Everyone has something they regret, something they wish they could go back and change. The Gungeon tells of a mysterious dungeon struck by a giant bullet that fell from the sky, creating the Gungeon.
After ages, many tales were told of the ability to retry in life with the ancient artifact known as “The Gun That Can Kill The Past”. Many able fighters, known as Gungeoneers, tried countless times to fight their way through the Gungeon to defeat the ultimate beast; the Past that Haunts them.
Enter The Gungeon is a rouge dungeon shooter, with heavy emphasis on the word shooter. Throughout the game you will travel through 5 floors and variety of secret ones on the trip for the ultimate reward, The Gun That Can Kill The Past.
This game is notably famous, but not due to its variety of weapons, guns, or references to movies, games, and even just common objects. This games most defining feature would be the difficulty.
In this, we will go over the different aspects of the game, from the mechanics that make it stick out, to the dastardly learning curve that will leave many dead within the first two floors. Warning for spoilers ahead about the game, floors, and a few early bosses.
What Stands Out?
In a game full of living bullets, ever-changing floors, and many other unique aspects, many things stand out that make this game unique compared to other crawlers.
The aspect that the game bases around the most, being your most useful move to beat the Gungeon is the dodge roll.
This special roll is different from other games, due to a strange mechanic that for the first half of a dodge roll, no matter what may be attacking you, you become fully invincible from attacks, moving right through bullets fired by enemies.
With a handful of items, this ability can be made greater, either from increasing the time you are invincible, how quickly you can dodge roll, or if you so desire you can make it you shoot even more bullets by dodging away from opponents.
The enemies and floors in this game are quite random, with every single floor being randomly generated with no seeds, meaning that it is very possible you may have a run that is unique in every way. Most rooms randomly decide enemies per room, meaning that even memorizing every room layout, sometimes you can still be taken by surprise.
The most unique part of Enter The Gungeon by far would be the selection of weapons and their abilities throughout the game. Most are locked at the beginning of the game and are unlocked by buying them or meeting certain criteria throughout the many trips into the depths below.
A decent amount are connected to references to other games and movies, some to common objects with funny connections, and a chunk of guns just built off of real life weapons.
A few notable ones would include: the buster cannon from Mega Man named Megahand, Mourning Star which fires lasers that call down airstrikes, based off the Hammer of Dawn from the Gears of War games, a lowercase letter r (literally) because it “looks like a gun”, and a magic lamp that spawns a genie to uppercut the opponent.
Yes, it’s insane in the Gungeon. On top of the guns, there are unique synergies that can be acquired if you can gain all the items required.
A couple of the unique examples would be the Megahand, that can receive every single mode from the original Mega Man 2, the AK-47 gaining an “Island Forme” that can fire oranges for higher damage, and the ability to surround yourself in a ring of lightsabers to block enemy bullets.
All of these synergies can make the game drastically easier if you ever have the luck to see them in action.
Friend and Foe Design
The design behind each of the characters in Enter The Gungeon gives details to both explain some origins of the Gungeon and its inhabitants, but also leaves the people with a little mystery of the magic of the Gungeon.
Each of the four main Gungeoneers, along with three of the hidden ones have special Pasts that belong only to their character. These Pasts are meant to be backstories for the Gungeoneers and gives us information on why they came to the Gungeon, and what they hope to redo.
Example being the Pilot, who faces against the armada of an entire space fleet, fighting in a space ship instead of the normal dodge and weave style many are used to. Each of the Pasts is unique enough to make it worth learning the backstories of characters.
The bosses give much to be desired when it comes to information about their origins. Some have the basic backgrounds, most having the backstories that they were “changed by the magic of the Gungeon” such as the Gatling Gull, a human-like bird that wields a mini-gun.
Many different theories exist about them, but even without a large backstory, each individual boss of the Gungeon brings a different feel to the game, often allowing people to very easily pick which of each floor’s bosses they dread to fight.
If some struggle fighting multiple things at once, they may face damage against the Kill Pillars, four bosses all put together that can fire bullets independently, growing stronger as more of them fall.
Others may struggle with an overwhelming barrage of bullets that target the player and fall victim to the Beholster with his many different attacks, and the ability to summon minions to shoot from the opposing side of the arena.
The area that this game shines, the difficulty in this game arises in simply how much to keep track of at once.
The tutorial for this game provides a challenge of enemies and traps that have set attacks, and easy ways to dodge them. Everything changes once the first chamber is entered, often causing the early death of many people who start the game.
To any starters with the game, you will die… a lot. This game is a lot like the Dark Souls style where you most definitely will lose at some point, but it will help you learn the strategies of the bosses and attack patterns of different enemies.
Even losing is slightly beneficial though, because you keep your currency you use to unlock new guns throughout runs, so even if you lose a decent amount, you can usually make enough money to unlock guns and items that make the game slightly easier.
Enter the Gungeon is a difficult game, nothing that can be argued on that.
This game has one of the heaviest learning curves ever seen in games of this nature, making it a difficult game to pick up, however the amount that can be replayed, the heavy amount of new content, along with many skills that can be learned make the game incredibly fun to master.
To anyone that may pick the game up, good luck and always remember, to redo the past you will have to… Enter the Gungeon.