GunDogs – Furry Combat Action!
By Jordan Hall(ApocaRUFF), OnRPG Journalist
GunDogs is a dog-themed third-person shooter brought to us by OGPlanet. It's far more than a simple shooter, though. To mix things up, there are also collectible card game elements thrown in. You could say that "it's all gone to the dogs" now that the Union and the Empire have entered into open warfare and the dog-soldiers have begun slaughtering each other. If you have a thing for dogs, or just third-person shooters, this may be a game that you want to check out.
There really isn't much customization in GunDogs, but that is what I expect from a third-person shooter. The customization comes from building your deck of cards, which gives you access to more characters to play, which have a variety of different abilities, weapons, and looks. Past that, however, you won’t get much choice in terms of customization. Don't get me wrong, customizing your deck can be pretty fun, especially when you consider you are only allowed to bring three cards, or classes, into a game. But then again, there are only a few cards you really want to go for, as the others don't feel worth it.
Two cards I got from opening two random packs
The graphics in GunDogs are just “OK.” They are what you would expect from a shooter... from 2005. While I have no complaints with the way that the quality, I couldn't help but think, “Is this the best they could do? It's 2013, right?” while I was playing. I played the game on the highest possible settings and was far from impressed. Of course, I could assume the lack of quality was intentional due to their choice of a “comic book” art style. I just felt that something a bit more impressive shouldn’t be difficult with today’s tech.
“Do these textures really need to be this bad?”
Despite my gripe about the graphics quality, I enjoyed the art style the game used. It fit perfectly with the already comical idea of dogs fighting a World War II-type war. The “blam” will pop up when shooting, rather than numbers that might pop up in other shooters. One thing I liked quite a bit was the sprinting effect. I would frequently sprint just for the sake of seeing my dog get on all fours and feel like I was going very fast.
“Something about “Blam!” is just so satisfying.”
Thankfully GunDogs uses a familiar control scheme, so it's easy to jump into the game and play. WASD keys to move, left mouse button to shoot, right mouse button to zoom, G for grenade – that sort of stuff. You can quickly and easily cycle between your weapons by using the Q key, which is nice. Another helpful feature is the on-the-fly mouse sensitivity feature which can be done with the bracket keys. Overall, the controls were smooth and I had no problem with them.
The community in GunDogs is that of your typical shooter. You won’t find much love in it, but little bits of camaraderie can be found. Prepare yourself to receive lots of insults and hack accusations. But please, do your part not to perpetuate the hate. I'll probably be giving the community here three stars.
GunDogs is a lot like what you would assume a third-person shooter to be. You spawn, you run around, and you hope that you get to kill people before they kill you. There's machine guns, rifles, rocket launchers, shotguns and grenades, among other possible weapons in your arsenal. Unfortunately, to me, the gameplay doesn't feel innovative enough to be too interesting.
The one thing that GunDogs has going for it is the dog theme. Those people that truly enjoy animal-themed games will probably appreciate GunDogs a lot more than I ever could. Other than that theme, everything is pretty generic. The collectible card game is kind of neat, but didn't stick out too much for me. If you haven't guessed by now, I was not as happy with the game as I hoped I would be.
The combat is fast-paced and can be intense. There are a variety of weapons to choose from and each has its pluses and bonuses. My personal favorite was the rifle, as I could snipe with it if I wanted, or I could spit out an entire clip fairly quickly. It felt great getting headshot after headshot. After the rifle my favorite was the shotgun, simply because I enjoyed that I had to get up in someone’s face for it to be effective. Sometimes, a melee battle would break out, which is always exciting.
One major problem I had when trying to snipe someone was that my shots would often hit the side of a building or a fence, even if I thought my shot would be in the clear. This was partially because of the over-the-shoulder angle, but also because everything seemed to have a tiny bit of an invisible barrier around it. It could be extremely frustrating when you line up the perfect headshot, only to have your shot be stopped by a balcony and then have your target turn around and take you out.
“As you can see, my cross-hair is quite a distance from the lamppost, yet I still hit it.”
Like most shooters, GunDogs seem to suffer a case of the Over-Powered Explosives. Every game I played seemed to be non-stop rocket and grenade spam. And if it’s not rockets, it's shotguns. People would often blindly shoot into buildings in the hopes that they would land a kill. More often than not, they would. Which brings up another gripe – the death sound. I had to mute the sound in the game because the constant generic death sounds were starting to give me a headache.
“A grenade to the face always does the job.”
On the topic of collectible cards, it's an interesting way to do progression. Like most collectible card games, you will buy packs, open them, and get cards. It's luck of the draw which card you get from the pack, and you may not be able to use the card right away. To use a card, you have to be of the required level of the class the card is in. It is to be expected that the better the card, the higher level you will need to be in that class. A rough idea of the classes you will encounter: Rifle, Shotgun, Medic, Rocket launcher, and machine gun.
The one thing GunDogs really has going for it is the dog theme. People who enjoy animal-themed games, or just like the fact that you sprint on all fours, will find the most satisfaction from the game. Those that are looking for a new and exciting experience will most likely be disappointed. The collectible card part of the game is a way to spice things up a bit, but I wonder how much money you'll have to pour into the game to get the really good cards? Overall, GunDogs is free to play and it can hold its own in this genre so I would say give it a try if you're looking for a new third-person shooter.
Features: 3.5/5 – Nothing really new, but I enjoyed the features that were included into the game.
Customization: 2/5 – Basically non-existent. Used to be that this was expected from the genre, but with games like Loadout coming into the market, you have to give us something to keep up with the competition.
Graphics: 3/5 – I understand that the game has comic-style graphics, but I feel that they could have been better.
Controls: 5/5 – Not a complaint by me in this department. Smooth and functional all the way.
Community: 3/5 – Your typical shooter community.
Overall: 3.5/5 – Not mind-blowing amazing, but definitely worth a try if you're looking for a new game.