It’s Time to Face the Music: Confronting a Troublesome State of affairs

A lightning-fast first-person shooter the place each shot should be timed to the beat, Gun Jam disappointingly comprises nowhere close to the variety of weapons or jams essential to carry your consideration for greater than an hour. Developer Jaw Drop Video games has managed to craft some stable foundations right here, particularly on the subject of the slick taking pictures, however the lack of any substantial maps or modes leaves the general bundle feeling frustratingly shallow and severely underbaked. Gun Jam might need a few of the uncooked substances of a chart-topping hit, however its fleeting size and sloppy presentation has extra in widespread with a forgettable warm-up act.

At its core, Gun Jam has all of the gripping gunplay of the latest Doom reboot, expertly melded with the extreme button-mashing challenges present in rhythm giants like Guitar Hero. Whereas the idea of a rhythm-based shooter is in no way distinctive, Gun Jam units itself aside by way of its refreshingly difficult method to fight. Presenting one thing of an honest center floor between the extra lenient musical brawls discovered within the likes of Steel: Hellsinger or BPM: Bullets Per Minute and the trickier timing of extra conventional rhythm titles, nearly all of its enchantment lies in a single main departure from the mechanics of these two video games. Slightly than merely rewarding a well-timed shot with bonus harm and extra rating, you’re solely restricted to taking pictures in time with the music. It sounds small on paper, however the result’s a staggering change within the general circulate and really feel of each combat. Its competitors could also be extra accessible, however the fight right here is deeper and extremely rewarding.

While you’re free to maneuver across the setting at will, every beat additionally affords the chance to sprint, sacrificing your present shot for a fast burst of ahead momentum. Chaining profitable photographs and dashes not solely retains your velocity up, serving to to keep away from pesky enemy projectiles, however contributes to a combo meter for higher excessive scores as effectively. With a finite variety of actions at your disposal, decided by the variety of beats in every tune’s distinctive beatmap, precision and ahead planning is essential to success. Lacking a single shot or sprint can typically make the distinction between life and demise, and being pressured to continually weigh up the selection between elevated mobility and sheer harm output opens the door to some severely meaty technique.

Credit score: Jaw Drop Video games

Sadly, these promising fight fundamentals are overshadowed by the barebones nature of just about each different aspect in Gun Jam. For each run, you will have simply 4 weapons at your disposal: a shotgun, rocket launcher, railgun, and plasma rifle. These change routinely, alternating with every new beat, and whereas the shotgun and rocket launcher each pack a good punch and make for a gratifying method to clear hordes of enemies, the 2 laser weapons are unsatisfying. With subsequent to no animation and little or no tangible influence in your foes, collectively they’re about as rewarding as making an attempt to tackle a brick wall with a water pistol. The influence of every weapon won’t be your largest concern if you’re bouncing round neon-lit arenas at 180 bpm, however for a small choice to solely include two winners is a big disgrace.

There may be additionally no story mode of any variety, and, with a grand complete of ten tracks to select from, you’re going to expire of choices rapidly. Every observe is sufficient, although none are significantly memorable, and the selection to focus completely on three genres (EDM, traphop, and metallic) signifies that what little is right here quickly feels samey. Fortunately, there’s nonetheless some potential within the means to import customized music, and with the ability to drag and drop sound recordsdata into the sport’s listing for the automated era of a beatmap is undeniably considerably spectacular. Sadly, its potential is usually hampered by inconsistent outcomes. Whereas I had nice success with EDM tracks in 4/4 signature, trying to play with nearly another style proved to be unpredictable at finest. In case your life-long dream has been to blast away at waves of enemies to the pounding beat of Darude’s ‘Sandstorm’, you’re in luck. For the rest, you’re higher off elsewhere.

Even in a hypothetical state of affairs the place your entire desired songs translate into beatmaps flawlessly, the miserly number of maps remains to be inevitably going to dampen your enjoyment. There are simply 4 out there, three of that are near-identical arenas that appear fully indistinguishable in all however aesthetics. These maps are wide-open featureless areas that put on out their welcome after the primary couple of minutes. The fourth, alternatively, affords an pleasing linear problem that has you clearing out cramped rooms in opposition to a strict time restrict. It’s a much-needed change of tempo, however the determination to have only one map like that is, frankly, mystifying. The addition of two extra on this type would go a good distance in night out the bundle.

Maybe most egregiously of all, nevertheless, is the truth that there is no such thing as a tutorial of any variety. With out entry to the eleven-page information doc distributed to members of the press, I’d have had no hope of understanding lots of the key mechanics. The invention of important data, like the truth that sure weapons permit some notes to be held for extra rating or that characters have distinctive well being attributes, depends on a irritating diploma of trial and error. From the minute you launch Gun Jam, you’re by yourself, and there isn’t even an try made to elucidate the fundamentals of the controls.

Regardless of the robust fight, it’s protected to say that the time it could take to be taught the intricacies would in all probability be higher spent enjoying nearly the rest given the slim scope of the whole lot on provide right here.

Gun Jam is out now for PC.


Devoid of any substantial content material, Gun Jam is a painfully underbaked providing that squanders the potential of its promising fight.


  • The taking pictures is sound and affords some depth
  • Importing customized songs can add further playtime


  • Simply 10 songs included out of the field
  • Solely 4 maps, three of that are painfully primary
  • No tutorial or steering of any variety