Enter the Gungeon (XB1) Review

Ken McKown

If you can dodge a bullet…

It’s no secret that I am not usually a fan of the roguelike genre. The thought of randomly generated levels and stifled progression is not my cup of tea. There are a few exceptions such as Rogue Legacy, but for the most part I prefer traditional game progression. Enter the Gungeon is now one of those exceptions. Powered by precise game play and a great loop, this dungeon crawler/bullet shooter mix to create a unique blend of game play mechanics that I can’t seem to stop playing. One more run is often muttered after death, and that is definitely a good thing.

I am not going to go in-depth about the game, but you can view our previous review of the PS4 version right here.

MSRP: $14.99
Platforms: XB1 (reviewed), PS4, PC
Price I’d Pay: $14.99

Piecing something like this game together and making it work are easier said than done. Enter the Gungeon features crafted levels, with each one being spun into a randomly generated maze. It also features a sort of AI director that ramps up difficulty whenever a player achieves victory. It is well-balanced and definitely challenging, but never unfair. When I died, I knew it was my mistake, and mastering the gungeon takes patience and learning how the game works.

What I like most about Gungeon is that it employs the K.I.S.S. method of game design. Keep it simple, stupid. Dodging and shooting are the core ingredients, and I knew all I needed to know within the first five minutes. There are upgrades that can be purchased with currency earned from defeating bosses, but outside of that, it is pretty much a free-for-all of bullet-dodging glory. Tight controls and great design really push it over the edge.

Visually the game sports the popular retro vibe, but also feels modern in its presentation. Everything is clean, and is easy to separate. Sometimes classic games get lost in their pixel art, and things get muddied in the process. There are bouts of slowdown during bullet-intense sequences, which is something the developers should hopefully iron out, but it isn’t game-breaking. There is a subtle highlight to everything that can be interacted with, which makes them stand out more amongst the chaos. This is a good-looking game, both technically and design wise.

Enter the Gungeon is a roguelike game that works for players who usually find the genre frustrating. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, and while it might be long after the PC/PS4 release, Xbox One owners finally have a chance to see what the fuss is about. Don’t sleep on this game, it mixes the old with the new for a quality package worth shelling out the bullets for.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

Good

  • Great visual style
  • Addictive game play
  • Superb controls

Bad

  • Dying at the end of a gungeon
9

Excellent

Ken McKown
Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.
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