Enter the Gungeon Review

Enter the Gungeon review is here. I remember hearing about this rogue-lite, bullet hell shooter a year or so ago. Fast forward to a few days ago and the game was completely off my radar. I stumbled upon this game as I was checking out some Twitch to watch. A few streamers had been given early copies and were showing off the game. After watching for a few minutes I decided to take the plunge.

Enter the Gungeon Review

It is here!

The game officially launched today on Steam. If I had to describe it, I would call it the deranged love child of Borderlands and Binding of Isaac. Borderlands because this game is all about guns and Isaac because this game embraces procedural generated, dungeon crawling. If you are new to the genre, basically your character enters a dungeon which is randomly generated right down to the weapons and items you pick up. The further you progress, the harder the enemies and more items you gather, making your character equally strong as well. The fun in games like this is finding those god tier runs where everything aligns perfectly.

Enter the Gungeon Review

The dank gungeon

My initial impression of the game was mixed. This was due largely to one simple function, rolling. Rolling acts as a simple way of dodging incoming projectiles. Like the Iframes of Dark Souls, your character experiences a brief moment of invulnerability. The problem is that rolling is an animation so the initial invulnerability can actually put you in a worse spot then simply dodging on foot. I often found myself rolling to miss a first wave barrage, only to find that I rolled directly into the second barrage and died. This was incredibly frustrating in the beginning, so much so that I questioned returning the game. However, I did not and I am glad I didn’t.

Enter the Gungeon Review

More gungeon stuff

This game is actually really good. My mentality going in was completely off base and skewed my view. I simply wanted another Isaac. This is not Isaac. Later in the day with a clearer head, I returned to the game and found much to appreciate. The art style looks really nice. I’m a sucker for cartoony pixel art and this nails it. Control wise the game handles really sharp. Shooting and movement are both very fluid. I never felt like there was control error in my deaths, but rather failure on my part to really master the nuances. The game is punishingly hard, which I like. Each floor failure is a learning experience for the next run. Progression is helped along by a fun upgrade system built into the hub world that encourages continued dungeon progression and pushes for ‘just one more run’.

Enter the Gungeon Review

Here in my garage…

For the most part a lot of the weapons are varied and interesting, however some are pretty meh (camera anyone?). I did notice that my runs tended to start with a small pool of items(9/10 times I seemed to get either phoenix pistol or the supersoaker), which is unfortunate as starting items typically dictate how the run will go. I love the amount of references in the weapon designs as it makes finding new weapons a fun experience. There is an excellent amount of variance in characters to play, from the marine to the hunter each character plays differently. There is a welcome variance in enemy design while still keeping within the ‘gun’ universe theme, which I find incredibly impressive. Enter the Gungeon could have easily been a case where generic mobs were thrown in, but each enemy feels well thought out and designed.

Enter the Gungeon Review

All this death for a camera

Enter the Gungeon has so much to discover and do that I can see myself dumping  hours upon hours being into this game.  With that being said my rating comes with a very specific warning. This is a niche game, it caters to a very particular player. If you love constantly grinding hard difficulty for that next item or upgrade then this game is for you.

What I Liked

  • I enjoyed the cartoony art style
  • Controls feel tight and intuitive
  • So much loot and weaponry to find
  • Difficulty
  • Tons of secrets to find and items to collect
  • Weapons and other references

What I didn’t Like

  • Loot pool in lower levels
  • ROLLING Mechanic smh
  • Difficulty can be a tad unforgiving(not a bad thing, but should be highlighted for potential buyers)
  • Some weapons are pretty underwhelming

Arbitrary Rating:  9/10

Eli McLean

Eli "Enricofairme" McLean is the Founder and lead writer on holdtoreset.com. He has been creating content about video games for the past 5 years. You can follow Eli on Twitter @enricofairme.

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2 responses

  1. FilmApe says:

    “returning the game”….are you playing this in 1999?

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