MOTHERGUNSHIP Review

Sony PlayStation 4

Also available on PC and Microsoft Xbox One

Bullet hell games are primarily top down 2D affairs that give you a nice high seat with which to view the carnage below you, thereby allowing you to see the safe paths that appear in the patterns in the swirling chaos below you. Changing this to first person inherently makes it somewhat harder to navigate, so in order to balance this the players must be able to move incredibly fast and usually jump with inhuman might.

Well MOTHERGUNSHIP masters this kind of movement in a way that feels both incredibly comfortable and immensely exhilarating. Your ground speed allows you to outrun the barrage of bullets that you will be bombarded by brilliantly. The jumps are these tiny little things that at first feel rather pathetic; give it a level or two though and you can add extra air jumps in in order to allow you to hover around the rooms instead of walk. It just feels great.


Big old wall of bullets

The real hook of this game though is the crafting, oh yes, the ability to build completely obscene guns is yours at last. There are three components and a couple of rules, other than that you are basically free to do whatever you want. So the components first; you have Connectors, which allow you to add on extra connecting parts or attach multiple guns; Barrels, which are your guns and range from standard pistols style weapons to giant spike throwing weapons; and finally you have Caps, which allow you to modify things like your fire rate or the gravity of your shots. The only real rule you have to follow is that the Barrels have to be pointing forwards, alas there are no omnidirectional weapons here.

The way this is all balanced out is simple enough, each weapon consumes a different amount of energy; this is basically you ammunition and recharges if you can stop playing with it. The more components a weapon has, or the more powerful it is, then the faster the energy will deplete which leaves you defenceless. At least you would be defenceless if you couldn't dual wield, which you very much can. So you get to make two guns instead of one, and two is always better.

There are both main missions and side missions to take one with different rewards clearly indicated before you take them. In every mission you can only take a certain amount of parts with you, meaning their is some strategy in which parts to take. During the levels themselves you will find shops that you can buy more parts in and thereby alter your weapons into true monstrosities as a result.


You get the idea

In the event that the bullet hell gets the better of you, well then you lose all of the parts you collected as well as the ones you took into the mission. So if you aren't sure you can complete a certain mission just yet it isn't always wise to take the biggest and best bits that you have.



Thankfully you can grind out strength by levelling up, each level nets you an upgrade point which you can allocate to one of many different skills in order to improve your health, energy, punching damage, and even reduce fall damage completely. If you decide you don't like a certain upgrade then there is no issue, you can simply reallocate it in your homebase. Nice and simple.

MOTHERGUNSHIP has no air of grace around it, no delusions of grandeur. It simply is what it is, and what it is is bloody brilliant. It is a fast paced shooter with a genuinely interesting hook that makes every side mission worthwhile just in case you happen upon a more powerful weapon part. Both the crafting and the firing of all of the weapons is both simple and instantly gratifying, it just works really well. If you want something fun to jump into then this is a damn good shout.



Overall

MOTHERGUNSHIP gives you everything you expect from a FPS Bullet hell. Which is to say that there are a lot of bullets, both to dodge and to fire. It is a frenetic and chaotic shooter with a great crafting system that makes the whole thing feel like LEGO had an angry baby with Doom.

9

out of 10

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