Review: Enter the Gungeon
Every once in a while you play a game that feels like gaming nirvana. The controls feel almost perfect. This is how I felt with Enter the Gungeon. The movement, the valuable dodge roll, and the volume of weapons the game offers resembles polish in every way. Enter the Gungeon is a procedurally generated dungeon crawler. You’ll be moving from various rooms trying to take down each of the unique enemies until you reach that floors’ boss, and which these encounters are some of the game’s best moments.
The journey begins in the Breach, which offers the entrance to the Gungeon, which legend says holds a gun of legendary magnitude that can kill the past of any one who wields it. Four heroes (A Marine, Convict, Pilot and Hunter), each with their own weapons and items, try to descend the Gungeon to find the legendary gun. Along the way in the Gungeon, you’ll find other bystanders who had once lost their way. By helping them, you’ll gain access to new shops and items. I’d say the most important shop, however, is the shop in the Breach. You can spend money found by defeating bosses, to unlock new items and weapons to add to the loot pool the next time you enter the Gungeon. It can take some time to unlock this currency to buy new items and weapons, but just when you think you have hit a wall, while progressing through the game, new items and weapons are there to help you get just a little further.
Enter the Gungeon may be one of the best controlling games I’ve played in a long time. As mentioned before, each of the main mechanics in the game just feels right, and more importantly, feels satisfying to use. The most important mechanic you’ll be using will be the dodge roll. You are given a short window of invulnerability while in the dodge roll that can help you by-pass enemy fire and traps. Another neat mechanic the game offers is the ability to kick tables on their side for you to use as cover. Enemies are able to do the same however, so it works both ways. One of the game’s most satisfying moments is bursting into a room guns blazing, dodge rolling, kicking up a table and firing away. It gave me more satisfaction than any AAA action game could. Another item called blanks, can rid the room of all bullets, and some enemies can even be knocked back by the blast. Blanks will be used when you feel overwhelmed by the amount of bullets and enemies on screen. Treasure chests can be found in the Gungeon, allowing you to find new items and weapons. These can be unlocked with keys found at the local shop on each floor or as a random drop when clearing rooms. With the wide assortment of guns, you are never sure which one you are going to get, and finding a new weapon and not knowing just what it does until you use it on an enemy is fantastic. Mainstays such as pistols, shotguns and revolvers are here, but the most sought after weapons are the ones that are unique to the game. A Mail Gun shaped like a mailbox shoots envelopes out and the final round in the chamber is an exploding box, while the Light Gun, which is vaguely familiar to an old NES Zapper, shoots lasers and a flying duck. Finding new secrets in the Gungeon is a great surprise. Just when you think you’ve seen everything, a new gun or lost bystander appears to pique your interest.
Enemies in the game are creative and well designed, and many of them resemble a bullet. Each enemy has their own unique movement pattern and their own way of attacking the player. Bullets, shotgun shells, ghost shells and many more foes attack the players in random ways. My favorite part of the game is the bosses. A Gatling gun wielding bird, a Gorgun, and even a snake are just some of the crazy bosses that are found at the end of each floor. Just when you think you are well equipped to tackle a boss, that feeling can be completely revoked in a matter of mere seconds. When encountering bosses for the first time, chances are you’ll be easily defeated, but as you play, you’ll learn the attack patterns of the boss and you’ll know how to use that trusty dodge roll in just the right moments.
Presentation wise, the game looks incredible with its numerous characters, guns, items, and enemies. The game runs great, with only an occasional framerate drop. When the framerate dipped, it was never in the heat of battle. The game also offers a local co-op mode. I didn’t notice any changes in performance in co-op, but the camera did become an issue. The game tries to follow both players at the same time, and if the two become separated, you’ll be seeing a lot of the middle of the room, and less of the actual enemies’ location. Music fits the game well, but other than the title theme, I didn’t find the rest of the soundtrack to be all that memorable. Finally, the ability to quick-start the game after the game is launched is a great feature that can put you right into the action before the game fully loads.
Enter the Gungeon is a fantastic game that continues to offer surprises after hours and hours into the experience. The game feels satisfying to play, and gives you the tools to succeed, and it is up to you to master the skills. The crazy weapons, enemies, and bosses all lead to an experience that is worth playing, even if you aren’t a fan of the genre.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- Creative weapons
- Constantly surprising
- Mastering the dodge roll
- The feel of accomplishment when clearing a floor