I'm told that Gatling Gears is a sequel, but you wouldn't know it by looking. It took me several hours to catch on that this dual-stick shooter is the follow-up to Greed Corp, a game I own and put a lot of time into. Up until I had my epiphany, this was just another middling action game with generic levels and boring weapons. Now I see the connection, but I can't help feel that Gatling Gears is yet another missed opportunity.
In case you missed the 2010 original, Greed Corp was a turn-based strategy game revolving around harvesting land and building up armies. While it had an interesting premise (complete with harvested land dropping from the map entirely), the end result was a muddled mess filled with one questionable decision after another.
For the sequel, Vanguard Entertainment decided to go the complete opposite direction. Gone are the days of harvesting land, instead this game plays out like every generic dual-stick shooter you've played since the launch of the PlayStation 3. You wander through five lengthy levels (and a prologue) dodging bullets, shooting bad guys and causing the usual amount of destruction. The only thing different about Gatling Gears is that the player fights in a large mech. Outside of that one change, this overhead action game is indistinguishable from about five or six other downloadable releases.
The player has three basic attacks that can be upgraded over the course of the game. Your main attack is a short-range machine gun that never runs out of bullets. You also have a long-range missile attack and powerful grenades that can be lobbed at tanks and other baddies. Although these weapons are powerful, they are also limited. Thankfully these alternate weapons refill over time, which means that players will have to manage their time wisely.
Sadly, those are the only weapons in the game. From time to time you'll pick up an item that super-charges one of these weapons, but it's short lived and not as satisfying as having a brand new gun. Even upgrading these weapons (and your armor) doesn't do much. While your bullets, missiles and bombs do become noticeably more powerful, there's very little difference in how they look or act. It didn't take long for me to get tired of using the same weapons and thus lose interest in this unambitious shooter.
This isn't helped much by the pedestrian level designs. From time to time you'll see a glimmer of potential (such as parts of the level breaking apart), but those parts are too far apart to leave a lasting impression. I was happy that the five stages offer unique locations, such as a desert, city, forest, etc. Sadly, we've seen a lot of these types of levels in other overhead shooters. For what it's worth, the attention to detail in these levels is outstanding.
Gatling Gears isn't a terrible shooter, but it also lacks any ambition. As dual-stick shooters go, this is another lazy attempt at the genre. The boring weapons and mediocre level designs won't win this game any awards, but they also won't ruin an otherwise unspectacular action game!
This product was submitted by the publisher for review. As a rule, Defunct Games does not review games we spent money on. However, that does not always apply to classic/retro games. This specific product, however, came straight from a PR guy for the purposes of being reviewed!