Mothergunship Review – Guns Aplenty
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Developer: Terrible Posture Games, Grip Digital
Publisher: Grip Digital
Release: 17th July 2018
Crafting, something I to this day pretty much hate in any form in any video game. Especially in survival games. However, miracles can happen, as proven by Mothergunship. A game revolving around collecting gun parts and creating new, giant, exciting guns by piecing all of them together. After it announcement, I was already in love with the concept and now it´s finally time to praise it.
The earth is yet again attacked by aliens and only you can save humanity by destroying their Mothergunship. A cliché story to enter a pretty cliché base formula. At its core, the game is nothing more than a first person shooter where you have to shoot your way through dozens of procedurally generated levels and rooms. Death, as always, means having to restart the level, while losing most of your weapon parts.
Not to say, that it´s extremely good at it. Mothergunship features a wide array of rooms, from simple boxes full of enemies to giant, multi-layered arenas full of enemies. Add a ton of jump pads and jump portals on top of that and you got a pretty fast, flowing level, simply by creating working samples, which surprisingly never really repeat themselves. Especially when those layers itself are procedurally generated while having some incredibly great level design for those kind of games. For example, there are dozens of rooms not really challenging on their own, like a long lane where bullets are shot at you but become somewhat of a build-up to giant rooms after them. At least I never got one of those as an ending or alike but always when something big was underway.
Yet why bother with any of this? Because Mothergunship has one, giant, amazing feature: Build your own guns. Every room grants you new coins with which you can buy new weapon parts in shops. Those can then be assembled in an own editor right away to create your own dream gun. Naturally though, you´ll need quite a few parts for bigger ones. So in the beginning most of your creations will either be simple machine guns or whatnot with more impressive ones coming later and every missions only lets you carry over 4 parts, in order to prevent you from building overpowered ones early on.
All these things serve to create a slightly artificial learning and progression curve, by slowly unlocking new possible combinations. However, when you do arrive at a sufficient number and are able to craft big ones, it will all be worth it. Mostly because of the extensive possibilities, only restricted by the fact the bigger a weapon the more energy it consumes. Otherwise, everything´s up to you. There are hundreds of parts, either in form of connectors to give you more slots and space to mount guns on, mountable passive bonuses and of course the guns themselves. From typical machine guns in all sorts of sizes, to plasma blasters, lasers, disk launchers, pretty much any bigger weapon ever featured in FPS is here in some sort. Combine 3-7 of those and you have a gun, that pretty much fires a whole army worth fo bullets with every click.
Part of why this feature is so great is the quite amazing hit feedback for tinier enemies. Since Mothergunship throws dozens of them at you per level, they die quite fast and are perfect to be annihilated by your giant weapons. It´s damn satisfying. Only the bigger, stationary enemies can feel a bit too durable at times, even with high-end guns, as well as functioning against the whole premise of a fast-paced shooter. In order to actually survive it´s necessary to dodge the bullets and never stop moving, however, when bullets are shot at you from the same direction over and over again, makes the whole thing of dynamically reacting to them somewhat pointless. Except this though, the whole gameplay feels amazing in combination with the guns.
Visually Mothergunship is actually a surprisingly high-quality production, looking the way one would expect a 24.99 game to look. While on closer look some textures and enemies seem mushy, it´s a game completely designed to be played in a fast-paced manner, similar to DOOM 2016, making them more than just sufficient for their purpose. Additionally, the optimization seems to be on par as well, since I never had a problem with running it at 60fps in any given resolution, nor had any bugs. Only the soundtrack lacks some kind of personality for me, due to the fact it sounds mostly like any other rock music made for fast FPS.
Despite my concerns about the actual gameplay, Mothergunship managed to deliver on pretty much every expectation. It offers a compelling though standard FPS gameplay mixed with the amazing feature to craft your own guns … without any compromises. The amount of customizability even surprised me once I got a hang of it. If you ever dreamed about creating giant, badass guns, then this title shouldn´t be missed.
[A Review Code was provided by Grip Digital]