Everybody needs some pulpy, grindhouse goodness every now and then, and Lobo with Shotguns seems to be providing just that. A classic arcadey side scrolling beat ’em up, Lobo with Shotguns is aiming to provide a stylized experience, featuring an old school comic-like/80s cartoon vibe with an equally outlandish story and setting.
You play as John Lobo, a man wrongly accused of murdering his wife, who has now teamed up with the White Witch, Bianca, but some prisoners at Black Moon Prison made an evil pact turning themselves into monsters with the evil Crimson Monk, who wants to sacrifice Bianca to an old god, so it is John Lobo to the rescue, but he found himself outmatched against the evil forces and monsters until the Black Witch, Belladonna, gifted him some shotguns to take them out—he is also a man wolf or man wolf. One of the two.
The story is perfectly grindhouse and perfectly amazing. It won’t win awards, it won’t be full of allegory or metaphor, and it’s not designed to make you think, but that is entirely the point. It will be full of action, jaw-dropping moments that make no sense, and incredibly cheesy dialogue. In other words, it seems to be a love letter to those films, comics, and other media that many of us like to refer to as a “guilty pleasure.”
This is furthered by an art style that complements it completely. It definitely looks like one of those cartoons your parents may have kept away from you, hiding the VHS somewhere they didn’t think you either knew about or could reach. It even has the tracking line, static, and other visual cues that give you the hint you’re watching it on a VCR and some cheap tube TV. What look like cutscenes complement that even more with its old monster comics style.
Furthering their homage to everything pulpy and grindhouse, the developers are committed to making references to as many grindhouse movies as they can. Lobo with Shotguns definitely seems like a passion project to something the developers certainly love, and to something that is definitely not as popular as it was just a few decades ago. While this seems to be opening up this style of film to a new generation, the references and obvious effort will offer something to those already familiar as well.
The only questionable thing will be just how engaging the gameplay is. What will Lobo with Shotguns do to make it stand apart from the many side scrolling beat ’em ups we have all certainly played at some point or another, probably with a bunch of quarters in our pockets and greasy, pizza-eating fingers.
The Greenlight page promises a variety of monsters that John Lobo will be able to punch with his fists and shoot with his magical shotguns, with a variety of different ammo to change it up as well. Aside from the enjoyment gained from the experience and atmosphere of the game, the game’s attraction to those outside that grindhouse audience will be decided greatly on how fun the gameplay variety can be.
More than that, though, will be what sort of emphasis the developers will be going for in the combat. Will it be more about precision, or will gameplay be more about the spectacle? Will it be about killing as many things as possible, or will it be about methodically working your way through a level? Based on the feel and description, Lobo with Shotguns definitely seems to be the more spectacle type game all about killing as much stuff as fast and as satisfying as you can.
The other interesting part that Lobo with Shotguns can use to set itself apart is the promised “massive bosses.” The trailer above shows what appears to be one of those bosses, with John Lobo having to roll out of the way of a massive fist. That appears to be the typical, learn the pattern, dodge the attack, hit at the opportune moment sort of boss seen hundreds of times over and nearly every game. So, one would hope they get a little more interesting.
That seems to be about it for this spooky, sexy game. As always, if Lobo with Shotguns looks like something that would interest you, check out its Greenlight page and give it a vote. Lobo with Shotguns is currently set to come out sometime in 2016.
What do you think of Lobo with Shotguns? Is it a great homage to times past? What other games on Greenlight right now deserve a mention?