Mothergunship Review - Glorious Bullet Hell

 

Mothergunship is an awesome first person shooter where dodging your way through thousands of bullets has never been more satisfying.

Mothergunship throws you into a world where Earth has been taken over by an alien race of robots. Recruited by the final survivors, you must destroy dozens of randomly generated ships to get to the Mothergunship—the A.I. that controls the robotic race.

Crafting Weapons

Mothergunship gives you the ability to stack an absurd amount of weapons on top of one another to eviscerate the hoards of alien robot scum.

At one point, I made such an enormous gun that half of my screen was covered by it. The crafting is done by taking connectors—pieces that allow the placement of additional weapons via sockets—and adding them to your right or left hand. Afterwards, you can add even more sockets or start placing your guns. What I typically like to do is place an oval connector that has three spaced out sockets and fill it with weapons. However, each weapon requires energy to shoot, so if you have too many guns equipped at once, you’ll only be able to fire for a couple of seconds.

Mothergunship has dozens of weapons that come in different rarities, such as a rocket launcher, chaingun, laser, and lightning rod. But, if you were in a close-ranged gunfight with a shotgun and a sniper, only the shotgun would be effective even though they’re consuming the same amount of energy. If you had two shotguns or focused on the one, you could fight more efficiently. Thus, it’s more advantageous to put similar weapons-types on one hand

Not only that, but you can add things called “caps,” which modify your weapon in interesting ways. Some examples include a ricochet mod, a multi-shot add-on, and one that has a chance to spawn a jelly mine that stuns enemies. In most cases, these caps require less energy than actual weapons, which make them more useful than weapons in some cases. My weapons usually sport caps that increase my weapon stats, since Mothergunship is a painful bullet-hell and I need every advantage I can take.

Combat & Upgrades

Whether you’re killing robots or completing challenges, the game provides experience points throughout its missions that allow you to purchase upgrades like max health, energy regeneration, or secret detection. Certain stats can also be increased temporarily by finding secrets in-game.

Whenever I defeated all the enemies in the area, I would hug every wall and circle the room to see if I could find any secrets. These rooms can harbor items that increase max health, max energy, or the number of times you can jump for the rest of the level. Although these temporary bonuses are useful, Mothergunship could’ve had more compelling secrets. Circling a room with your character running against every wall is not a very interesting way of finding hidden upgrades.

There’s also a chance enemies will drop a single coin after defeating them. These can be used in shops to purchase even more weapons for your arsenal. Additionally, players can use these coins in the game’s hub to purchase rare weapons. However, this should only be used for emergencies, since buying a high rarity weapon will cost 2400 coins, and considering you usually earn 20 to 30 coins per mission, it’s not a very practical way of getting guns.

Mothergunship can get a little slow during its loading times. There is a small window of time between each room where the player has to wait as it loads, and while it’s not a drastic amount of time, it interrupts the overall pacing of the game.

Difficulty

Mothergunship is completely unforgiving when you lose, and while I’m a sucker for tough experiences, I’m not a fan of its difficulty system. Upon death, every weapon you brought along with you gets destroyed, and since every mission is filled with procedurally generated rooms and paths, you’ll never be able to play the same mission twice and get redemption. The game left no room for me to learn from my mistakes, which was incredibly frustrating.

I’ve played missions where the game states it should be incredibly difficult, but the rooms turn out to be filled with a small number of weak enemies. On the other hand, certain missions that should have been much easier, had me dodging complete and utter bullet-hell. And since many shops are placed randomly, I found myself in a situation where I went through a number of rooms in a mission without finding a single one. This had me stuck with the basic starting weapon, which makes the game even more challenging. At that point, it felt as if Mothergunship’s difficulty was loosely based on luck as opposed to skill.

There’s also post-game content where you have to finish six missions in a row without dying before attempting to destroy a Mothergunship. Considering that most missions are life-threatening, this system is basically hardcore mode.

The Story

Mothergunship has a simple story, but the exhausting exposition between each room in every main mission makes it seem like it wants to be more than it is. Although I enjoy the silly jokes, I found myself annoyed listening to the bland dialogue whenever I wanted to go on with the mission. Thankfully, you can skip the dialogue, but it would’ve benefited the game if it stuck to its premise and didn’t try so hard to build off of that. For a game about the invasion of Earth, it throws a number of plot twists and sudden story developments in an attempt to “keep things interesting,” but they have the opposite effect.

Verdict

Mothergunship is definitely worth playing for its incredible weapon creation and smooth gun mechanics. It’s also pretty exciting that Grip Digital and Terrible Posture Games plan to release an update in August that adds multiplayer. However, as the game’s difficulty seems more reliant on luck than skill, it can be frustrating at times.

Score

Good Bad
Creating Weapons Room Loading
Occasionally Fun Difficulty Boring Story Dialogue
Satisfying Gunplay Poorly Balanced Difficulty
Amusing Jokes Obnoxious RNG
Post-Game Content
Stat Increasing
Side Missions

- 7/10 -