Monday, September 5, 2016

Enter The Gungeon

Rating: 8.2
Happy Price: 14.99


Enter the Gungeon combines skill and random events that create an unpredictable flow of events each time you play. The difficulty is high, but unlike Dark Souls that aren't any patterns you can rely on to adapt to. It plays more like FTL where enemies and environments are randomly generated with a set of minimum and maximum parameters. There is a lot of shooting, dodging, and rolling involved. Your main objective is to make it through a bunch of dungeons, saving ominous NPC's and defeating bosses.


The main focus is reacting to heavy gunfire and rushing enemies. There are many different enemy types that have different weapons coming at you simultaneously. This is balanced by a roll feature which makes you invincible for the amount of time you're rolling. There are four characters that can be picked from, each with their individual trait that makes them unique. Arguably, if you're good enough, you could beat the game with each characters starting weapon. However you'd have to be on some pro status to accomplish that.


There are two types of upgrades that exist, guns and passives. Upgrades are applied by unlocking chests that contain them. Upgrades come in forms of items, either a type of gun or strange item that has a unique property to it that influences the player's abilities. In order to unlock a chest, one must get keys for them. Keys can be purchased or found, however it's not obvious how to get enemies to drop keys. Depending on what upgrade you get can define how your gameplay run will go, getting an extremely powerful weapon combined with a great passive will significantly increase the odds of you winning. It can be very disappointing however, when you open a chest and the weapon inside is just slightly more powerful than your starting weapon. This is the risk you take each time you play the game, you just don't know or have control over how it's going to turn out.

There are so many gun types it is overwhelming, but adds an element of surprise each time you get something new.  Shown above is a Tommy Gun, but you can get laser weapons, attacking bees, grenade launchers, missile launchers, snowballs, and many other weapon types. It will take hours to uncover them, but there exists a dictionary where you can see all the weapons that exist in the game. There just isn't a clear path to unlocking them. After defeating bosses, there is a currency that is dropped that can be used to unlock weapons that "join" the game. These will get added to the array of weapons available each run. You can always purchase weapons, keys, and other needs at a shop. This adds some predictability to your run, but at the same time you'll have no idea what appears at the shop.

The same goes for the passive upgrades. These things do random stuff like make your bullets bounce off walls, divide into 3 bullets, freeze enemies, electrocute enemies if rolled into, etc. Getting a combination like a beam weapon that bounces off walls can be a huge upgrade since now you can play the game completely differently. Essentially destroying enemies while behind cover. Or when tackling a boss, you don't need to be super accurate all the time and can focus on dodging the onslaught of bullets. 

Boss Battles

Even boss battles will be unpredictable. The game is divided into five different dungeons. Each dungeon has an array of bosses that it hosts. You won't know which boss you face, and therefore won't really know which weapon to purchase if you're in the situation where your weapons are not sufficient. It's guesswork, but after enough time you'll learn the patterns of the bosses and it won't be an issue early game. There are some that argue to save your ammo for dungeon three, and just use the starting weapon against bosses which I thought was too difficult. The bosses are one of the high points of the game, each is a character in its own right and has a combat style that complements it. For example, Medusa is bat shit crazy and uses dual uzis with the ability to turn you to stone. She reminds you of crazy ex girlfriend.


The 2d pixel art is top notch and totally encompasses games of the era it's trying to emulate. The fact that the environments are dynamically generated and the tilesets totally work without any issues is a huge technical feat. It's difficult to create tilesets that don't conflict with one another when they are as dynamic as they are in the game. With the huge variety of weapons and ammo types, there was a good attention to detail, no stone was left unturned. Guns have the appearance for what they do. A missile launcher is big, or if it's small, has a quirky name like the Little Cricket. I spent a lot of time looking for a flaw, but could not find one. Now my expectations are something funny or intelligent each time I get an upgrade. I expect it to look great and feel great, and haven't been disappointed.


Not a casual shooter by any means, however it appears it would be. There is a lot of depth that is difficult to cut into with purpose since there are many random events happening. It starts off great, but starts to lose its luster after about the 10 hour mark. However people that love shooters and games like FTL can likely play this game for hours on end. It's very difficult to beat.

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