Mighty Goose Review: Peace Was Never an Option (PS5)

Blastmode explode onto the scene with this run and gun title inspired by the acclaimed Metal Slug series. This Patreon backed project like its titular protagonist has teeth, showcasing incredible gameplay, insane bosses and a head banging soundtrack to boot. There is more to the goose than meets the eye.

Mighty Goose Review: Peace Was Never an Option (PS5)

With the eruption of 2019’s Untitled Goose Game, I and the rest of the gaming space have been eagerly awaiting another goose based masterpiece – and developer Blastmode have delivered, producing true video game gold.

Where Hideo Kojima claims Death Stranding to be the first “strand” type game, Untitled Goose Game can claim to be the first true “goose” type game, and yet Mighty Goose innovates on the goose genre to stand on its own webbed feet.

Inspired by the infamous Metal Slug series, this Patreon backed title innovates on the run and gun genre dabbling with unique gameplay, environments and sidekicks to kick ass with.

Most importantly of all, you play as a bounty hunting goose. Yeah.

If you’re not sold on the concept by that single sentence, I don’t know what to tell you.

Mighty Goose is available now on PS4/5, Xbox One, Steam and the Nintendo Switch.

Mighty Goose - Reveal Trailer

STORY: Less Mighty, More Goose

The story of Mighty Goose is simple, you play as an intergalactically recognised bounty hunter gunning his way through the galaxy. On the journey putting an end to monstrous threats and saving the world for good measure.

Throughout the story it introduces you to a number of side characters which alleviate some of the pressure laid on our protagonist and his lack of speech. These side characters were a welcome addition from both a gameplay and a narrative point of view, with some surprises along the way. These sidekicks each have their own personality, which only adds to the fantastic world building on display.

Sidekicks play a large role in customisation

Sidekicks play a large role in customisation

That is the key strength of this indie titles narrative, excellent world building. Each stage has a life of its own, asking just enough questions of its surroundings to create intrigue. For the games short length, built on the premise on replayability and getting that perfect rank, the story is surprisingly adequate, it was engaging and comical at times. 

Furthermore, the canonical explanation for New Game+ is one of the best explanations I have ever seen from a gameplay point of view. I was thoroughly impressed.

The short succinct story doesn’t surprise or reinvent the wheel, but it serves its purpose in pushing forward the gameplay effectively. Admittedly, the protagonist itself is in dire need of more characterisation and personaility, as it is very one-tone, honking their way through one warzone after another.

Gameplay: Run and Gun Fun

Blastmode have taken the core concepts of classic run and guns such as Metal Slug and Contra and have elevated them to become one of the finest modern interpretations of the genre. What at first may appear as a gimmick based around a goose, soon becomes an eclectic experience, innovating and experimenting, with overall success.

Vehicles are a key component to the gameplay

Vehicles are a key component to the gameplay

The weapons of Mighty Goose feel powerful and weighty, seeking out the shotgun, machine gun or rocket launcher was necessary, as the starting weapon is laughably weak, slowing the pace down exponentially should you be stuck with it for an extended period.

Luckily this is where the coin system comes in, allowing you to purchase upgrades from the gooses phone, using coins earned during the level. This is a fantastic mechanic, albeit poorly explained – I only discovered the mechanic by accident during the 5th level.

Customisation comes in the form of upgrades earned by completing levels and specific feats, ranging from increased movement speed to filling the mighty meter quicker. The mighty meter in question is probably the key mechanic of the game, kills earn you the power to go super saiyan, becoming invincible, shooting faster and dealing more damage. The Supergoose if you will, also lasts as long as you deal damage to your enemies, making a joke of some of the bosses, if you have enough weapons at your disposal.

With the power of the chaos emeralds...

With the power of the chaos emeralds…

As previously mentioned, you can also choose your companion for each mission. Each is unique, however the second that you unlock comes with almost unlimited machine gun ammo – making him the clear choice and it is a pity, as I never felt like I had to experiment with the other companions, because it would mean I had to use the starting weapon more.

The other core innovation in Mighty Goose is its vehicle usage. Vehicles play an important part in the gameplay, ranging from bikes and planes to tanks. The gameplay is cool at first, but soon becomes frustrating, only taking three hits before being destroyed, they become superficial upgrades rather than effective mechanics in their own rights. Their inclusion feels half-baked, especially with the nature of the later vehicles available, that are incredibly cool but are usually destroyed in a matter of seconds.

The title warrants replaying missions to gain perfect ranks, unlock more companions and abilities to take into the New Game+ mode (you can switch between your original playthrough and New game+ on the fly, which is awesome). This mode adds extra difficulty and the amount I played was a degree harder, but not insurmountable with the right upgrades.

Goose meet Pacific Rim

Goose meet Pacific Rim

Graphics and Audio: Not shooting blanks

The soundtrack of Mighty Goose is a triumph, fitting the gameplay like a glove. Specific levels stand out more than others, but the benchmark for all of the music found within the game is incredibly high. I found myself humming the title screen music and head banging to some of the level tracks, especially the second level. The soundtrack is at times almost DOOM-esque in its usage, like a symphony in partnership with the incredible amount of violence on show. 

The graphics are also a highlight, whilst a product of its art style, is incredibly pretty. Whilst I would’ve liked some more unique enviroments later in the game, that which is shown is impressive, full of colour, character and passion.

Considering I played the PS5 version, I didn’t see any massive technical differences between itself and the PS4 version, albeit I wasn’t expecting to. The loading times are significantly better on the PS5 version however, which remains to be my favourite thing about the entire system.

Mighty Goose was reviewed on PS5. Review code provided by Stride PR.

Summary
Mighty Goose is a love letter to run and guns of yesteryear, yet in the modern era, remains fresh and full of new ideas to reinvent the genre in an incredibly fun way. It is a triumph that once again proves that Patreon is a fantastic resource to support developers that you believe in. Whether you play through it once, or drill down into its core to gain those high scores, Mighty Goose is an experience to remember.
Good
  • Killer soundtrack
  • Engaging and innovative gameplay
  • Intuitive yet masterful gunplay
  • You play as a goose
Bad
  • Lack of enemy variety
  • Some mechanics require tuning
8.5
Great

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