By Jaran Chance
The release of Enter the Gungeon on PC, Linux, Macintosh and PS4 marked Dodge Roll’s big break in the indie game scene this year with a serious contender for game of the year.
Enter the Gungeon is a charming but intense bullet hell rogue-like, styled with retro graphics and featuring some of the most difficult dungeon crawling this generation has seen. Players will navigate through the hilarious gungeon where everything and anything is a gun joke. The enemies are bullets and gun puns and the hundreds of quirky guns and items all highlight Dodge Rolls quirky sense of humor.
(For those that do not know: Bullet hell games require players to navigate their character through massive amounts of enemy projectiles to avoid damage. Rogue-like games generally feature a procedurally generated labyrinth and upon death players must start from the beginning.)
The story for Enter the Gungeon follows four adventurers as they delve into the gungeon in hopes of recovering a magic gun with bullets that can erase the past. Each hero has their own reasons for wanted to escape their past and their own unique abilities that will help them navigate the perilous dungeon. Players will be pitted againsts hordes of baddies from the temple’s defenders, “The Cult of the Gundead,” in their adventure. Along the way players will enlist the help of the many oddball inhabitants of the gungeon and stockpiling multitudes of guns of all sizes as they go.
The game draws heavy influence from modern roguelite games like The Binding of Isaac and Nuclear Throne though there are plenty of features to help it stand apart from the crowd.
The charming world that Dodge Roll has created with Enter the Gungeon never ceases to captivate the player’s attention but the insane difficulty will turn away casual and seasoned gamers alike.
One of the most frustrating parts about the game is that it never gets easier. Through repeated attempts at braving the gungeon players can gain access to new guns and events to help them along their journey but there is no clear cut path to victory ever laid out. In order to beat Enter the Gungeon players will simply have to master the art of the game’s dodge roll and weaving in and out of enemy bullets.
Enter the Gungeon for the most part is a highly entertaining trip through bullet hell from a completely new and goofy view. Though the game is not made for everyone it is certainly captivating for its particular niche community.
Pick up Enter the Gungeon for a harrowing yet lighthearted challenge. The jokes and scenery will be enough to make any player chuckle but be prepared for a true test of spirit as the gundead mount their ceaseless assault.