Most mainstream FPS games today follow a more realistic approach to shooter mechanics. These guns usually shoot bullets, have limited ammo and need to be reloaded after a handful of shots. While this is all fine and good it is refreshing when we get a game that breaks this mold. Some examples of this are DOOM 2016, the new Wolfenstein games, and Quake Champions. In DOOM and Quake Champions you have no need to reload your weapons, the ammo you have is always magically in your clip. All three of these games are faster paced with an emphasis on speed, with a minor exception to Wolfenstein if you want to play stealthy like me. They take us back to older times of FPS games where the emphasis was more on fun and challenge than realism like the COD or Battlefront series. So when we get a game like Mothergunship that says, “Let’s have an FPS game, but make it something different.”, it stands out.
Mothergunship is a rogue-lite, FPS, bullet hell with funny dialogue, and the ability to build and customize your own weapons (but the barrels always have to face forward, luckily). The game combines three very unique genres of games and does it masterfully. There is no need to hunt for ammo because your weapons have a pool of energy dedicated to each hand and you just have to wait a short time for it to recharge if your weapons run dry. Your character is always sprinting and starts with a triple jump that can be upgraded to absurd amounts.
I am not a big fan of bullet hell games myself, but it does not bother me in this game. It adds an extra layer of challenge and is not as absurd as some pure bullet hell games can be. It also helps that when playing a story mission while you’re waiting in the transition hallway after a room, there’s some funny dialogue between a few of the NPC’s and even the Mothergunship herself will play along.
Being able to build a gun that suits my tastes was the cherry on top. To build a weapon all you need is a barrel, but if you really want to make an intimidating gun you need connector parts that will allow you to attach additional parts including more connectors and weapon mods. The weapon mods in this game range from damage increases, decrease in spread, or even increase or decrease in gravity. I made a gun where the bullets shot up and down because I used two barrels where one shot forward normally and one lobbed plus a minus gravity mod. After a few missions, the weapon range unlocks on the hub ship where you can build whatever you want with all the gun parts you have accumulated through each level. Be warned though, because you can only bring a limited amount of gun parts with you on a mission and if you die then those gun parts are all gone. Though on the off chance you may see a part may show up in the lost and found box to be purchased for a nominal fee.
All in all, Mothergunship is a vastly enjoyable game. It does well with what it sets out to do and does so with just the right amount of challenge. The game feels well polished in every aspect from the funny dialogue that kept me coming back to the game to the weapon mod system to even the challenge rooms (though some of those seemed a bit unfair like the room where I could not kill an enemy but explosive enemies blowing themselves up counted as my kill). Personally, I do not like ratings as most places seem to give out high numbers for mediocre games and thus it feels like the number system has failed a bit. However, I do highly recommend this game to anyone who likes bullet hells or is looking for an interesting game to play. For only $25 the game is worth checking out especially since sometime in August the game will get co-op in a free update. – TS