Mothergunship Review: Packing Heat

Have you ever stopped what you were doing mid-game and thought to yourself, “this gun doesn’t have enough barrels…”? No matter how many attachments Call of Duty lets me put on my guns, they often feel underpowered, especially when dealing with wave upon wave of the undead. Sure, some games offer the option to include mods to your arsenal, but rarely does it feel like you are truly making the weapon your own. MOTHERGUNSHIP has come to rescue us all, giving players the option to create each and every gun from scratch.

The game offers a basic cardboard cutout of a story that often feels like a caricature of the modern gaming scene. You’ll be tasked with taking down the impending alien threat, one ship at a time, working your way to the Mothergunship. Each ship makes up a level, broken down into small rogue-lite sized rooms of death that culminate in a boss battle. Between the levels, there will be some not so witty banter that will provide insights into new mechanics or the general story. These are all long winded, reminiscent of the codec conversations from Metal Gear Solid, and feature half of the effort on the part of the voice actors; it is so bad I could not wait for the Y prompt to come up for me to be done with the mind-numbingly dull banter.

Luckily, the gameplay makes up for the lackluster story. You’ll work your way through the levels much like any other game, clearing the enemy forces and collecting gold, which can be used between most rooms to purchase upgrades that can be applied to your guns, as each hand can be outfitted separately. Want to make a rocket launcher that also has some buck shot barrels? How about a pistol that shoots flaming bullets faster than The Flash on meth? Cool, the game has you covered, giving you the option to make just about anything providing the barrels face forward and they physically fit together. Your only other limitation is the amount of power the weapon takes, which will impact the recharge rates, as all weapons use this in place of ammo.

Crafting your tools of destruction is super easy, with a clear depiction of your creation allowing a full 360 degrees and easy points of contact being visible, with three types of components available for use. You’ll have your connectors, which allow you to stack additional rows or pieces; barrels, complete with their own firing types; mods, which allow you to add ricochet, explosives, and other options.

The battle segments run extremely well, playing like an old school FPS game at ultra-speed with a triple jump option that allows for easy traversal. While it’s not game breaking nor does it really affect the player, the loading segments between missions present the gut wrenching dialogue run, stutter, and skip as if it was reading a disc that was force fed into a wood chipper, which breaks immersion each and every time there is a transition. Much like Doom and the other old school shooters that inspired it, constant movement is needed to survive, or certain death will come quickly. Sadly, dying in MOTHERGUNSHIP is extremely brutal for multiple reasons: you’ll not only lose any and all progress on the current level (this is also forfeit if you exit the game mid-level), but you will also lose any gun parts that were brought with you or earned on the run. This puts a nice risk vs reward mechanic in place – do you take your biggest and best items and go in blind, or do you express caution and take some mediocre components while you risk getting your face pounded in by one of the bosses, only to lose some of your precious time?

With the exception of the boss encounters, the level and enemy designs are uninspired and offer token enemy types that can be found in any FPS game. The boss encounters make up for this, pitting the player against gigantic mechanized creatures with obvious weak points. Often times you have to evade the enemy attacks and wait for just the right time to launch a counter offensive turning the game into a bit of chess. The AI is passable, although I found the majority of the standard enemies to be nothing more than cannon fodder, with most of my deaths coming from hazards or simply not managing my health like I should. The difficulty spikes early, with rooms offering little to no cover, a single group of enemies, and rows upon rows of invincible turrets. The game offers cartoonish characters with little to no gore that would be perfect for the little gamer in your life, but the difficulty would likely result in a tantrum from younger players.

You’d think with the option to create your own guns, PvP would have been one of the first modes added to this, but that’s not the case. I’m not normally one to wish that developers would tack on a multiplayer mode for no apparent reason, but I think this would’ve brought something to the table if it was an incorporated option. A saving grace is that co-op has been confirmed and will be added in a future update, which will also include leaderboards, daily challenges, and additional content in the form of new rooms and parts. While it won’t change the FPS game much and has room for some much needed polish, MOTHERGUNSHIP offers hours of fun with its frantic pace that rivals many of the games that inspired it. If you liked Tower of Guns, there’s a lot to love here.

8 out of 10

Pros

  • Making Your Own Guns
  • Smooth Movement
  • Tons of Content
  • Risk vs Reward Gameplay

Cons

  • Mediocre AI
  • Uninspired Enemies

MOTHERGUNSHIP was developed by Grip Digital in conjunction with Terrible Posture Games and published by Grip Digital. It launched on PC, PS4, and X1 July 17th, 2018 for $29.99. The game was provided to us for review on X1. If you’d like to see more of MOTHERGUNSHIP, check out the official site.

 

Here at GBG we use a rating method that you are more than likely familiar with – a scale of 1 to 10. For clarification, we intend on using the entire scale: 1-4 is something you should probably avoid paying for; 5-7 is something that is worth playing, but probably not at full price; 8-10 is a great title that you can feel confident about buying. If you have any questions or comments about how we rate a game, please let us know.

 

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