Review – Mothergunship
Mothergunship, available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, mixes roleplaying game and first-person shooter mechanics with a gun-crafting system like none you’ve ever seen before, wrapped inside a roguelike’s shell with procedurally generated levels full of bullet-spewing robot enemies.
Right off the start, you’re introduced to the gun creation system, where your imagination is limited only by the components you’ve managed to gather and one rule: all barrels must face forward. If you want to pair up grenade launchers with rocket launchers, just find a way to make them fit and you’re off and running. A personal favourite was a four-wide selection of gatling gun-like ‘repeaters’ that tore up enemies without using ridiculous amounts of energy.
The game uses an energy system to keep your creations from becoming too overpowered – each shot uses a set amount of energy dependent on what type and rarity of barrels you’ve used. You’ll need to space out your shots if you have an energy-heavy build, while you can blast away with impunity if you’ve been careful about your energy requirements.
Take care not to use all your top-level components when exploring a new level, however. While having your best gun along will make you more likely to blast your way past the enemy hordes, death will cost you all your best components. There are optional side missions you can take on to grind out replacement parts, but having a death cost you the ability to create your favourite weapon layout is a powerful risk-reward mechanic.
Though there’s a procedural generation mechanic at play here, Mothergunship can still get repetitive after a few hours of play. Enemy types repeat frequently, and environments might differ slightly, but there’s not enough variety in textures and layout to really say they feel like entirely new places. Fortunately, the bullet hell gameplay style keeps you too busy to really pay much attention to your surroundings, making this a great game to have on hand for short play sessions.