Developer(s) – Terrible Posture Games
Tower of Guns is a Roguelike first-person shooter, with elements of many different games of its kind, including Doom and Borderlands. Expecting a simple run-of-the-mill shooter beforehand, I was pleasantly surprised to discover how excellent a game it is, giving testament to how far the indie movement has come since it’s recent establishment.
Graphics – 8/10
Making use of cel-shaded visuals and robotic enemies, not only is the game conceptually interesting, but the developers have cleverly made it suitable for a wide demographic, since there is no depiction of graphic violence. Whilst it could be argued that many of the different enemies are quite generic, the bosses are anything but that, ranging from robotic goats heads (a homage to the last boss in Doom II), from a room of spikes. The only gripe I have with the visuals is that the developers rushed to render them, since not only there are a fair few glitches, but when enough enemies appear on the screen at any one time, it can severely effect its frame rate.
Gameplay – 10/10
The game simply involves shooting through the many enemies that appear on the screen, and advance to the next level. The game also encourages exploration to a certain extent, offering items in hidden areas, which players must discover in a manner similar to either Doom or Duke Nukem 3D. There is also an endless mode, allowing players to play on for as long as they either desire, or as long as their abilities will allow them before they are killed. The amount of weapon variety in the game is also pretty impressive, with the player having to unlock each one through different means as they go, therefore providing even more replayability. Each room is also randomly generated, so that each playthrough also presents players with a new challenge every time.
Controls – 10/10
The game control scheme is definitely the most simplistic I’ve experienced in a modern-day first-person shooter, which to me, is like a breath of fresh air, having played a lot of first-person shooters with overly ambitious control schemes such as Brink, and to an extent, Destiny. It’s extremely straightforward, and most fans will be able to go from any other game in the genre to this one without skipping a beat. It would also serve as an excellent starting point to any gamers looking to get into the genre, but don’t know where to start.
Originality – 6/10
Though no other developers had ever thought of creating a Roguelike FPS before this, there is no denying that this game has it’s influences, such as Borderlands in it’s visual style, Doom in it’s basic premise of gameplay (indeed, FPS games today are still considered by old-school gamers to be Doom clones), and even Half-Life in its ominous soundtrack. However, in a market, which is now saturated by this particular genre of video game, its extremely difficult to make a shooter that stands out to any extent, and I think props are due to Terrible Posture Games for developing a shooter with this much replay value on a budget.
Overall, Tower of Guns is an exceptional title, and in my personal opinion, the best indie experience of the eighth generation of gaming so far. There have been many great indie games developed since Minecraft, and competition has become fierce, but if most games are as immersing as this, then indie games will prove to be even more popular in the coming years.