If you don’t know already, I’m a pretty big fan of the roguelike genre. From dungeon crawlers to platformers, you could say I’m a sucker for punishment, but most of all games in this genre have a rather fast pace and are naturally easy to pick up. In 2014, a game called Tower of Guns was released which surprised me because it took the first-person shooter genre and combined it with procedurally generated levels and roguelike systems. With these pieces in place, the small team at Terrible Posture Games created a fun and addictive game that I happily sunk hours into, getting a little further each time.
However, in the three years since the release of Tower of Guns, the developers at Grip Digital and game director Joe Mirabello (the man behind Terrible Posture Games), weren’t just willing to update some systems and release Tower of Guns 2. Instead, they’ve created Mothergunship which, like it’s predecessor, continues to impress me each time I get my hands on it. Although Mothergunship builds off the systems introduced in Tower of Guns, it looks and feels like an entirely new experience.
First off I’d like to point out the graphical improvements found in Mothergunship. When compared to Tower of Guns, Mothergunship looks like a completely different game, which makes me even more happy that they just didn’t slap a “2” behind Tower of Guns. The game shows off its industrial environments well with digital panels and other futuristic tech lining the walls. However, nothing distracted me from the action, which I liked.
The setting of the game revolves around the player traveling from alien spaceship to alien spaceship blowing them up one by one as a one-man army; all the while the alien fleet moves closer to Earth. Throughout the game, players will run through procedurally generated rooms filled with enemy robots, who are packed with a variety of different weapon loadouts. The action in these rooms is fast and addictive, and is at its best when there are missiles and enemies closing in and you make it out against all odds.
Mothergunship puts a significant focus on the weapons that players can create. Throughout the adventure, I came across different weapons parts that could be used at crafting tables. Crafting is made relatively simple in Mothergunship as the systems are easy to understand and navigate. However, the actual reliability of a crafted weapon in battle might require some trial and error.
I will admit that the first weapon I created exhausted its ammo in about five shots and took a while to reload, but it was super powerful. This is where players will need to make specific choices while crafting: for instance, do you go for power or speed? There’s a balance to this system that might become easier to understand once you have more parts to work with. With my limited number of crafting items, the weapons that I created were interesting, but not what I wanted. This weapon crafting system is going to be a huge time sink for some players, and it is definitely what excites me most about the game.
During my time with the game at PlayStation Experience 2017, I was also able to finally play a boss battle. Sadly, I died during my first attempt, but you have to trust me when I say that this boss is no joke. Towering over me while launching huge missiles and shooting lasers, I made my through a tunnel of lava and platforms to victory. I will tell you that the boss battle was pretty exciting and made me wonder about what other bosses the team has in store to show. There’s no limit to the variety of robots they can produce, but it’s to be seen if this can be kept fun and exciting throughout multiple playthroughs.
Mothergunship is a game that will appeal to players who enjoy jumping into a game that is easy to pick and has multiple systems for them to discover. There is a story being told during the game, but that biggest takeaway is the randomness of the levels and weapons. There might be runs where you don’t get very good weapons parts, or find yourself ill prepared to face the enemies in a room. Regardless of what kind of procedurally generated level you encounter, Mothergunship is shaping up to be a fine successor to Tower of Guns with plenty of improvements and addictive systems. I’m excited to see what is revealed as we get closer to the game’s launch sometime in 2018.