Get ready to roll!
Do you spend your days with your head in the clouds and your nights staring up at the stars? Well shake your head and look a little closer to home because you’re missing out on lots of things that are happening right beneath your feet. I’m talking about dungeon crawlers, those twin-stick shooters that encourage you to explore, shoot and loot. New to the crawler scene is Enter the Gungeon from Dodge Roll Games and Devolver Digital and it wants you to dodge roll and table kick your way to a gun that can kill the past.
This basic plot of finding the gun is introduced in the tutorial, which also teaches you a few lessons such as kicking over tables to provide cover, using blanks (kind of like a bomb) to clean enemy projectiles and the game’s most important move the Dodge Roll. This simple jump/roll combo is your key to success as you traverse the Gungeons, as it makes you invulnerable to enemy projectiles while you are in the air. You can charge towards the bullets and at the very last second do the dodge roll to (fingers crossed) avoid them.
Enter the Gungeon features the usual ensemble of characters that we’ve become accustomed to seeing. There’s a butcher, a baker, and a candlestick maker…. nah not really. There’s a pilot, a marine, a convict and a hunter, and each have their own different load outs; the hunter for example has an extra weapon (crossbow) and a trusty companion (dog) whereas the pilot has a handy lock pick and the gift of the gab so he can buy discounted items at the shop. Each of these characters plays differently so you’ll probably settle on your favourite and use them to explore all the Gungeons. (There is also another character, the cultist, which is used for player two in the games couch co-op mode)
In these pixel-art styled procedurally-generated Gungeons you face many different weird and wonderful adversaries as well as an end of level boss all of which are gunning for you. Thankfully while you explore every inch of the Gungeons you will come across chests that contain items that will hopefully help our Gungeoneers delve further downwards on their quest. The items are usually extra secondary items or one of the multitude of guns, of which there are over a hundred and ninety. These guns range from the usual bog standard shooters such as revolvers, shotguns and grenade launchers to the ridiculously sublime such as the T-shirt cannon gun, the stinger (that shoots out bees) and one of my favourites – the “lowercase r” gun. This is a gun that shoots the word “BULLET” when it is fired (complete with a cheesy ‘bullet’ sound bite) and even displays the word “BLAM” whenever the bullets hit anything. Honestly I’ve not had this much fun firing guns since I fired the Cerebral Bore from Turok 2 and that was way back in my N64 days.
It is fair to say you’ll get more enjoyment out of this game the more you play. This is because you will encounter NPC’s in the Gungeons while you are exploring. Once you’ve talked to them they will either send you on a quest or make their way back to the breach, and that’s where they start to become really useful. The first NPC’s you come across open up a shop where you can purchase weapons and items, which will be put into the Gungeons when they are ready. Next up is a guy who can tamper with the lifts so you can jump floors. It is worth going out of your way to assist these NPC’s as doing so definitely helps you get to the end goal in the long run.
Trophy hunters will be delighted to know there are 49 trophies up for grabs including a platinum. It is a fairly straightforward list compared to other gungeon (sorry dungeon) crawler games but if you want to pop the platinum, appropriately titled Dat Plat, it will take a while as you need to complete each chamber numerous times and perform a number of kills in a variety of ways.
Enter the Gungeon is a dungeon crawler that not only wants you to loot, shoot and explore, it wants you to dodge roll, table kick and have a jolly good time as well. If you enjoyed games like Heroes of Loot, The Binding of Isaac and Rogue Legacy then it’s going to be right up your street. It’s a pure pleasure to play.
NelMaNo Rating – 9/10