Tony & Clyde is a top-down, twin stick shooter with a story of revenge that has been created and published by indie developer DCF Studios. Success favours the brave in this world that is filled with fast-paced action and new challengers awaiting at every turn.
Tony & Clyde are a duo of hardened lawbreakers that are fighting through the ranks of a criminal underworld for justice, but justice for what? Though I love a story of revenge, there was very little time invested in learning about Tony or Clyde through my 4 to 5 hour playthrough, so I never really felt committed to their story. Throughout the game, players can also play as either Tony or Clyde, though it makes no difference in gameplay.
During the first mission the player is slowly introduced to each game mechanic, which is a simple design. Like any twin stick shooter, the player can aim their weapon with the right joystick and move with the left. Players also have access to a dodge, which is essential to staying alive, as well as a melee attack that can be used in close combat situations, a reload, a run toggle and the option to change from heavy to light weapons.
Missions consist of areas that are scattered with enemies and each one has a boss waiting at the end of it. Each enemy can be killed with a single shot though, to make it harder, the player also falls to only a single shot, so therefore the dodge ability is the key to success. While each enemy can be downed at the same rate, they do hold a variety of weapons in their hands, from shotguns to automatic weapons, but the same defence mechanism works for all.
There were a lot of in-game moments that made it clear the AI of enemies was seriously lacking, with non-playable characters struggling to do simple tasks like make it through doors, as well as being completely ignorant of the fact their comrades were being killed around them. There are a few levels with NPC’s that are just there to fill the gaps that would have no reaction to any of the death and destruction that was happening around them. While I understand that Tony & Clyde is intended to be a simple arcade shooter, it felt somewhat redundant to have NPC’s completely oblivious to the world around them.
Most missions offer a checkpoint before entering a boss battle and I did manage to dodge my way to this point on more than one occasion without having to unload a single bullet from the chamber. Bosses are different from regular enemies in that they have a depleting health bar that lingers over their head rather than falling to a single shot. Each boss can be approached differently to improve the players chance of success, but it always just ended up coming down to a dodge-fest for me, often heavily mixed with melee attacks. The dodge ability has a habit of being inconsistent at times, picking and choosing when to work or not.
There is a nice array of different weapons that can be collected either through progression of the story or by finding and shooting “Juice-Men” that are hidden within levels, with each weapon falling into either the heavy or light weapon category. Heavy weapons consist of assault rifles, machine-guns and even rocket launchers, with light weapons comprising of several pistols and sawn-off shotguns but the only time I felt the need to change my loadout was to deal with a particularly difficult boss. I did have a moment early in my playthrough where I wanted to adjust my loadout and I was kicked too the main menu. So do be warned, if a player wants to change their loadout while in-game they will be sent to the main menu and lose all progress of that mission.
DCF Studios went for a certain look with Tony & Clyde and at times they pull it off, with that old school arcade look coming off nicely and when firing off weapons in dim light the bright flashes look great. This game does however loom a one-shot death over its players head and there were numerous times the lighting was so dark that the enemies could not even be seen, or the camera did not pan far back enough to let me see what was in front of me. Ultimately, unless there is any prior knowledge of a mission area the chance of getting the job done is slim.
There are a few things done right when it comes to sound but it’s not without its problems. While I generally cringed at a lot of the dialogue, I felt like DCF put good effort in to voicing their characters. Guns each have their own sound but can be hit or miss, with some automatic weapons sounding like they pack a punch and others creating a sound that resembles that of rain hitting an umbrella. The one thing that I can safely say was done right is the soundtrack, whether it be during a mission or during a boss fight. Bosses each have their own theme and they only seemed to get better as I progressed.
Tony & Clyde is quite violent throughout the entire game so I would not recommend playing this in front of any little ones, though the player can easily pause and drop back into the action any time during gameplay.