Enter the Gungeon Overview


Continuing with our dive into popular games in the rogue-like genre, today we’ll look into Enter the Gungeon. The game centers around its fever dream of a concept: a dungeon filled with bullet people that fight with firearms and other smaller bullets. It’s a much sillier game comparative to the other two we’ve looked at, but that’s just one of the many reasons this game can stand its own among the best.

The scene is a planet on the far side of the galaxy, isolated after a tragedy. What might be this very serious, very sad tragedy? Well, a space bullet struck a castle, and created a population of weapon-based creatures that guard a gun that can be used to “kill your past,” as the game puts it. Yes, this game is aware of how insane it sounds. The plot follows several Gungeoneers attempting to correct a deeply scarring mistake they’ve made in their past. For the Marine, he wishes to fix his mistake on his ship and save his crew from an inter-dimensional monster he fled from the first time around. For the Pilot, he wishes to save his Wingman (a literal bird) from being jailed by the Hedgemony Foundation for their schemes. And for the Cultist, he wishes to have not spilled grape juice on the couch. Very serious business.

The game play itself is relatively grounded compared to everything else within the game. The player will choose their character, which determines their beginning weapons and items, and they then have access to the Breach. The Breach acts as the hub, where the player can find people they’ve brought back from inside of the Gungeon, purchase goods for the Gungeon’s stock, and access the tutorial again if need be. At the top of the Breach lies the elevator into the Gungeon itself, where you’ll find yourself spending most of your time. So what’s it like down there?

Each run of the game takes you through the same floors, starting with the Keep of the Lead Lord and ending with the Forge. The goal of the game is to gather the pieces of The Bullet That Can Kill The Past (yes, that’s its name) over many runs through fairly difficult challenges, then take them to the Princess in the Forge to create the item. Luckily, after you craft this item for the first time, you can simply ask her for a copy on other runs. To use the item, it requires the player to defeat the boss of the Forge, then step up to the pedestal of The Gun That Can Kill The Past. With the bullet in hand, this allows you to visit your character’s past and hopefully put an end to their haunting thoughts. Until you realize, the rest are still stuck.

The one thing I haven’t mentioned about this place is that once you enter, you can’t leave. At least, not until you kill your past. The Gungeon keeps Gungeoneers within a loop of trying and failing until the eventual success. All this means is that the characters themselves never leave, allowing you to replay them even after you’ve killed their pasts, but that doesn’t stop this concept from being comical.

The game-play itself is simple. It’s a twin-stick arcade shooter, meaning you use one stick to aim in a 2D plane and the other to walk. As an extra control, you can dodge roll over the top of bullets coming your way, allowing you to dodge a wall of projectiles coming your way without too much stress. This, along with blanking (clearing the room of bullets in exchange for one of your two blanks per floor) are your main means of survival. The most variation in game-play will come from the items you find.

The guns and items you can pick up through chests scattered along the floors almost always have some clever pun to coincide. They add both a comedic change and a play-style change to all of your runs, as you’ll be stuck using whatever you can find. For the most part, most items are pretty good, but of course, not all of them can be winners. As with many other rogue-likes, your quality of build depends on your luck, and your skill will determine how far you can go with them.

All in all, Enter the Gungeon is a much more comedic, fun-loving game in the genre that acts as a perfect entry point for new players. It’s a great time to find every last secret, as all of them can give a great laugh or a big shock. With simple controls, lovely art, and atmospheric music to add to the experience, this game would be perfect for anyone looking to get into the genre.