Guts and Glory
Developer: HakJak Productions
Release Date: 19 July 2018
Price: $14.99 / £13.49
Reviewed by Josh Brant
Usually, if you go on YouTube and search for some Let’s Plays, you’ll probably encounter crazy video games like Goat Simulator that make for some interesting streaming experiences. In that vein, it seems that developer HakJak Productions have taken their Jack Ass inspirations to a whole new level of insanity with their title Guts and Glory.
It’s all about weird over-the-top physics and violence for the sake of it. The question is: does Guts and Glory accomplish the task of being a game you can enjoy for being dumb, or is it just completely incompetent?
For the Glory
In Guts and Glory, your goal is to go through a number of checkpoint markers and get to the eventual finish line of each level. To do so you’re going to have to survive a weird and frantic obstacle course filled with many different hazards that will instantly kill your character in a very violent manner. The physics are of the rag-doll variety with over-the-top violence, and you can increase this further in the options if you'd like.
The controls aren't overly cumbersome, and in fact, this is one of the better controlling games in the genre. Bear in mind though, that this being the type of game it is, they'll still take a little getting used to.
The campaign mode is broken down into nine different stories with multiple missions in each. You’ll have different characters to choose from before a mission that are the focal point of the story, but you can play with as many different characters as you would like between levels. You'll get some brief context on the loading screens, but other than that there’s really no story to speak of. Once you start playing a level, all you have to do is try and get to the end in one piece.
Guts and All
Unfortunately, the disappointment with Guts and Glory is that there’s no real reward system for a well executed run. You don’t earn any gold, silver, or bronze trophies for high scores or finishing with a quick time. You do have to complete one part of a story to progress to the next level, but you can do any of the story campaigns in whatever order you want. If there’s a particular character or character type that you don’t like playing as, you can simply switch it up.
When you suffer a death - and death will come frequently - a quick press of up on the D-Pad button will cause you to respawn. Unfortunately, this is where another niggle rears its head; loading screens.
Despite how frequent the game will murder you by design, you’ll need to endure a loading screen each and every time that happens. This alone is not that big of a problem, but the loading times can vary, with some lasting upwards of twenty seconds on the Switch. This gets to be a bit of a drag, reducing any momentum or desire you have to plough through the challenges on offer.
While controlling the characters, their vehicles range from motorcycles to cars and, even a jetpack chair that can be a nightmare to control. There's a choice of characters before each mission, with more becoming available once you've bested it with those on offer.
There were a few technical problems as well while playing, such as sometimes failing right before a course would even start or even just bugging-out to a completely blank screen. This would happen more often in some levels than others, but it caused enough issues that I had to reset several times.
Guts and Glory is a game you'll have a few good laughs with, especially when passing the controller around with friends. It's fun for a few hours, but after those few hours, there isn’t much of a game left. I’m sure if you’re trying to create an interesting Let’s Play channel on YouTube, Guts and Glory will give plenty of interesting content to laugh at, but it could do with a significant amount of extra polish.
Pros & Cons
+ Fun and humorous to experience with friends
+ Plenty of crazy tasks to perform
- Game runs poorly at inopportune times
- No real rewards for doing well on a course
- Gameplay is serviceable, but the novelty will end fairly quickly