Game Review: Enter the Gungeon


This game isn’t rated M, which is surprising when it’s all about guns and bosses.

Let’s start by saying, this game is crazier than Ernest Hemingway’s private life, and that’s saying a lot. Enter the Gungeon is a dungeon crawler that starts you out with maybe one or two items and a gun, the point of the game is to kill your past by obtaining the gun that kills the past after going through 5 floors of hectic boss fights and gaining more stuff as you go on.


While that short summary serves as an idea of what to come, This game thrives on the idea that no two runs are the same. Since there are so many items and other junk in the game, it’s extremely rare to get a run the exact same as another. Each floor is randomized, the chests are randomized, the guns are randomized. There is no consistency except your starting weapons, and your skill.


There is no shortage of guns or puns, or gun puns. There is your standard revolver, shotgun, assault rifle, black hole launcher, all your favorite home defense weapons are here. There is a “gun” except it’s not a gun, but a shell, that shoots shotguns, and those shotguns shoot shells. As you explore the chambers of the gungeon, you find more and more bizarre loot that keeps piling up in your inventory. 


Everything in this game is related to guns, like how instead of loading a floor, the screen says reloading, the starting area is called the breach, the last up date was called: “A farewell to Arms” which gives that Ernest Hemingway joke a brand new meaning. This game is riddled with small details that you won’t notice on the first run.


So after starting a new save, or completely resetting your progress, or buying the game for the first time. What is your goal? You need to beat all 5 main floors, and obtain the Gun that Kills the Past. But, before you do, all guns need ammo, so you have to build The Bullet That Kills The Past. Each floor, except the first, has one piece of the bullet for you to obtain and bring to the blacksmith on the last floor. Once you build the bullet once, you don’t need to build it ever again. Get a good run, build the bullet, defeat your past, and pat yourself on the back as you just beat one of the hardest games you’ll play.


Like stated in the last sentence, this game isn’t easy. Actually, I’ve only fully beaten the game twice, and one of those was a run that gave you the best rarity chest. Dodge roll, the studio that gave us this wonderful title, gave you the ability to dodge roll, hence the name. The roll gives you invulnerability in order to dodge attacks from other bullets. So theoretically, it’s possible to never take damage in a run. But that’s highly unlikely. The difficulty of this game comes from a mixture of skill and luck. If you have good luck, and get really good weapons and items, the game can become a breeze, but bad luck might make the game harder than it originally was.


This game has a lot of references, Some of my favorites being: a cardboard box that you hide in to become invisible to enemies; Nanomachines, son; a gun that shoots green turtle shells; the Tetris gun (there’s no way to hide that reference); the superhot watch; the A.W.P; the Big Iron; and so much more. If it was a popular game, a meme, or even a movie, it might be referenced in Gungeon.


After you beat the game, you can unlock new modes to play through. The aforementioned rainbow run gives you the highest quality chest, but you can only pick one item out of those chests. Depending on luck, you can get the best items in the game and beating the game will be as easy as clay pigeons. There’s also blessed mode, that constantly rotates what gun you are using, which I haven’t tried yet. And a few more that I’ll let you explore yourself.


Overall, the game is hard, some would say the dark souls of dungeon crawlers. I don’t think that’s true, but it gives a good headline. But, the game is hard enough to keep coming back to and try to get better, until you win. And even after you win, with all the bonus modes and new stuff to unlock, there is tons and tons of post game content. All the tiny details in the game, the amusing item descriptions that will give you a chuckle. And how no run is the same, it’s no wonder why this game has a cult following. If I were to rate this game, which I am, it would probably be a 8/10, maybe a 8.5/10. 


Now, since I praised this game, would I give it an 8.5, and not higher. Well, the large amount of items in the game, combined with how difficult it is, ramps up the difficulty for new and veteran players. For a new player, having no clue what to expect, might drop this game as quick as they bought it because they don’t know what to do, and even if they do, they might not know how.


Side note: read Ernest Hemingway’s life story, it is unbelievably crazy