Jumping on to play MOTHERGUNSHIP at an event like EGX Rezzed felt like the perfect way to decompress after wandering through crowds of people. Constructing a weapon from various attachments and unleashing it in a room filled with a robotic alien armada made for fun and fast-paced gameplay.
Combining a bullet hell game with an FPS is a tricky task. It’s important for players to feel mobile enough to dodge and attack whatever is thrown their way, while still making the level feel chaotic enough for it to still qualify as a bullet hell. MOTHERGUNSHIP has struck the hybrid sweet spot, giving players the tools to create their own wacky weapon to defeat persistent enemies, while ensuring that they have a few well-needed breaks to adjust and prepare for each encounter.
Combat is still constant in a sense however, the amount of time you’ll spend shooting compared to how long you’ll spend re-charging your weapon is entirely determined by how you decide to customise it. Adding a twelve-slot barrel and homing rockets to your weapon is certainly allowed, if not actively encouraged, but if you use everything at once you’ll have to wait around for a while to reload and recharge. Thankfully, MOTHERGUNSHIP enables players to dual-wield so if you’re overly trigger happy to begin with, you always have an alternative weapon to switch to. You’ll also find that some weapons will do considerable damage to certain enemies, making it a smart decision to save your resources for when you desperately need them. In the preview build, I fought a huge mechanical boss (pictured below) that would push forward through a series of gates, forcing me to attack it whenever it reached a locked door. I found that one of my weapons did a substantial amount of damage to the creature and quickly learnt to focus-fire with that gun whenever the boss was vulnerable, while using my other weapon to fend off other enemies that were rushing towards me.
Adjusting to each environment and threat will keep even the most competent players occupied in MOTHERGUNSHIP. Each encounter provides an opportunity for players to test out their newly customised weapon and then make adjustments afterwards. It’s incredibly tempting to just max out every component on your weapon and annihilate everything in sight, but this is where the true bullet hell challenge kicks in. Finding the balance between power and longevity is key and as that is entirely controlled by the player, you’ll impact your experience every time you make an alteration.
While I was happy to play through MOTHERGUNSHIP on my own, I’m pleased to hear that this game will release with a full co-op experience alongside online play. This game is challenging, yet still perfectly manageable if you’re playing on your own, but having the option to get a friend involved is greatly welcomed.
Mothergunship is scheduled to release some time in 2018 on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
It’s clear that MOTHERGUNSHIP has been designed to improve on all of the things that Tower of Guns started back in 2014. With a bigger team now working on the game and even more input from the community, MOTHERGUNSHIP should be the game that fans are hoping for. Thanks to the implementation of a mixture of procedurally-generated and curated rooms, there is a lot of potential for replayability here, similar to its predecessor.
In the preview build I noticed a few drops in the framerate while there was a lot of action occuring on screen, but this shouldn’t be much of a concern as the build that I played was by no means the final build. I imagine that this issue will be resolved on the PC version when it releases. I’m not usually a fan of bullet hell games, but pair them with first person shooting and I’m game.
Most Anticipated Feature
Constructing the most ridiculous weapon and wreaking havoc.