Tower of Guns (Xbox One) Review
Randomly generated levels means no two runs are the same
A different kind of FPS
Many secrets to find and unlockable to unlock
Enemies and environments repeat
Randomness seems to favor luck over skill
No story or plot whatsoever
Doom Meets Spelunky –
With straightforward gameplay and randomly generated levels, Tower of Guns has individuality in the crowded FPS genre but lacks options to keep you playing for long.
Tower of Guns simplifies almost every aspect of gameplay. There is no reloading, no ammo pick-ups to worry about, the player can only hold one gun and one perk at a time, environments and enemies repeat, and stage progression always remains the same – enter a room, enemies spawn in front of your eyes, clear them out (or try and run pass them), shoot the door to open it, repeat. This simplified style of gameplay reminded me of early FPS titles like Doom and Wolfenstein.
Normally these barebones options would almost feel like an incomplete game but the Tower of Guns spin relies heavily on the randomly generated levels with Spelunky attitude. Playing as a nameless gunman with no princess or world to save, the goal is to simply get from Room A to Room B until you reach the end of the tower. If you die, however, you start back at the beginning to do it all over again, like Spelunky. Skilled players can probably reach the end of the tower in about 30 minutes but many times luck seems to be more rewarded that skill. If you happen to gets a good string of random levels mixed with an efficient gun choice, players will have a better shot at reaching the end game. But since players are limited to only one gun and one perk for the entire run, the randomness, luck, along with skill, comes heavily into play. Also, the player is supposed to be climbing a tower but I rarely got the impression that I was climbing upwards. Instead, I felt like I was often running through a long building with only one or two floors tall.
I must admit, the first time I played Tower of Gun I had no idea what was going on. It wasn’t until I died about five times did I start to understand how the game works. Tower of Guns wants you to die over and over. That is the point. This will undoubtedly frustrate players but will hook others. Trying to get further up the tower or earning a higher score in the Endless Mode is the ultimate reward, not destroying a Nazi army or saving the Earth from an infectious parasite. Besides Achievements/Trophies, players are also rewarded with additional gun and perk choices by performing certain tasks in game that provide something else to strive for. But even with these additional incentives, it would have been advantageous if the game provided different environments, enemies, and even additional types of damage taken. With a comic book cel shaded art style, the game looks like a cross between Borderlands and XIII; the game looks good but you will wish there was just more of it to see. Getting attacked by the same lasers, slow moving cannon balls, lava pits, or saw blades also becomes repetitive.
Tower of Guns isn’t a game for everybody and will take a little bit of time to understand. But if you are willing to give it a shot, its hooks might stick into you with some persistent patience. Normally selling for $15, this downloadable title will be free for PS Plus subscribers on PSN for a limited time after its launch.
Not As Good As: a tower of bacon covered ice cream
Also Try: a roguelike
Wait For It: Splatoon
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com