Mothergunship is a rogue-like, bullet-hell first-person shooter that has hectic firefights and a weird sense of humor. The game is developed by Grip Digital and Terrible Posture Games, the same team that also made Tower of Guns. There are similarities to the studio’s former game, but Mothergunship stands out due it’s the unique crafting system that has you creating a wide variety of guns to use against enemies. What’s better than a very big gun? Another gun that’s bigger, has multiple shotguns and rocket launchers attached to it, and maybe a flamethrower. As ridiculous as that might sound, it’s something that you can reasonably and cleverly put together in Mothergunship.
The story of Mothergunship isn’t much to harp on. Aliens have invaded and conquered the Earth, and you’re tasked with blasting them away and kicking them off the planet. It’s not much to chew on for anyone who enjoys stories in their games, but it keeps the focus on the gameplay more than the story. However, the voice acting of the characters you hear throughout can at times feel a bit forced in their delivery of lines. The humor often falls flat and can be borderline terrible in some moments. If you ignore a lot of this, however, then you’ll have a better time enjoying Mothergunship’s gameplay.
Though very repetitive, the first person shooting of Mothergunship is fast-paced and lends itself well to the rogue-like stages you encounter. You’re constantly faced with entering rooms filled with enemies that launch a barrage of bullets at you, much like a top-down bullet-hell game. Although like their previous game Tower of Guns, you’re not really fighting aliens here, instead geometric machines that end up feeling very generic. Some designs of the turrets you encounter are weird, but never to a point of being memorable or too interesting.
There are boss fights that mix things up when you reach them after blasting through a number of stages in each mission, which can be challenging and fun to play. You’ll still find yourself in the typical “blast this weak point” scenario to take them down, even though everything tries to be flashy with explosions around them.
The crafting of your guns is what makes Mothergunship a bit more interesting. You can find various parts to guns as you complete missions and destroy enemies, then combine them at checkpoints to create better, more powerful guns along the way. The crafting of your guns is open enough to make truly outrageous and fun weapons, which at times can feel somewhat overpowered. If you have all of the right parts, you can take the moment to put together a gun that blasts rockets, shotgun shells, lasers, and buzz saws all on one hand. The fact you can dual wield weapons takes this craziness to another level, allowing you to construct two highly destructive yet ridiculous guns for the mission.
Its fun seeing just how far you can go with the different combinations of gun parts you find, even though the game doesn’t always let you experiment as much as you want to. Depending on how big or bulky certain parts are, not every combination of a gun can be constructed, which can leave you unarmed in some cases. This can always be solved by completing earlier missions and finding more parts, but when it does happen it might leave you in a position to fail the mission.
There are additional modes and extra missions you can unlock as you play through the campaign. Some of the side missions and bonus rooms that appear do offer extra rewards for completing tough challenges, but they don’t always feel rewarding enough for their tasks. You might have a super hard objective to complete, but can end up being under-armed randomly or not receive a lot of credits or parts for completing them. This can be frustrating and feel like a waste of time in some cases, which may cause you to second guess taking on these additional challenges.
There’s also a Sandbox and Endless mode that offer endlessly generated rooms for you to blast through, tracking how far you go onto leaderboards. The best one of the bunch is the Mothergunship dungeon, which acts like a true rogue-like mode with randomly generated rooms and tough bosses to defeat. It’s a different kind of challenge that can be unforgiving, but it offers a smaller campaign outside of the main game.
If you like first-person shooters and want something simple to jump into quickly, then Mothergunship will have enough for you to enjoy. The repetitiveness of the gameplay might get a little boring for some, but the crafting of your weapons will entice you to keep playing and gathering more gun parts. In future downloadable content, you’ll be able to play through the stages with a friend in co-op, which may lead to some over-the-top firefights with the kinds of guns you create. Outside of that, Mothergunship can still offer some basic first-person shooter fun for those that are willing to dive into it.
This review was based on a digital review code for Mothergunship for the PlayStation 4, provided by Grip Digital.