You’d be hard to incorrectly guess what part of Enter the Gungeon entails if just went by the title, but just in case – here’s the skinny. Part gun, part dungeon, it’s a rogue-like dungeon crawler with a difference. You go through each floor inside the dungeon, rescuing characters to help build up your main hub world, called the Breach.
Once more unto the Breach!
The Breach is where you start every run. From here, you get to choose 1 of 4 characters to play as – known as Gungeoneers, each with their own set of starting equipment and items to use along the way, whether they be a one time use thing or passive abilities. For example, the Pilot allows a 15% discount on prices in all the shops you come across in and around the Gungeon and starts with trusty lockpicks – used to possibly pick a chest without using up your precious keys but isn’t 100% successful – as well as a passive called Hidden Compartment. This allows you to carry an extra item as well as gives you 10% maximum ammo for all weapons throughout your run. You also start off with a pistol dubbed the ‘Rogue Special’, whereas other characters may only start with 2 guns, but not as many items.
Each floor of the dungeon is procedurally generated, meaning every run is going to be different, whether it be a different end floor boss, weapons that you can buy or find or just a good ol’ fashioned different floor layout. I am yet to come across the exact same run once, even over 3 different platforms (PS4, PC, and Switch) and the 100+ hours I’ve put into the 3 of them combined.
A difficulty that is worth the frustrations
This difficulty is most definitely a good thing, adding to the replay value with each run, which will happen a lot as Enter the Gungeon is extremely unforgiving. The rogue-like capabilities of this game, mixed with the bullet hell mentality mean that you will die many a time. However, every death that happened never felt cheap to me, with every death making me improve my skills and use the dodge roll more and more to my advantage (which grants you a couple of invincibility frames every time you roll), but there is a slight wait time between each roll to stop you spamming the roll button.
The puns go hand in hand along with the pop culture references in this game, from ‘Gatling Gull’ – which in itself is a Metal Gear Solid nod to Vulcan Raven, complete with minigun and corpse eating ravens. Guns are also appropriately named – take the Mega Douser – a literal water gun based on the old school Super Soaker, complete with the original yellow and green paint scheme which can be used to put out fireplaces to reveal secrets, fuses for crates and combined with other weapons to create elemental versions of said weapon.
Switching it up
The Switch version is the best way to experience Enter the Gungeon which seems to be par for the course for most games similar to this nowadays. The ‘one more run’ mentality and the Switch’s portability, mixed with the quick (or long, again depending on skill) runs and touch screen options for accessing items and such make it the best way to play it.
It’s no secret that I love my Switch and adding Enter the Gungeon to my collection on it makes me love my Switch and Enter the Gungeon even more. I still find myself chuckling at its pun and pop culture references even if I find old ones against as I find new stuff I’ve never found. I’m all for rogue-likes and dungeon crawlings but this is one I love and am more than happy to say it’s a must buy.