Luckslinger is a 2D side scrolling shooter developed by Duckbridge and published by 2Awesome Studios. You’re stoic, you’re efficient, and you’re damn good at your job. If that weren’t enough, you can literally make your own luck, so strap on your boots for our Luckslinger PS4 review.
The story of luckslinger is simple; you’re a famous bounty hunter, after anybody and everybody who has a bounty on their head. You’ve got an advantage though; your lucky charm, that lets you store and use luck as and when you please it. Aided by your trusty friend Duckbridge the duck (Who is genuinely useful and cool in equal measure), you hunt down people who’ve stolen or killed for other lucky charms from a small town, and it’s up to you to either throw them in jail or execute them to get back the charms and prove you’re the luckiest of them all.
It ain’t much on story, but it throws in a handful of colourful characters along the way, and with your fittingly silent protagonist you really feel like you’re living out a Clint Eastwood lifestyle where your actions speak louder than words, those actions being rapidly shooting anyone in your way.
A neat touch is each of the bad guys gives a monologue before the boss battle, something you never once respond to, except with a hail of bullets. It’s all very quirky and slightly hipster dialogue, which is an odd mix with a western aesthetic. However, with the way the game never takes itself seriously and just likes to bask in an aesthetic rather than give you a thematical western experience, I found it always fun and never annoying. If you care about their stories and motives, great. If you don’t? Skip the minimal dialogue, get to shooting.
Luckslinger is your typical 2D shooter on the surface, but with one key exception (aside from the obvious love put into the game) The luck mechanic. You’re lucky charm isn’t for show, its able to hold eight lucky pieces/tokens/souls of the dead, and the more you carry the better your chances become. Bad luck events like falling boulders or platforms that collapse when you step on them happen less often, and your bullets tracking enemies or enemy bullets moving out of your way become more frequent, rewarding careful gameplay and building up those precious lucky nuggets.
Outside of that the gameplay is fairly standard, but still satisfying and lovingly made. I’ll admit the low graphic art style gave me suspicions about the gameplay going in but I was proved wrong quite quickly. It’s surprisingly skill based, with adept jumpers and shooters being rewarded with more luck, and eventually more loot. You have your standard pistol that holds six shots with infinite ammo, followed by occasionally getting a shotgun or maybe some dynamite with limited ammo. It’s not an overly complicated package, but the gameplay loop holds your attention the whole way through.
This is some very basic pixel art in premise, but in execution the characters are all immediately recognizable to a known western throwback, like a disgruntled miner with a pickaxe over his shoulder or a rich business tycoon in a wheelchair (with much better dialogue as well, you know who I mean) the environments are satisfyingly unique between levels and there is a great amount of enemy variety, with unique moves to keep you interested throughout the experience. It’s simple, but its done very well with good attention to detail.
This is where Luckslinger feels a little disjointed in its execution. The sound effects throughout the game are equally as minimal as the content which feels welcome and needed, with dialogue being all text based with a small sound between text boxes to match with the 7 or 8 coloured squares making up a persons face.
Other than that the background music is all appropriate but never really pops, aside from the vinyls you can find in each level as a collectible. These tracks hold no pretence about being western themed, and just seem to be some cool tracks the developers friends wanted to get out into the world. I half expected a link to an obscure soundcloud profile after I played some of them but didn’t get any.
Weirdly enough with the quirky dialogue and seemingly random loading screen animations, this actually fits the aesthetic and gives the game a unique personality I haven’t seen in other games. It’s definitely not for everyone, but I didn’t find anything annoying or tasteless in my playthrough.
Luckslinger PS4 Review – The Verdict
Luckslinger is a solid little game with loads of personality and clearly a lot of love put into it. I got all the achievements before I even reached the third level so it’s not what I’d call an investment, it’s more like a bag of sweets once you’ve had too much savoury food, and you wont even feel like it’s bad for you. If you fancy something a little simpler and lighter on the brain, definitely give this upbeat western adventure a go.
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Good! - A fun little nugget for when everything else starts to feel tasteless
- Solid mechanics
- Loads of personality
- Short but sweet
- Basic gameplay
- Not much outside the main gameplay loop