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Enter The Gungeon Review (XB1)

Enter the Gungeon delivers wild and insanely chaotic bullet-hell fun! It will challenge you to no end and you're gonna have to exercise extreme patience if you ever hope to succeed in any way in this game. A ton of guns and a ton of fun are the equation for this indie sensation.

Enter The Gungeon Review (Xbox One)

INTRODUCTION

Developed by Dodge Roll and published by Devolver Digital, Enter The Gungeon combines the rogue-like and bullet hell sub genres into a chaotic and aggravating, yet somehow incredibly enjoyable shooter. The player takes on the role of one of 7 "gungeoneers" as they try to make their way out of the Gungeon and find freedom by killing their on past. Along the way you you will arm yourself with a ton of different weapons both conventional and a unconventional and utilize many active and passive items to provide additional benefits as you mow down the many violent and deadly inhabitants of the Gungeon on your way to finally earning your freedom!

You can get your own copy of Enter The Gungeon from the Microsoft Store for only $14.99.

STORY

Enter The Gungeon Review (XB1) - The Marine In Action

Enter The Gungeon puts the player in the role of one of 7 gungeoneers who all find themselves trapped within the ever shifting walls of the Gungeon. They must utilize every tool and weapon they can to stay alive and defeat the High Dragun at the end of the Gungeon. Along the way to the fated fight with destiny, each gungeoneer must assemble the "bullet that can kill the past" in order to finally find freedom from the Gungeon. 

Each gungeoneer has a different story and after assembling the bullet they must shoot themselves and combat their own dark pasts in order to finally move forward. The protagonists' origins are shrouded in mystery until the time that you are able to kill their past. You will confront their fears and try to rewrite their past and free them from the grip of their poor past mistakes.

You must collect each of the four components throughout the Gungeon and bring them to the Blacksmith in the Forge level of the Gungeon. Thankfully this process can be completed over your many runs and you don't need t collect all four components on one run. Upon finally completing the bullet, you can grab it from the Blacksmith every subsequent run that you make it to the end. This allows you to kill the past with each character and face their inner demons which is as badass as it sounds. I wont go into details but each gungeoneer's past is there own struggles and you must face off against their most troubling regret in life.

GAMEPLAY

Enter The Gungeon Review (XB1) - The Convict and the Bullet Kin

The gameplay is simple yet ridiculously demanding in order for the player to actually win and succeed in killing the past of each of the gungeoneers. First things first, you have to choose your gungeoneer. There are four to choose from with another being reserved for a co-op partner and two more unlock-able gungeoneers. You can choose from The Pilot, The Marine, The Convict, The Hunter, The Cultist, The Bullet, and The Robot. They each have their own pros and cons and differentiate from each other enough to provide a somewhat different gameplay experience with each character. There are several tools that you will use to pry your way to freedom. The first and obviously most important are the guns!

As you make your way through the many floors of the Gungeon, you will find shops, chests, and enemies that can all drop some sweet firepower into your lap. You have all your basic weapons like pistols, shotguns, revolvers, and sniper rifles. The joy of this game though is that it isn't just filled with basic realistic weapons, but also has many out-of-the-box weapons that can vastly change up your gameplay on any particular playthrough. The way you progress through levels is shaped by weapons you find along your run. When I say that these weapons are very different from one another, I cannot be any more truthful!

Some weapons will fire regular bullets like your standard run-of-the-mill pistols and assault rifles, but then you have the more odd weapons. For instance there is the the "Bullet" which is a gun in the shape of a bullet that fires smaller guns, (there is also its shotgun equivalent known as the "Shell" which fires shotguns). There are also guns such as the "Particulator" which, if used properly can even pave the way to a winning run all on its own. It fires a large projectile that breaks up into several smaller bullets that seek out the other enemies in the room. This can lead to one shot clearing a whole room for you depending on the floor and the passives you have. While the guns are the largest part of the puzzle of success, they are not the only thing.

