Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes you just want to take your family for a nice vacation, but you’re halted at every turn by cannonballs flying rapidly towards your vehicle with murderous intent, or landmines scattered along the road eagerly awaiting the tires of your car to bump them so that you’re blown into tiny little pieces.
And that particular difficulty of life is portrayed in abundance with Guts and Glory, a 3D survival racing game developed by HakJak and published by tinyBuild, in which you’ll be taking control of multiple characters across a variety of obstacle courses as you try to drag your dismembered body to the finish line.
Here’s what I liked:
Abundance of Content – While there’s a lot packed into this game for its $14.99 price tag, the majority of the enjoyment comes from replaying the courses and witnessing different outcomes, or just having fun with the physics engine. There are a large variety of tracks to play on, in various settings, with most of the tracks allowing you to choose between multiple characters each with their own form of transportation and unique set of controls. You may play a track once as Earl, a drunken hillbilly trailblazing on an ATV and get one type of experience, then decide to play as The Yang Family who drives around in their convertible to get something entirely different from the very same obstacle course. There’s a large variety.
Fun for the Whole Family – During one of the loading screens, you’re informed that Guts and Glory is best played on the couch with friends, and that is a statement that I can wholeheartedly get behind. Friends make this experience even more enjoyable, because, at Guts and Glory’s core, it’s a comedy game. Albeit some of the gore can be quite disturbing and not for the squeamish, it’s fully a game that you can laugh at for the sheer insanity of what’s happening on the screen.
Bite-sized Chunks – The pick-up-and-play nature of Guts and Glory is its most distinguishable feature. The controls are simple, the objectives straightforward, and it’s perfect to play in short bursts if you want to kill (no pun intended) a few minutes. It’s the very definition of the phrase “easy to play, hard to master” as some of the later tracks will make you want to pull the hair from your scalp, while some of the early tracks present a fun and relaxing challenge. The degree of difficulty from mild to extreme makes sure that there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Here’s what I didn’t like:
Respawn Time – As one can imagine, you die a lot in a game focused on decapitation and gore. Unfortunately, the time it takes to respawn can sometimes range from 10 to 15 seconds, and that can really slow down the action or momentum you’ve gained. It’s not a terrible nuisance, but it would benefit the experience greatly if the respawning were a bit snappier.
Frame Rate – Guts and Glory runs smoothly on the Xbox One for the most part, but when the action kicks off, or there’s a lot of destruction taking place on the screen, things can slow down and begin to chug along. Crashing a car into an incoming pendulum of death can bring the game to an almost complete stop. It doesn’t detract from playing much, but it’s noticeable enough to be an annoyance at times, especially when you’re close to finishing a rather difficult track, and some slow-down can cause you to make a critical mistake. [Editors Note: While playing on an Xbox One X, this issue seemed to go away].
Guts and Glory won’t appeal to all audiences, but as a fun game to play with your friends, it’s worth your money. The carnage is so over-the-top ridiculous that it’s hard not to laugh and have a good time at seeing the outcomes of failing certain obstacles. So, hop on your bicycle, get on the track and go break a leg. Literally.
Score: Reader’s Choice