Beware of hairballs and hordes of enemies: the game Wildcat Gun Machinedeveloped by Chunkybox Games and published by Daedelic Entertainment, features a series of fast-paced, action-themed levels that will appeal to sci-fi fans and animal lovers alike.
On paper, everything is ideal for the title to be a success: electronic music with a good rhythm, cartoonish visuals, enough monsters to vary the pleasures, several weapons to unlock… And a series of dungeons to explore, history of ‘recover bonuses there, without forgetting to eradicate any form of life, monstrous or mechanical, which is there. And after having “cleaned up” a level by killing the chief villain, it will be a question of doing the same thing with the next level, then the next level…
There is no denying it, in terms of visuals, it is successful: everything is nicely drawn, the colors are vibrant, the monsters and the heroine are very well designed, etc. Normally, all this would be the mark of a good game. Or, at the very least, of a game to which we will devote perhaps 30, even 60 minutes, just to clear our minds.
After all, we are quite rarely interested in a dungeon crawleror to a bullet hell, for its narrative structure. The rest will therefore have to be solid enough for the whole thing to hold up without a major dramatic revelation in the last act.
The problem here is that Wildcat Gun Machine is just…ordinary. The music is good, yes, but it loops in a few minutes, and you get tired of it quickly. As for the monsters, their design is quite original, but when it takes fifteen or even twenty blows to kill some of them, we are no longer in the shoot ’em upor in the dungeon crawler, but in the patience simulator. Oh, some special weapons can be effective at punching through the toughest monsters, but those same weapons are only available with a limited amount of ammo. The player can therefore find himself in the middle of machine-gun fire, exploding enemies here and there, but suddenly, it’s the return to the small gun which can be useful, yes, but whose power is minimal.
Another irritating aspect, the game allows you to “store” lives, a story that a death does not mean, fortunately, the end of the game. However, the way the resurrection system works is difficult to understand. During a fight at the end of the level, for example, being killed leads to three options: to start again at the place of our death, by losing a life; start again at the nearest control point, without losing a life, or start again at the center of the map, which is the starting point of the level.
If we choose the first option, we would be entitled to imagine that we will come back to life alongside the bad guy on duty, ready to resume the fight. However, the resurrection takes place rather outside of the battle arena, without restoring special ammunition, while the fight against the big bad will have to be started from the beginning. Why?
In short, Wildcat Gun Machine is a game that tries very hard to be relevant and interesting. And if he’s not completely in the field, the result is strong enough not to drop the title in the turnip category. But it’s also incomplete enough to make you want to move on.
Wildcat Gun Machine
Developer: Chunkybox Games
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Platforms: Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series/One (tested on Windows/Steam)
Game interface offered in French