Thought you could trick us into thinking you’re a Switch title, eh, Guns of Mercy? Suffice to say, you’re not fooling anyone. This side-scroller is another phone app-to-console port, only in the form of an illustrious special edition. No paywalls or microtransactions are here, just the uncut good stuff. And that’s really the most accurate summary to give this one: it’s good stuff, ‘nuff said.
Beneath the Earth lies an army of aliens. Rangers have been called in to solve the problem. Equipped with a deadly weapon and a mech suit, you gotta fulfil the kill quota on each stage before heading back into the lift. It’s nothing daunting in the slightest, as the emphasis is on the gameplay. All you gotta remember is how to shoot stuff, and nothing much else!
You’ll be able to pick from a few different rangers from the get-go, each with slightly different speed, damage, and the like. Some of these changes are minor at best, though you can level them up to make them even more powerful. There’s an effective armory of weapons, ranging from the standard blaster and shotgun to a grenade launcher and a cannon with reflective projectiles. Power-ups can freeze enemies momentarily or summon turrets, while cans of petrol will allow you to activate your ultimate ability – a mech suit with a ludicrously gratifying amount of firepower – considerably faster.
Don’t think you’re as mobile or agile as Mario in this one. Simply put, you can only shimmy to the left and right. Jumping and platforming are out of the question, and the level design remains the same, barring the background visuals and enemy count. It does make the gameplay feel all too familiar and unvaried awfully fast. Then again, there’s still some appeal to its simplicity, making it accessible for anyone who just wants to partake in some mindlessly satisfying shooting. Plus, you can invite up to 3 friends for some crazy co-op action.
The whole thing is one big grind, but it’s at least entertaining enough for short bursts. In essence, you’ll be seeing how far you can go before you’re finally killed, before doing it all over again. The gold and gems you snag along the way can be spent on new guns to start a game with. Alongside that, it’s possible to improve the duration of power-ups, and unlock some new characters to play as, not to mention skins for your mechs. The price tags on the latter are awfully pricey, though at least there are many unlockable challenges that’ll help you rake in more dosh quicker.
While 16-bit graphics and chiptune music have been done to no end in indie titles, at least Guns of Mercy: Rangers Edition is definitely one of the good-looking titles. The animations are smooth and slick, while the stage backgrounds are incredibly detailed. Its soundtrack is a pretty decent listen, too. You get to choose which song you’d like to hear in between each game, and can even acquire more tunes as you progress.
If you want a shooter that cuts the fat and gets straight to the good stuff, then Guns of Mercy: Rangers Edition may be for you. That is, so long as you don’t mind a fair bit of repetitive gameplay and grinding. There’s still enough cool weapons and power-ups that are joyful to use. Plus, having to shoot down many one-hit kill enemies attacking from above and the sides can be quite thrilling. It’s anything but merciful, but boy, is it good fun.
Review code supplied by Pixel Heart.