Tower of Guns has been getting some attention lately for two reasons; First of all, it’s currently featured in the Not On Steam sale, and secondly, it’s brilliant.
Tower of Guns is a Roguelike in the same sense that The Binding of Isaac is. It’s a first-person shooter first and foremost, but with the procedurally generated levels, randomised pick-ups and a selection of weapons and power-ups, no two games are ever the same. Quick reflexes are just as important as any power-up the game might throw your way, especially as taking damage lowers your weapon’s power as well as your health.
The current early alpha version of the game is light on story details, but for some reason you are trapped inside the titular Tower of Guns and must use whatever resources you find and some quick reflexes to survive. At the beginning of each game you can pick a weapon and a power-up from a limited pool that grows as you play the game and unlock further options. The initial power-up especially can have a huge effect on the way you play the game; Do you want to be able to double-jump straight off the bat, and maybe reach some secrets that would otherwise be out of reach? Do you want to ignore falling damage? Are you willing to trade health for speed? And the list goes on.
The level design in Tower of Guns is industrial or utilitarian, reminiscent of the early Doom games and the first two entries in the Quake series. The tower of guns is a living munitions factory, full of grinding gears and platforms that move like pistons, built out of endless metallic surfaces.
The enemies help to complete this picture too, consisting of cannons of various sizes, and all manner of simple robot enemies that swarm the player en masse.
The game moves fast, with that sense of speed and unreality in the movement that we all loved before Counterstrike had us all obsessing over faux-realism. Tower of Guns feels like something id could have made between Quake 2 and 3, and I mean that in the best possible way.
It seems like I’ve only started to scratch the surface of the game with each playthrough being a short-lived affair, but with each life teaching you something new about the game and how you should be playing it. With the developer guessing that the game is 56% complete, Tower of Guns is only going to grow bigger, more interesting and more polished.
Get in on the ground floor now and you’ll get a rough but compelling, fast-paced Roguelike shooter, or wait until it’s finished and you’ll be kicking yourself that you didn’t jump in sooner. Either way though, you want to play this.
The fast pace of the game (especially compared to most modern FPS) means that if you’re at all susceptible to in-game nausea, you’ll need to put the FOV right up. You can’t (yet) change it once you start a round, so remember to tweak it before you begin.