review
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POSTED 22/7/11


GATLING GEARS

EA
PS3/PSN (also on Xbox 360/XBLA, PC)

Ploink! Retzelfretzelmetzelpretzel... frerrgrrfrerrgrrmrrf... crawl, fumble, grope - aaaaaaaaah, gotcha! That’s the second time our contact’s taken a suicide leap from our ocular thingy in the last hour. It tends to happen when you’re too engrossed to blink...

Ladles and jellyspoons, addiction has a new name, and it’s a two-parter (uh, if you’re a bit s-l-o-w, that’s ‘Gatling’ and ‘Gears’). Imagine purloining the utter arcade shooty awesomeness of Smash TV, giving it an Ikari Warriors makeover then jamming it on scrolly-scrolly rails of pleasure and you’ll be careening down the right track.

Visually there’s a kinda old-fashioned metallic, geary, steamy thing going on – you could say it has somewhat of a punk ethos. Hmm, steam, punk... what? Erm... yeah! Let’s call it ‘vapourbrat’. Rather than shiny and new, everything’s generally rusty and lived-in, but that doesn’t stop it trying to kill several shades of shite out of you.

Actually, we could have just shrieked “mech!” and it would have had many sold. You control such a nutsy-boltsy beastie, armed with cannons, missiles, grenades and the odd ‘spark’ bomb (UNGH! Speak about destruction!). Deploy this arsenal vaguely strategically and you’ll earn currency, which in turn can be exchanged for goods and services like power-ups, power-ups and more power-ups as you kaboom a swathe through everywhere you go. Add the occasional stumbled-upon hypermification of those weapons and we’re talking mega twin-stick shooty-shooty ya-yas release via five levels each containing four sub-levels and a boss battle, the latter bigger and badder than Barry Hall mid-brainfart.

Repetitive? Yeah. Boring? Nuh-uh. Even two can play, simultaneously – yay!

Gatling Gears is about as groundbreaking as a marshmallow bulldozer, but why the fuck should everything be new and different? It grabs familiar and popular mechanics then takes them for its own spin. It’s aceness on a stick*.


* Stick sold separately.

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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2014. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.