Review: Guts & Glory
I used to play a lot of Happy Wheels before when I was younger, and I loved the concept it had. It offered so much fun while being very brutal with its amount of gore, resulting in hilarious moments. A while ago, I was thrilled to hear that Guts & Glory had released for Xbox One, which is basically a 3D version of Happy Wheels. Tinybuild sent me a review code of the game and I definitely have some things to talk about!
Platform: Xbox One S. Introduction The game starts off with a simple menu that contains a big logo with the game's title, as well as the two biycle riding characters from the game, called John and Debra, sitting on their bicycle on top of a cliff. The creative and fun part of the main menu is that if I navigate to the logo and press it, John and Debra gets crushed.
It's not important at all but if I'm ever bored, I know that it's there. If I press "Play", I get the option to choose which group & track I want to play. There is an introduction group with different kind of levels to make me familiar with the game and how it works. It's a great way to start the game and it's not too long. Visuals/performance Guts & Glory is a physics based game and it features a hilarious ragdoll system. Visually, it's actually not that bad looking, despite not being focused on looks. I rather like the graphics, actually. Textures look like high resolution textures and general design is pretty neat, especially the level design. One awesome thing is the damage system for vehicles, it's sort of like a low-budget version of GTA V's damage system, which I loved. It seems to be running in native 1080p at 30-60fps. Some levels are huge and look pretty good, with some other levels being tiny. Seeing the character that I am playing as get demolished by a cannon ball in a beautiful yet horrifying way, looks insane.
I can't help but to laugh and admire the game's hilarious moments. The amount of ways that my character can end up looking like after failing a level, is just ridiculous. It almost feels horrible to enjoy the concept, at times. Performance wise, it can get pretty hectic, with there being drops down to 10-20fps when a lot of things are happening at once. For example, I noticed a quick but significant framedrop nearly each time my character got obliterated. These framedrops tend to show up from time to time, too but not as significant. The performance could've been a lot better. Moving over to audio design, I think it's perfect. It's exactly the kind of music that I'd expect from a game like this.
It gives off a happy and fun vibe (maybe to distract me from the inner horrors of the game?), while also being a bit creepy. Overall, audio design is pretty good. The sound of a body being crushed in the game is, surprisingly, pretty authentic sounding and vehicles sounds like they should do. There's not many bugs in the game at all, too! It's fairly well optimized but could've been executed way better. For some, the in-game menu might feel a bit weird but it never really bothered me. Gameplay With Guts & Glory basically acting like a 3D version of Happy Wheels, there's bound to be some similarities. It's the same gameplay but in 3D, with a lot of content like in Happy Wheels. However, as of right now, it doesn't feature a custom track playlist/creator, which is a missed opportunity but something tells me that we can expect one in the future. There's very many groups of tracks to choose from, all offering a ton of hilarious and creative tracks. In one group, I play as the Yang family while they're on a vacation. In it, my objective is to survive different and dangerous levels in order to progress.
There's all kinds of hazards in the levels, everything form landmines, huge swinging logs, to turrets shooting arrows. Any small mistake could turn my flawless run into a failed attempt, too, due to it being physicd based. It's all very diverse and varied, while never boring me out, becaue of its challenging levels. A typical level can play out like this: I choose my character, (there's many to choose from, though it depends on what level I am playing), upon entering the level, my objective is to get to a checkpoint (either a yellow or orange circle) while trying to evade all the dangers that are within the level. Once I enter a checkpoint, that's the place I'll respawn at if I die and choose not to start over. Throughout the levels, I saw many pedestrians standing around, and they can be dangerous if run over at high speeds (yes, I ran them over BUT only because of an achievement!). At times, I thought the danger was over but there I was at the next turn, shot in the head with an arrow by a turret. Sometimes, I had to change the type of vehicle I used since I needed a smaller one, for example.
Slow-motion for a few seconds is possible, too if I ever want to navigate more precisely. There's also boost to go faster, which helps a lot for certain jumps. Guts & Glory is the perfect game to play with friends together by taking turns on a level. However, Hak Jak really should've put a multiplayer option in the game, as it would've been tremendously fun! That's the biggest flaw with the game, in my opinion. When it comes to how many characters there are, there's at least 8 of them. All with their own different vehicled and personalities. Some of the are: Pedro (car), Larry (jetpack, sort of), the Yang family (car), John and Debra (bicycle), and Earl (ATV). The option to put a hat on characters is there, too. I tend to use John and Debra a lot but I also like using the Yang family. I love how the characters are designed and I really think they give the game its characteristics. There's also a Halls of Glory track featured on the main menu that gave me a showcase of all the people that worked on the game, as well as some bonus easter egg tracks to play.
The game is pretty challenging but that just makes it so much more fun, and some levels really made me annoyed at times, but I kept going. All because of how fun and addictive its core gameplay is (and because it's so brutal!). There's so many levels to play and explore! It's insanely fun to experiment in different ways, too! Using the game's camera when my character has died, is great for surveying the situation before progressing forward. It can also be used to get some up-close views of dead characters, too. Yuck! All in all Guts & Glory is a hilariously fun, difficult and entertaining game. It offers hours of fun gameplay. The 3D Happy Wheels game we've all wanted is finally here! It doesn't have a focus on looks but still holds up pretty well, all while also offering awesome physics based gameplay. There's a ton of content and for the price, it's an easy choice! The characters featured are great, and levels are huge! I've enjoyed every second spent in the game, even though performance might be a bit off at times. Hak Jak missed an opportunity by not putting multiplayer in it but it's still a great game. I truly recommend this hilarious and wonderful game.
Guts & Glory is available digitally on the Xbox Store for the low price of $15. A review code was provided for review purposes. This review is written by Jesper Ingemansson and is based on his honest opinion about the game.