Developer Dodge Roll wears its pedigree on its sleeve and does not hesitate to be as upfront as possible about the upcoming title Enter the Gungeon. A dungeon-crawler at heart, this game combines elements of shmups, roguelikes, and even stealth to bring a highly stylized co-operative experience. It’s all charm from the start as I spawned with a ghost-like character that had a child’s Styrofoam dart gun as my opening weapon and I was introduced the most critical mechanic in the game: the dodge roll. Yeah, the developer’s name, I saw that too. This tongue-in-cheek mentality is brought forward through all facets of the game including the animations, enemy types, and of course the hilarious names and inside jokes of the bosses. Fans of recent procedural-generated titles that may hearken back to the days of Rogue should listen up, because there’s a new challenger and it’s really fun.
In what seems to be the biggest trend this year, maps aren’t simply procedural-generated, but rather assembled in that format to ensure that you never have a “bad run” again. Sure, you may suck or screw up, but it’s no longer the fault of the randomness of the game. As you venture into each room (kill box) you’ll be presented with a series of enemies and traps and the instructions are simple, kill everything. You have some lifelines in the form of three blue bullets that clear the screen of gunfire and push enemies away from you and the coveted dodge roll that has a large portion of its animation granting you invincibility. Beyond that it’s your wits that will have to guide you. Much like other games of this genre, it’s pretty tough and requires you to pay attention, especially when the bullets start flying just like a bullet hell shmup and you have to be sure and dive roll into a safe place. Everything you touch can pretty much kill you, save maybe for the tables you can flip over and make for temporary cover.
There were so many references, ideas, and crazy scenarios that I have to say beyond these details you have to play it to appreciate it. Fortunately those with a Playstation 4 should be able to get their hands on it this fall, however the Steam page simply says a 2016 release date (probably timed exclusivity for Sony). There’s also no early access, so trade show demos and the eventual release will be your only way to experience it, but we will get you footage the moment we can. If you want a frantic shooter with a bunch of quirky humor and brutal challenges then you will want to keep your eye on Enter the Gungeon.