You can choose your guns, but you can’t choose your friends’ guns.
Surrounded by enemies, bullets coming from every direction, debris flying everywhere and all these folks wants is to obtain a gun to the past at the bottom of the trap filled, enemy riddle floor. Can players survive? That the premise of enter the Gungeon and I believe it will definitely scratch a certain itch players will have for the mayhem and difficulty that is to follow.
Choose your hero…find your guns.
Enter the Gungeon is a top down loot based, rouge like shooting game. Imagine if Zelda dungeons, bullet hell shooters, little bit of Dark Souls and maybe John Wick all had one hell of a party together and players might just get an idea about what’s in store. Well maybe only the guns and actions from John Wick, sorry Keanu fans, he is nowhere to be found.
Price I’d Pay: $14.99
How long to beat: 14+ hours
When players load the game up, they get the little bit of backstory that has given a bit of context to why the heroes are here. It’s not important really though as the meat and potatoes are the combat and discovery. The closest game that this ends up feeling like is Binding of Isaac, and I’m sure fans of that franchise will end up loving this game whole heartedly. That’s not to say that the game feels like a direct copy, though they share some similar aspects. First off, when exploring and surviving the various rooms and challenges, realize that once players die, that’s it. Sure some weapons might have been found and will populate future runs or certain aspects will start reflecting in the hero’s hub to showcase new additional abilities.
Guns, guns, guns.
Shooting is catered to using both sticks to aim, move and the trigger to shoot. The dodge move comes in handy here though and where a lot of the tension arises from. The heroes can dodge and bullets will pass through them during that animation. It’s for a very short window though so players will have to be precise. It’s not hard to get used to the timing and when the going gets tough, that’s when the true elements of “holy shit, I just survived that!” come into play. This game has bullets flying at the players in patterns, spelling letters, weird shapes, and sometimes even tracking the heroes.
The intensity is racked up even more during some of the interesting and often hilarious boss battles. Which is another aspect I absolutely adore with Gungeon, the humor. From the visual style to the design of enemies and bosses, the game might be challenging and downright hard as nails, but the visuals and atmosphere this top down shooter create just have me smiling through my teeth even when I’m pissed off terrible at a horrible run.
Shooting is obviously key component to gameplay here, along with finding keys, exploring, dodging bullets, pushing over tables for cover (oh yes that’s in here) and killings lots of enemies. Yet guns and shooting are still the highlight. Not just because the shooting feels good, but there is just so many unique and wild guns to find or even create. One gun had me blowing backwards as I shot a constant stream of bullets at enemies. Another gun had huge bullets coming from it. Another one appeared to shoot bullets but also flames out of the front. There is plenty of guns I haven’t seen yet and even bosses. Yes… there is a lot of gameplay here to offer fans of the genre and one particular feature I adore is the ability to teleport. Once players have discovered one of the many teleporters on the map, they can immediately teleport back to any that are open leading to a very easy flow of backtracking on each level of the Gungeon.
Stay for the guns, leave due to challenge.
I’m not going to pretend that Enter the Gungeon is for everybody, it’s not. If players can’t stand the idea of starting over from scratch mostly after each death or don’t have an appreciation for games like Binding of Isaac, there isn’t much to change their minds here. Though players looking for something more in that spirit with different gameplay mechanics that mostly come away feeling all for the better, they are in for a treat. Guns, bullets, co-op, mayhem, action, humor, colorful, zany, challenging, death, and fun. These are the key words I’d use to describe my time with Enter the Gungeon and I can’t wait to play more.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.