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Enter The Gungeon Review

Rating: 5.00/5 (1 Vote)

If at first glance you don’t quite get the pun in the title, after a couple of minutes it becomes apparent that this game is all about the guns.  As you shoot and loot your way through the game, you find all sorts of guns to equip your character with, running the full gamut from the simple crossbow and musket up to huge laser rifles.  All your enemies are anthropomorphic bullets, different colours depending on how many shots it takes to dispatch them and their appearance is often the same as the bullets they fire at you.  At the start of the game you pick from a choice of starting characters, or Gungeoneers, each armed with a measly pea shooter as well as a secondary weapon.  There is the Convict, who can throw Molotov cocktails to cause damage, the Hunter who fires a crossbow and is followed by her faithful dog, The Pilot, whose lock picks are used for opening treasure chests, and the Marine, who can call in a useful ammo drop with his walkie-talkie.

 

Once you pick the character you want to blast through the dungeon with, you’re taken through a few tutorial levels by the ghostly figure of Sir Manuel before being let into the gungeon proper.

There is a false sense of security in the initial stages of the action as the enemies are sparse enough for you to pick them off as you choose, but a few rooms further in and it becomes all out mayhem as bullet start to fly at you in all directions.  The graphics are of a simplistic bit style nature but still have some nice flourishes, such as tables to you flip onto their sides to provide cover, destructible furniture and I loved the way when you destroy a pile of books in the library, the torn pages flutter in the air for a few seconds.  Controlling your character requires a good level of co-ordination with a dual stick method, the left stick controlling your movement and the right stick moving your shooting aim.  I didn’t find this very instinctive and maybe a remapping of the buttons may have suited me as I frustratingly found myself facing or aiming in the wrong direction too often.  Mercifully there was nothing too complicated or over involved with the controls, which is just as well given the frenetic action.  A good way to avoid a hail of bullets was to get your character to roll, which gets you out of a tight spot by rolling under or diving over the incoming fire.  There is also a powerup that will make all the bullets on screen disappear and throw your enemies back a few feet, but as these were very sparse it was only to be used as a last resort.

 

The aim of the game is to clear every room of the dungeon and reach the ultimate weapon, a gun that can kill the past.  It’s not mentioned what misdemeanours your character has committed that need erasing from time, and despite hours of play for this review, I never got to experience the end game and find out due to the high difficulty of the game.  Enter the Gungeon is one of those games where you just keep running and gunning until you eventually die, with the idea being to get a little further each time.  The more times you play, the bigger and better the guns you can buy or hopefully pick up, so you need to be prepared to fail often as it’ll take a lot of runs to make yourself strong enough to defeat some of the bosses, who can fill the screen with wave after wave of bullets  You also unlock teleport pads around the map which means you can get your character to the action a lot quicker without having to go through the same few rooms on every run.  There is a decent variety of rooms to shoot you way through, and the enemies are procedurally generated every time to try and make each run different, but after half an hour or so it still becomes a bit samey and turns into a bit of a grind just trying to get a little but further each time.  The one thing that saves this repetition turning into boredom is the sheer number of different weapons to discover, buy or win. There really are some fantastical weapons in the dungeon for you to find, such as a compressed air tank that fires sharks, and guns that fire bees, bananas, and poisonous t-shirts!

In conclusion, I found Enter The Gungeon fun in the short term for some high energy frenetic running and gunning, but with slightly awkward controls and a very high difficulty its not something I would go back to too often in the long term.

Developer: Dodge Roll Games
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Website: http://dodgeroll.com/gungeon/
Twitter: @DodgeRollGames

Price: £10.74

Review code supplied by XCN

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