Guts and Glory is Awful, But I Can’t Stop Playing It

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Developed by one person going by the moniker of HakJak, Guts and Glory is one of those games that manages to be terrible yet at the same time, also rather awesome.

Available now on PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC, it’s obvious the minute you launch Guts and Glory that it isn’t a looker. Environments are sparse, character models are basic, many textures are flat, and shadows leave a lot to be desired (on Xbox One, at least). Then you start playing it and find more to be dismayed at.

Bicycle or gas-powered chair? It’s your choice

Essentially dropping you into assault courses with a choice of vehicles, Guts and Glory is all about proceeding through checkpoints until you reach the finish line. Some courses will force you to take control of a happy couple riding a bicycle, others a hobo strapped into a gas cylinder-propelled chair. And there are many more in between, such as a redneck riding a quad bike and a whole family in a convertible.

No matter which vehicle you choose to complete each course, however, you’ll find that the physics can only be described as ludicrous. The handling of most vehicles is also rather poor, and there are some troublesome bugs. But you know what? It really doesn’t matter. For some reason, Guts and Glory overcomes all of its obvious shortcomings because it’s just downright absurd, and also strangely enjoyable.

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There’s red everywhere

Perhaps it’s because its courses are challenging but achievable; I’ve failed many times, but I know with a little more skill and persistence I can overcome any obstacle placed in my way. Planks of wood with nails sticking out of them, circular saws placed on chairs, logs swinging violently, strategically placed canons; I’ve faced them all. Many times I’ve been obliterated by them, but I’ve also defeated them. And with each victory came the feeling of elation.

Failing in Guts and Glory is nearly as enjoyable as winning, though. You see, just like in real-life, each and every one of the characters riding the vehicles included is a big bag of blood and guts. Crash, and they might find themselves ejected from their vehicles before their insides become their outsides from the subsequent impact of whatever they hit. And of course, getting caught by traps like circular saws and canons will result in lost limbs or simply being blown to smithereens.

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Create your own hell

Those who are squeamish can turn the gore off if they want. But on the other end of the scale, gore hounds can make it even more ridiculous than it is by default if they wish. Turning it off kinda breaks the spirit of the game though; it’s called Guts and Glory for a reason.

While the console versions of the game contain 70 or so courses created by HakJak, by picking it up on PC (Windows, Mac or Linux) players can also enjoy user generated content. So, PC is definitely the way to go if you want your Guts and Glory fun to be truly endless. To be honest though, the 70 courses provided by HakJak offer enough value for the game’s £11.99/$14.99 asking price. Just be sure of what you’re getting into before you buy, because if you don’t like seeing guts or chasing glory against the odds, you might not enjoy it as much as I have been doing.

Guts and Glory is available now on PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC.