Jump Gunners’ gameplay is insane, and that’s a good thing. Those of you that long for something as explosive and as accessible as Metal Slug, will fit right in here. This is a game that will make or break friendships, a formula that we sadly don’t see enough of on the Xbox Storefront. The aim of the game is relatively simple; jump onto a map alongside up to four of your nearest and dearest, grab a weapon of your choosing and do all that you can to send them to an early grave. The kicker, however, is that the recoil of each weapon is ridiculous.
Yes, that’s right. Jump Gunners is one of the most accurate title descriptions the game could possibly have been handed, but we’ll cover that in a moment. Jump Gunners offers a healthy selection of self-explanatory game modes, such as last man standing, capture the flag and team deathmatch. There’s also some single-player mini-games should you find a craving for the game and have no-one nearby to play it with you. Irrespective of all of that, the game’s core functionality largely remains the same throughout play; spray and pray.
The game’s assortment of well detailed maps helps to inject some diversity, but in all honesty, the fast-paced action takes far too much of your concentration to truly enjoy what’s on offer. That’s a compliment, by the way, not a criticism. During even the initial stages of play, the game’s personality immediately shines through. Weaponry has a massive amount of recoil, so much so that you will literally be able to jetpack-like propel your character into the air by shooting downwards, oftentimes making you one of two things.
You’re either a sitting duck in the sights of your opposition, or, you’re a god-like floating Chuck Norris raining fire from above. The game’s fluid and precise controls allows for a great deal of in-air movement, but it does indeed take some time getting used to before you can confidently pull off some jaw-dropping aerodynamics. Jump Gunners’ many weapons (over twenty in total) range from assault rifles and sniper rifles, all the way up to rocket launches and flamethrowers, all of which provide their own pros and cons as far as the output goes.
This alone gives the game a definitive edge over its peers, implementing a sense of firefight strategy, depending on your and your opposition’s weaponry – moment to moment. If you’re coming into this as a solo-player in the hopes of finding a fleshed out offering that will keep you engaged for hours on end, you might be somewhat disappointed. Jump Gunners, despite housing a range of tough solo challenges, is a game that feels specifically designed for competitive couch multiplayer, and as such, it would be unfair to judge it for being anything but.
That being said, the game does indeed support AI bots, so there’s nothing stopping a solo-player from enjoying everything that’s on offer, you’ll just have much more fun if you’re playing with others. Jump Gunners can be played in a variety of different ways; solo, multiplayer competitive or multiplayer team competitive. Battles can indeed be customized also, affording players a degree of freedom and selectivity, with that said, for its price, its an absolute steal. There’s no shortage of environments either, totaling over eighty destructible environments within.
Each of the hazard-filled maps can be blasted to create even more death pits and carnage, which again elevates Jump Gunners above its peers. My only gripe is that there’s no online support and for someone who doesn’t have immediate access to nearby friends, this is the biggest drawback for me. It’s easy to overlook in the face of everything the game gets right and I fully appreciate that adding online capabilities for a game like this would be risky, but it’s the only thing that I constantly questioned throughout the entirety of my time playing.
Still, when all is said and done, there’s no denying the game of its alluring overall design. Jump Gunners offers up a fast-paced easy to play (yet, hard to master) experience that will have you laughing in the face of your friends, or leaning over to clip them around the noggin with your controller. The various maps and weaponry makes up for the bulk of the game’s diversity, ensuring that even the lengthiest of gaming sessions remain fresh and constant from start to finish. It helps, of course, that the game looks and sounds great, with plenty of content to chase after.
Jump Gunners’ most alluring feature is that due to its healthy serving of weaponry and its deep pool of destructible maps, the game constantly feels fresh and engaging, despite leaning on the same concept from beginning to end. If you’re on the market for a couch-play game that’s as over-the-top as it is action-packed and diverse, Jump Gunners should most certainly be on your radar.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.