Mothergunship is a tough nut to crack. Its ‘roguelike’ elements are substantial and often overwhelming, though its FPS gameplay is sometimes at odds with the focus on the strength of the included bosses. It’s DOOM on a space station and each randomly generated level later you’ll know if it’s for you or not. It doesn’t take long to work it out.
Mothergunship’s story holds it all together with very old sticky tape that barely adhesive anymore but it still works. You’re a soldier who has to single-handedly take down hordes of alien robots that have decided they fancy taking over the galaxy. As such, it’s up to you to make sure that doesn’t happen, and fortunately throughout the game you’ll find plenty of resources on each alien ship to ensure you can succeed, as they have kindly offered a crafting station on every ship in order for you to piece together your perfect piece of weaponry needed to bring down the
establishment aliens. Masters of their own downfall these pesky alien types, eh?
Crafting is your essential mechanic and it’s brilliantly utilised here. Possibly the best in any game this year. You need to literally build your own weapons, and as such you need to make sure you’re stocked up on three components – connectors, mods that can alter your statistics and barrels – these three elements can build something rather brutal or very tame, so you’re able to get creative with your choices to see which works best. Each crafting bay sits alongside pods where you can purchase upgrades or health with coins you collect for bringing down enemies, and it’s here you’re going to be spending a fair amount of your time tweaking your weapon choices. I can begin to imagine the number of actual combinations which are available, let’s just say there are lots. And lots.
Creating your own loadouts later in the game when discovering a new weapons cache is..surprisingly fun? More fun than I remember it being in most games of late, anyway. It’s a blast to tinker with your weapons and mess with logic to create some rather majestic weapons that most games could only dream of including and it’s a credit to Terrible Posture Games that it’s as well refined as it is. To make it enjoyable to craft things is a feat in itself.
Naturally, this is vidjagamme so all of your cool creations will come at the cost of your energy meter which you’ll need to have the patience of a saint to wait to recharge. Crafting is about the balance of power and the wait of the recharge and must all be taken into consideration whilst creating your thirty barreled laser shotgun smg rifle blaster.
Why is this so important? Well, you’re going ot be fighting a lot of enemies. A LOT of enemies, possibly too many for a single soldier to take on all by himself and yet, here we are. It would appear there is an entire legion of soldiers who could help you sitting on standby somewhere, but there we go. Mothergunship is deliciously old school. Its combat is reminiscent of DOOM and Quake meshed together. Movement and combat are essential to lock down quickly, being overwhelmed by the enemies that are vastly stronger than you can happen quickly. It ensures every level is intense, turning each into a continuous 3D reboot of every bullet hell game you’ve ever played. Each level is randomly generated, so though you’ll die (often), and though you get the chance to retread levels you haven’t yet beaten, you’ll get to see brand new rooms that perhaps nobody else has. Guides may not be particularly handy in this instance.
And that’s true of Mothergunship has a whole. If you don’t have the correct loadout for a level you’re going to lose it, and often. You get the chance to retread your crafting cache before jumping back in, but you’re going to need to make sure there you’re stacked enough to take down these impossible enemies. You’ll learn combinations eventually and how they all work together and what’s best for certain enemy types but as you’re trying to get your head around it early on in the game, it can be infuriating. Perserverance and learning quickly are two skills that will hold you in good stead throughout your time with Mothergunship.
From a technical standpoint, Mothergunship is ok. It’s not going to blow anyone away with its visuals but it moves at a swift pace and there’s little hint of framerate drops or any technical glitches that I saw during my playthrough. The audio of the weapons is fantastic, though and is possibly the highlight of the game for me. The sound design across the board in fact is excellent and must be commended. Playing it in headphones is a blast, thanks to some terrific editing and some great voice over performances.
Mothergunship is a great game thanks to its genuinely brilliant gunplay, fantastic craftings mechanics and a steep-ass difficulty curve. It can be frustrating but it’s most assuredly never boring and earns an immediate place on your hard drive.
Mothergunship is available now on PC, PS4 (reviewed on PS4 Pro) and Xbox One.
Developer: Terrible Posture Games
Publisher: Grip Digital
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were provided with a promotional code from the publishers. For our full review policy, please go here.