Enter the Gungeon is a bullet hell roguelike game with silly guns, sillier enemies and enough content to keep you coming back for more. Enter the Gungeon is free until 22 April with the Play at Home 2021 program and is the type of game where you combine the weapon variety and silliness of Borderlands with the gameplay of The Binding of Isaac. It’s charming as hell from the simple but cute animations to the fact that just about everything relates to guns.
The enemies are bullets, the currency is bullet casings and basically every enemy’s name is a gun pun. The story starts on a far away planet where there was a fortress that held an awesome power, the gun that can kill the past. One day a giant bullet came out of the sky and destroyed the fortress. They rebuilt it and hunters who seek the mystical gun delve into the Gungeon to obtain its power.
The first time you start Enter the Gungeon you pick your character and go in with nothing but your starting weapon and a dream. You go through and kill hordes of the Gundead and collect the rewards for each room which are totally randomized. As you explore the first level of Enter the Gungeon you can find a bunch of special rooms which could include a shop to buy items at, a room with a locked chest in it or even a cage with an NPC you can only free with a special key.
Eventually you’ll stumble on a boss room where you can find a randomized boss with a guaranteed punny name. After killing it you get special currency and random rewards. Then you hop into this bullet shaped elevator and delve deeper. It keeps going like that for 5 levels with each level getting harder than the last, you just keep going until you get to the end or more likely get shot a bunch and die, rinse and repeat. The characters are The Marine, The Pilot, The Convict and The Huntress.
Each character has their own special perks, starting guns and each has their own final battle, besides that though there’s really not that much effect on the general gameplay. The thing about Enter the Gungeon that separates itself from others of the genre is that you can’t upgrade you character. Instead of being able to upgrade your character’s strength and abilities, you upgrade the Gungeon itself by expanding the possible things you can find within it.
This means unlocking new guns, perks, NPCs and rooms you can encounter in future runs. The way progression works in this game makes the gameplay loop really unique rather than getting stronger and barreling through the Gungeon a bit easier each time, it stays at just about the same difficulty but with more possibilities. There are tons of things to discover in Enter the Gungeon and in fact it’s got over 200 guns, each more ridiculous than the last.
A lower-case r, a beehive and a unicorn horn that fires friendship and that’s just to name a few. Each gun is unique in some crazy ways and some even combine with other guns or items completely changing how they behave. The movement of Enter the Gungeon is slick and whenever you unlock a room by killing all the enemies in it, a portal opens allowing you to teleport to it from anywhere in that level.
This mechanic was a really nice touch as it keeps the gameplay quick and snappy with little downtime between the action. You start getting really good at Enter the Gungeon when you learn how to stop taking damage and that means dodging a ton of floating orbs flying at you. There are a couple ways you can avoid it. You can do a super cool action movie dive to Dodge the bullets or you could flip a table like a badass creating your own cover.
These elements combined with bullet hell create gameplay that’s challenging but fair and, in the end, if you get hit by a bullet you can say with confidence that it’s your own damn fault. Enter the Gungeon shows a great balance between RNG and skill. How well you do ultimately depend on how good you are at not dying. Of course, having super over powered guns and perks doesn’t hurt. Sometimes you end up fighting the first boss with your shitty starting weapon and get mowed down instantly.
Other times you have a D-pad gun that fires in four directions and perks that make the bullets bounce around the room. Enter the Gungeon has a lot of content, it’s got tons of weapons, items, enemies and bosses but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. What I’m getting at is that if you play for any amount of time, you’ll find things strewn about the Gungeon that you won’t know what to do with.
This happened to me so often that I had to look up what to do next as there’s just too much stuff to figure out and Enter the Gungeon doesn’t really give you any clues on how to solve them. This game is one of the most casual friendly roguelikes I’ve ever played. The reason for that is after you beat a boss you have the option of punching the friendly button in the face and saving your game.
This is great because if you’re having a good run but are running out of time. You don’t need to abandon all your progress and personally I love this feature. It’s great to know I can pick the game up even if it’s just for 15 minutes and still retain my progress. After I unlocked a bunch of NPCs, I found that they expand on the game even further by changing some of the core mechanics of it.
Not a fan of how you get items, talk to the rainbow loving guy and get a random selection of guns and perks at the start of each level. Just want to shoot random guns, talk to the one lady and you will cycle through guns after you do a certain amount of damage. Want to go fast talk to Tonic the Sledge Dog to speed up your runs.
Enter the Gungeon gives you so many options and lets you play the way you want to play as long as you put in the time in first. Enter the Gungeon is full of character and had me laughing throughout. The gameplay is fun and challenging and you’ll never play the same round twice. It’s incredibly replay able and just plain fun. So, if this review sounds like something you would enjoy then definitely try out Enter the Gungeon.
Available to download and play for free until 22 April 2021
Finely-tuned shooting mechanics with enemies that will test your reflexes and tons of creative weapons and items make Enter the Gungeon one of the best Roguelike games out there.