|System: Xbox 360, PS3|
|Dev: Vanguard Entertainment|
|Pub: Electronic Arts|
|Release: June 28, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Violence|
Gatling Gears actually gets most of its replay value via online and offline co-op. When you drop into another player's game, you retain all your upgrades. This is magnificent if, say, you have a fully tricked-out mech and your friend is stuck noobing it up on the first few levels. The game doesn't actually change when you go into co-op mode, so you might notice that it becomes significantly easier. This isn't really a bad thing, as those hits you just had to take before are now more avoidable when another mech has your back.
The second way that Gatling Gears squeezes out some replay value is from its survival mode, which basically just tasks you with killing enemies before they overrun you. This is the only mode which the co-op difficulty drop actually hurts. I started it up to see how long I could go with a friend, and the conclusion was "effectively infinite." No really, we just gave up eventually and turned the game off out of boredom.
Boredom is the one thing preventing Gatling Gears from being a perfect top-down shooter for a new generation. It has a really solid system built into a nice-looking environment with a decent story, and its only real downsides are the parts that drag. It's easy to put the controller down when playing Gatling Gears, but it's equally as easy to pick it right back up. A tiny bit more refinement and this could have been a smash indie hit.
Gatling Gears is a fifteen dollar game that I honestly got fifteen dollars' worth of enjoyment out of. If anything, it's the only new top-down shooter alternative out there, and it more than competes with Geometry Wars and Super Stardust HD. In my opinion, you should give the game a whirl.
Angelo M. D'Argenio
CCC Contributing Writer