A gimmick on a pretty uneventful, boring experience
Genre: Action, Adventure
Developer: INTI CREATES
Publisher: PQube Limited
Release date: 27 Sep, 2016
Gal Gun is a game with endless meme review potential, I mean come on, it’s a lewd anime style game! A shooter to be specific. On-rails.
… and it’s good for what it is, but it’s too overpriced for the content quality presented. Having a pleasant presentation and good controls, the game is partially ruined by repetitiveness, boring writing and story and an insulting tutorial.
Fairly simplistic plot to make you the popular kid in school and thus throw you endless girls at you to not only shoot, but also talk and flirt during conversations in a Visual Novel style gameplay on top of the rail-shooter sections.
The writing isn’t very good or interesting, which is a sin in Visual Novel style games so I found myself skipping lengthy dialogues frequently. What makes up for it, though, is the multiple endings – there is one tied to each of the characters that you can talk to, each having their full route leading to a unique ending. The variety of the story is more than enough to warrant multiple playthroughs if you can stomach the mediocre writing, in my opinion.
And you’ll need to handle the gameplay too…
Split into components… the more gameplay focused part of Gal Gun is really the on-rails shooter sections, where you’re “attacked” by schoolgirls (still can’t believe I just wrote this), and by attacked I mean they interact with you through kissing you or even stomping you (yeah…).
To avoid getting “damaged” you must give them euphoria by shooting them – shoot them enough or hit their seemingly random weakspots enough times and they will fall to the ground all happy and blushing. Do this enough times and with accurate aim, you’ll beat every level without even breaking a sweat (the game is seriously easy) and get better scores, which seems the part where the game is difficult – your challenge is actually getting a good score rather than not dying.
By zooming in (RMB like traditional Aim Down Sights in other shooters), you’ll get extra points, see through their clothing (partially, there is no nudity or 18+ content, it’s all mostly implied “lewdness” at best) and even obtain new side objectives and play side minigames (oddly reminded me of Killer is Dead’s dating system).
The big problem with the game is that it’s really boring after a while as I felt close to no desire to continue the Visual Novel sections so most of the gameplay had to make up for it and it’s all about clicking on girls… come on. Gal Gun does introduce a nice variety of minigames that occur not only during shooting sections but also during interactions with the girls to gain their love.
Despite the variety, you’ll still be mostly facing endlessly repetitive shooting galleries that offer next to no challenge and to add insult to injury, the PC version runs well but has a horrible tutorial and controls as prompts are awkwardly presented in the controller layout despite me playing with the mouse and keyboard.
A very good component of Gal Gun, all combat sound assets are satisfying to hear and give the game a sense of being way more fast paced than it actually is with so many sound effects playing, from the girl’s euphoria to getting points and completing objectives to simply clicking and zooming in on them. Combat is paired with a pretty solid soundtrack but overall forgettable after you finish a level – might as well play the DOOM soundtrack over it, it’s hilariously much more fun!
I was quite surprised learning this was made on Unreal Engine as it looks absolutely nothing like it (I suppose I must praise UE too for the great variety of experiences it has provided us over the years) and the developers did a great job putting this anime artstyle all over it that is quite more detailed than I expected. The game is a bit old already but still looks pretty good with solid attention to detail throughout the levels and the UI is also simple but clean and non-intrusive as most games tend to be (and oddly, most UE games fit this category).
The game has very little configuration though, you can swap between Fullscreen and Windowed and change the resolution.
… that’s it.
Given the style, I can sort of forgive it but I still find worth mentioning that it’s particularly annoying seeing no graphical tweaks when you can notice some really jagged edges, an option to improve the anti-aliasing would be greatly appreciated.
Another complaint falls into the stability of the game – while it runs butter smooth, it has a tendency to crash occasionally. It’s not game-breakingly frequent but the game shouldn’t have crashed as much for the 12 or so hours of play I put into it.
Gal Gun is probably the weirdest game I’ve played (I’m usually not into these types of games) but I didn’t have a bad time with it, just a really average experience with a few gimmicks that didn’t really interest me as much as they surely will other people. For the ridiculous price of 36,99€ I can’t recommend this game, but on a decent or even hefty sale, it’s worth it for the correct audience… or just buy Gal Gun 2, which costs slightly more and improves absolutely everything.