22 years have passed since the original Wild Guns (SNES) held a prevalent popularity among gamers. Developer Nastume is not only resurrecting the classic shooting gallery arcade classic for a PS4 release, they’re adding a slew of additions and improvements to help refine the game to meet today’s expectations of polish. Thanks to a hands-on demo at E3 I was reminded about how much enjoyment this series has to offer, my gaze returning to that childlike, wide-eyed stare of enthrallment as my eyes stayed fixed on the screen.
Wild Guns: Reloaded is incredibly easy to pick up. I jumped into a co-op match without a problem, quickly learning the controls as I went along. The game supports four players at a time to allow for some pretty chaotic stages that will force players to be aware of their surroundings at all times. Reinforced mechanics of old combine with a few new additions to show just how well the core concept of the original gallery style shooter aged. The Wild West theme meshes well with the games implementation of Steampunk elements, offering a wide array of visual designs in the environments, characters, and the animations for both.
There’s no superfluous progression in Wild Guns: Reloaded. Start up the game, jump in a stage (alone or with a friend), then see how well you do. Ray guns, side-stepping, double jumping, melee attacks, and lasso throwing are all abilities immediately available to players. Utilizing your lasso at the right time can stun enemies to allow for an easier time in gunning them down – this especially becomes useful against bosses as it will temporarily immobilize them, potentially preventing a pretty fatal attack. Shooting a power-up that spawns on the screen will buff your character (usually their weapon), and bombs can be used in a sticky situation to wipe out most of the on-screen enemies.
Two new characters (four total) with their own weapons and tactics, eight stages with three maps per stage (including classic and new stages), and a host of new special weapons makes Wild Guns: Reloaded focus on its already incredibly challenging arcade gameplay. Up to four players can simultaneously play through a wonderfully reflexive, nostalgic experience that harkens back to an older style of games now made completely approachable to old fans and newcomers alike.
If simple fun has been a lacking category in your gaming library as of late, you may want to consider this one.
Wild Guns: Reloaded is developed and published by Natsume in partnership with Natsume Atari. Look for it to release on PS4 in Fall 2016.
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