Secret Thoughter Matt here, dusting myself off to present to you a new type of review: Matt Discovers. With the massive amount of titles released in today’s market, some gems may be overlooked or put in our library of games to play later. For Matt Discovers, I’m completely oblivious to both of those concepts and just play games Thoughter Chris, @Chriscontines, has told me about when they were originally announced a year ago or earlier. I will be setting up my review in sections for easier, bite-like takeaways: Casual Takeaway (for the quick readers), In-Depth Explanation (if you have the time), and The Gems (why the hell did I play this game for so long). The idea behind these discoveries is to hopefully create awareness for casual gamers, so that they may also be able to find a love for titles they may have forgotten about or put on their list to play at a later date.
Enter the Gungeon is a title developed by Dodge Roll and published by Devolver Digital. This is a game that fits in the genre “Roguelike”, which I have been told is randomly generated levels where you die a lot and get extremely pissed due to feeling like you suck, but the fact that the items you receive changes every playthrough making you feel like you don’t suck, but then ultimately you die and feel like you still suck… This genre of gaming is exploited in Enter the Gungeon, but in a masterfully way leading to a rewarding and enjoyable experience.
Enter the Gungeon is a game that has endless options for playing. With the randomly generated enemies and levels, to the fingers crossed pickups that lead to an easier time in bullet-hell, this game had me playing for 45 minutes then coming back for 4 hours of excruciating, yet rewarding, gaming. If you’re someone who enjoys an almost unlimited combination of weapons, items, and difficulties, while still finding secrets after secrets after secrets, then this game is a must-play. I’ve been playing this game for about 86 hours, and I honestly don’t have that much time to play any other games… Thanks, Revolver Digital, ya jerks.
Choosing from four base characters, each having their separate abilities and guns, you set off into the Gungeon to find the Gun to Kill Your Past. The Gungeon itself is set with randomly generated enemies within randomly generated rooms all leading to the next floor. Within these rooms contains tables you can flip and barrels you can roll, continuously changing your playstyle for every playthrough. After defeating enemies within a room, bullet casings may drop, which act as your money, allowing you to spend them on upgrades or new guns at the shop, which is also randomly generated on each floor. Each floor contains various opportunities that allow you to pick up new guns, whether it’s with a lucky drop after killing everyone in a room, chests that take keys to open, or secret areas in plain sight. The options are limitless in advancing your playstyle, as you will need to dive deeper into the Gungeon successfully.
As you dig deeper into the Gungeon, you will come across NPCs that need saving. As you find more and more, you will find your starting zone to have more gameplay introduced. This adds a bit of personality to the endless-like Gungeon. Despite continuously seeing a lot of the same enemies and guns, unlocking more items and NPCs will add a flair to the way you play.
The most exciting aspect of this game, the three things that have kept me playing for over 80 hours, is the randomness, secrets, and the act of feeling like I’m successful. Like all roguelike games, this game will destroy you. You will jump in, start killing in this bullet-like hell of a dungeon, and then you will die, completely starting from the beginning. There is no way around it. You will have the best playthrough of your life, only to fall into a pit and die… It’s just how it works; but the gem, the reason that makes it all worth it is when you do succeed. You finish the first boss, then the second boss, ultimately leading to the final showdown, and the minute you drop that final boss… pure ecstasy…until you realize that wasn’t the end. There are endless secrets. This game just goes deeper and deeper in its story. With the massive amount of guns and enemies you find, there are also secret zones and hidden bosses and unlockable characters to play as. I still have my mind blown every time I think I’m done. This is the beauty of these types of games. They use the randomness, the secrets and the art of giving you a true sense of success to invite you to come back and keep playing again, and again, and again, and again….and again…….. and again. I’ll be back…
Enter the Gungeon
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Platforms: PS4 / XboxOne / Switch / Steam(PC & Mac)
Players: Single Player / Multiplayer (Couch Co-Op)
Difficulty: That Arcade Cabinet Hardness!