INTRODUCING…..THE JACKASS REVIVAL YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR…..GOAT SIMULATOR: JACKASS EDITION. As cool as that sounds, I am totally kidding. Welcome to Guts and Glory, the intentionally buggy and ugly driving simulator. It is equal parts Trials and Jackass, taking obstacle courses way over the top to deliver plenty of laugh out loud moments and just as many WTF ones. Guts and Glory is touted as a “Death Run” game, which is fitting considering your characters can get dismembered in a variety of ways. With a heavy emphasis on physics, the game does not always put realism and accuracy first, but it favors fun in its simplicity.
Guts and Glory is not a pretty sight, by any means. It is one of those intentionally low quality (visual wise) titles that use this type of aesthetic to ramp up the absurdity of it all. Like Goat Simulator before it, this tactic works massively in its favor. A pretty game that controls less than great is typically disappointing, but a not-so-great looking game does not get your hopes up, so it can only go up from there. And it does. Across 70+ levels you will go from checkpoint to checkpoint, trying to survive whatever gets thrown at you. And a lot will get thrown at you, figuratively and literally speaking. From buzzsaws to cannon balls, to swinging logs and arrows, there are a lot of ways to get your run ended earlier than you planned. It’s fun to go through these obstacles that are presented in an almost “Wipeout”-esque way.
There are 8 vehicles to take on to these various levels, each with different drivers and handling styles. Whether it is a lady Evil Knievel with a bike to match; a couple riding a bicycle; or a Back to the Future wannabe on a hoverboard, there are different approaches to each level depending on its vehicle permissions. Each controls about as well as you would expect considering my earlier comments. Some are too heavy-handed, while others are too loose. Depends on what you decide to drive, but they all have a different balance to them. Dismemberments seem to affect this balance, which I thought was interesting as well. The game is not too difficult thankfully, but the control styles definitely contribute to making it challenging when it is.
The level structure is pretty varied as far as the sights to see go, but so is their level of quality and enjoyment. For instance, the first set of levels (A Walk in the Park) are intentionally easy to give you a feel for the controls. Sets like “The Great Outdoors” have great structure all around, while others like “Family Vacation” are inconsistent, featuring some heavily bland and boring levels but also showcasing some awesome ones themed after a theme park. The final set, The Glory Gauntlet, features some of the more complex and engaging levels. So while there is a lot here to explore, don’t expect every level to deliver.
Don’t expect the performance to always deliver either. While the bugs, gore, and ragdoll physics are always fun, sometimes the technical issues that come with some of these aspects are annoying. Dropped frames, complete halts in gameplay, and random deaths are among some of the more annoying bugs that come hand in hand with the goofy setup of the overall package. I will say that the game is more fun than annoying and while it may not have lasting appeal for all, I had a good time exploring it.
Guts and Glory is a pretty enjoyable title for only $15. While it may look and play like an early access title, it can be really fun at times. Its annoyances are minor, as are its offerings after scratching the surface, but for what it’s worth it’s a great pass n’ play game with a few other friends over and the WTF appeal gets the job done. Fans of Jackass, Trials, and Goat Simulator alike will all find something here that resonates with them.
*Note: A copy of the title was provided for the purposes of the review
Final score: 7/10
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