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Enter the Gungeon review

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Game designers learn about this power early into their careers. The virtual gun remains the most useful tool in the designer’s box; nothing is better suited to giving players the ability to affect objects both near and far, or with such delicious kickback of cause and effect. Click. Bang. Thud. Virtual guns make us feel powerful, both instantaneously and in illicit ways.

Consider how many virtual weapons have passed through your hands since you first began playing games. For Dodge Roll, DC-based creators of Enter the Gungeon, that familiarity has merely been the agitator for the imagination. The dingy rooms inside this gunfight dungeon crawler are filled with wondrously exotic weapons.

There are guns that shoot rainbows. There are guns that fire pillows to smother their targets. There are guns that hurl spinning letters of the alphabet that, when they strike a target, form comic book-esque onomatopoeic words. There’s a mailbox you grasp by the post that fires unopened letters. There’s a semi-automatic ant that spits acidic projectiles. Another fires live fish. Gungeon’s smorgasbord of small arms makes Cotty’s spud gun seem rather plain.

Best described as a twin-stick Spelunky, Enter the Gungeon has you traversing the depths of an inverted fortress, one floor at a time, in search of the ultimate weapon, a gun that can shoot the past. Each floor is procedurally-generated, or, perhaps more precisely, procedurally arranged, to ensure that each schematic includes a shop, a boss room (behind which the elevator down to the next floor is situated), a couple of treasure chests and, as you plunge deeper, various new types secret.