Developer Dodge Roll brings us, by way of Devolver Digital, the twin-stick dungeon-crawler Enter the Gungeon. Pixel art collides with bullets, blood, and mayhem as quirky characters seek out the ultimate treasure: A gun that can shoot the past.
Like many rogue-like dungeon-crawlers, you will die. With permadeath being a thing, your goal is to travel the floors and find as much gear and items as you can to enhance your loot pool, add more devastating weapons for you character’s potential arsenal, and increase your chances of taking out the multiple level bosses on your way to your goal. You’ll journey forth with characters representing many archetypes in action entertainment mediums, including the Indiana Jones-like character and generic space marine.
I had an opportunity to watch a few others give the game a go before my own hands-on experience. The controls aren’t overly complex, but one thing you definitely have to utilize often is the dodge roll. The roll itself is actually modeled after and timed exactly like the dodge roll in the Dark Souls franchise and is just as crucial. Your character can be swift but there are plenty times where an overwhelming amount of gunfire is aimed at you.
Enter the Gungeon‘s story is focused on a collection of characters, but the multiplayer presents an interesting shift. When a second player joins in, they control a “Cult” member. This cult is obsessed with the dungeon and its many treasures, but isn’t strong enough to get to the final level for the gun that shoots time. There is a special ending if you allow him to get the final treasure, but it’s clear the story is really meant for the other primary choices.
The levels in are a mixture of hand crafted and procedural generation. With this, the dev team can structure specific scenarios around the game’s design but also supply a unique experience to every player. In addition, the levels adapt to your tactics and become more difficult over time.
My own experience was very brief once I got into the drivers seat. I’m not unfamiliar with these types of games but I got overly confident and rolled right into a hail of gunfire. Gameplay was genuinely fun and the graphics and sun gave a heavy recoil to the guns, enhancing the brutal feel of the game. I didn’t make it to the first boss fight myself, but the huge brute was no cake walk for the other players.
You’ll be able to test your mettle and Enter the Gungeon sometime this Spring.