Rambo and Arnie did a lot for the world. They popularised the over-the-top explosive madness of cinema we all know and love today. And where cinema goes, video games follow.
Games have offered a lot of heroes to try and emulate these muscle-bound meatheads. Duke Nukem, Solid Snake, Guerrilla Bob.
Wait, what? Guerrilla Bob? That can't be right.Guerrillas in the Mist
Guerrilla Bob occupies the same space as Gun Bros. Mechanically, it’s a dual-stick shooter with an upgradable weapons system.
Narratively, it’s about a big, testosterone-pumped soldier gunning down the bad guys for the simple reason that they're there to be gunned down (the only difference this time is that the bad guys are cartoon caricature terrorists instead of cartoon caricature aliens).
We've got no complaints there. Plenty of games offer the same thing after all. But unfortunately for Guerrilla Bob, those games do it better.
On the face of it Guerrilla Bob looks polished and stylish. Characters are colourful and quirky, while the environments are attractively festooned with desert plants, broken roads, and rickety bridges. The problem is, the levels in which these appear are linear corridors rather than open environments.
Each of the eight levels has an assortment of enemies, but by the time you're halfway through the campaign fighting against the same four types can get a little repetitive.
There's a boss battle at the end of each level that shakes things up a bit, but apart from that the combat feels a little stale and mindless.Sticky issue
In terms of firepower, you can buy and upgrade new weapons such as twin uzis or a shotgun to add to the weak but fast machine gun that serves as your default weapon.
But there are two interrelated issues with the ordinance: enemies fall into the ‘bullet-sponge’ category, meaning you need to hit them several times to bring them down, but the Xperia Play touchpad implementation is fiddly, making this a tedious process exacerbated by the tendency of bullets to vanish mid-journey.
It doesn’t help that the camera is not at a perfect top-down angle, meaning that if you pass an enemy you end up having to fire blindly backwards in the hope of striking him.
Perhaps to combat this imprecision the developer has included an ‘autoaim fire’ function mapped to the L trigger, which automatically targets the nearest enemy for you and fires at the same time. But if you use this the game is no longer a twin-stick shooter – it becomes a mono-stick shooter, which makes it feel even more dumbed down.
Guerrilla Bob isn’t terrible. If you can manage to turn your brain off long enough it'll plug a time gap in your day. The multiplayer mode over wi-fi even allows you to do this with another person, if you feel so inclined.
But it just doesn't have the depth or gameplay polish to keep you interested beyond the first 100 bodies.