Guns, Gore, and Cannoli (PS4)


Guns, Gore & Cannolis need a different lead. Vinny Cannoli is too crude in his ambition as mob enforcer. Cannoli’s grating stereotype is of limited appeal, even when dressed in the context of the mid-1920s.

Underneath Canoli’s salacious exterior sits a videogame proud of its prohibition era aesthetic. The America around Cannoli is a walk through of growing industry and high spirits, pre-depression. Docks and factories are necessary pieces of the city’s layout. Work would be plentiful were it not for the alcohol experimentation which brought zombies into the city of Thugtown.

Picturing the rampant drunkards – post St. Patrick’s Day – as lurching, hiccuping undead carries the possibility of satire. Excise Cannoli, replace him with a government prohibition agent, and suddenly Guns, Gore & Cannoli’s would turn into a mockery of political overreach and propaganda, even suitable for marijuana.

The blood-stained and expressive animation has the necessary liveliness. Shame this only exists as part of the clogged zombie genre. Period work feels rather aimless as such – little would change when set in modern America other than a reason to blabber chauvinistic one-liners. In context, the setting comes across as an excuse.

Guns, Gore & Cannoli’s mimics the 2D run-and-gun patterns of 8 or 16-bit elites from SNK or Konami. A sick satisfaction occurs as the undead’s heads scatter upon impact; gunplay is smartly formed and well studied, despite a discomfort in button placement. A face button to shoot has clearly become an anomaly in contemporary design, two-dimensional play or otherwise.

Still, it’s enough to create a few hours of hapless lunacy. Musical saturation is clever and Guns, Gore & Cannolis will not overstep its boundaries. It’s short, brisk, violent fantasy escapism for its own sake.


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