screen and each takes 3 shots, then you’re talking 30 shots (assuming you never miss, which will never be the case) all while all 10 enemies are shooting bullets at you. It is absolutely brutal and if you aren’t up for a challenge then you better skip this game.
Each level has a different environment which looks great and helps break up the repeating nature of wave shooters. The graphics are sharp, but still rather cartoony, but work well with the game. The segments where the plot is exposed is a 2D screen with comic like graphics. It’s somewhat unusual, but is suitable. There is a wide assortment of enemies too, all with different guns, weak points and visuals. This also helps to keep you interested because it is in your best interest to kill some enemies first, even if it means taking a hit or two from other ones.
My favorite part of the game is all the weapons. You get an insane amount of different guns that really help spice up the game play and make it much more fun. They are creative with the name of the guns (typically western puns, which I love) and the devs provide just the right gun in the right situation to highlight it’s strengths, but not making them so overpowered that the game becomes easy.
Honestly, as a wave shooter, this is one that is on the better half for the PSVR. It is very well done, thought out, executed and provides enough variety to make it one of the ones that should be on your list. With that being said, it is still a wave shooter and doesn’t possess the characteristics to make this a big time game or one that you will go out of your way to play/show friends.
The biggest issue? Easily the move controllers. I have used these for tons of games before and it just seems that sometimes they work well and sometimes they dont. GnS is one in which they don’t work very well at all. It is very hard to hit enemies because your move controllers are just too hard to use. I can make very small adjustments to my gun in order to hit an enemy and it looks as though I switched hands or something drastic like that. It makes the game very hard and almost a pain to play. The only other issue I have is that it simply isn’t that fun. You stand there with wave after wave of enemies coming at you. Just because it is well developed and executed doesn’t mean it is fun to play. These two things really hamper the potential of this game, but after seeing so many wave shooters on the PSVR developers must accept the fact that their game may fall by the wayside due to over-saturated genres.
The price at $20 I think honestly is fair. If you aren’t a fan of wave shooters then this won’t be worth it, but if you are looking into a good game to begin your VR journey with that won’t make you sick but provide a good challenge then this would be a decent pick. Not only does the single player campaign take a good couple hours or more to finish, but the arcade mode allows you to shoot guns you’ve earned along the way and can help fill the void if you want to smoke some bad guys.
Guns ‘n’ Stories is a well executed wave shooter and excels in weapon and level variety but fails to really make a lasting impression. The repetitive game play and lackluster use of the move controllers make it a challenging game to play that at times tests your patience more than your skills.