One of the most common and reliable consumables that you will find within the Gungeon are blanks. Blanks are items that each gungeoneer can use and they are used to clear the screen of all projectiles. When used they will send out a pulse that eliminates all bullets on the screen and even goes a little further to silence all enemies and preventing them from shooting any more bullets for a few moments after the blank has been used. These are crucial in do-or-die situations or against some of the more trigger happy bosses. In addition to the blanks there are a ton of items that can also be found in the Gungeon.

These items can be either passive items or active items needing to be used by the player and then needing to reload before being used again. These items are pivotal to winning, as the benefits and additional actions will help to keep you alive and to help you mow down the many enemies between you and the past.

The most powerful weapon in your arsenal is not a gun or a item that makes your bullets bigger. No, it's actually your character's ability to dodge roll. The dodge roll makes the gungeoneer able to avoid all damage by briefly jumping over all bullets and damaging projectiles. It is an invaluable skill to use and total mastery of the ability is your best shot at ever winning and killing the past. With the amount of bullets that are going to be flying your way and this is the only way your going to get past them.

GRAPHICS AND AUDIO

Enter The Gungeon Review (XB1) - Special Goodies
As with many of the indie games of today, Enter the Gungeon features a beautifully crafted pixel-verse with a ton of creative enemies and characters to take advantage of this relatively simple, yet wonderful graphical style. The pixelation only seems to make things difficult to see when it comes to actually making out what the more ridiculous weapons are actually supposed to be. It never impedes the gameplay or the overall combat in the game.

The soundtrack is pretty much what you would expect from a pixel art game. It has loud and boisterous arcade-esque background music and combat sound effects. The gun sounds are always enjoyable and there is just something enjoyable about listening to the sounds of some of the crazy weapons in this game. One that stands out is the "Lower Case r" which fires six bullets that spell out the word "Bullet" and the firing sound is the voice of a man saying the word "Bullet" in case you cant spell! Enter the Gungeon is filled with tons of small pleasures like that. You can often feel the power in every shot of the weapons and the effects make it very enjoyable and provides a small joy with every defeated enemy.

CONCLUSION

With games like The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, Crypt of the NecroDancer, and Dungeon of the Endless, roguelike dungeon-crawlers are becoming incredibly popular within the gaming community and even more popular within the indie game community. They're a delightfully, enjoyable game genre if you have the patience to push through until you finally have a winning run. In that respect, Enter the Gungeon is no different from any other game within this genre.

Even though it shares the genre with so many illustrious and well established games, Enter the Gungeon manages to carve out its own unique place within the genre. The premise, and idea of rescuing people trapped within the gungeon to help you succeed is something I have seen before but not nearly as well executed as it is this game. The characters manage to each stand out from each other, and while the characters don't differ from each other too drastically, it is still possible to enjoy some while disliking others.

The gameplay is challenging and demanding to say the least and requires intense mastery of all the tools at your disposal and a little bit of luck with chests to forge a winning run, but the pure joy that you can feel from finally winning is immense. It personally took me 75 runs to finally win and it was largely due to the weapons I picked up. So even with the skill and knowledge of how the game works, you can still be screwed by the game if you don't grab some good weapons. Which is painfully disheartening that you can be blazing through a run and getting one bad weapon can screw you over!

With all things considered though, you would be doing yourself a disservice by not owning this game. If your looking for something that provides endless hours of fresh and challenging gameplay, then you can't get much better than Enter the Gungeon. It is a great deal in terms of price to content ratio. If you own an Xbox and your looking for a game that you can enjoy either alone or with a friend than give this title a look!

PROSCONS
+ Exceptional Replay Value– Frustratingly Difficult
+ Incredible Gameplay Variety– Luck Often Plays A Larger Part Than Skill
+ Bright, Vibrant Pixel Graphics
+ TONS Of Fun Out-Of-The-Box Weapons

7.6
Good

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