Nintendo Switch

Enter The Gungeon’s Final Hurrah Still Makes The Game Feel Alive

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ETG - Screenshot 4

 

Enter the Gungeon is among those Devolver Digital games that sticks with people, thanks to constant support from Dodge Roll Games. After all, the roguelike originally launched in 2016 on PCs, and it only just finally received its A Farewell to Arms update in April 2019. Now, with the Nintendo Switch physical copies in the wild, it feels like an actual end of an era as its developer rolls forward, and the game itself remains as one of the stronger indies available on each platform today.

 

For those who haven’t played it yet, Enter the Gungeon is a bullet hell game set in a dungeon filled with lots of bullet-based enemies. Each of the nine Gungeoneer playable characters has a desire to kill their past with The Bullet That Can Kill the Past. (Four are available at the outset, the Cultist is only available in co-op, and the other four must be unlocked.) Each character has their own starting equipment and items, which can make running, gunning, and surviving the gauntlet easier or more difficult, depending on what someone finds works for them. It is literally a bullet hell sort of game, as many of the bosses are actual bullets sending off energy bullets to attack people. You have to learn to execute dodges for close calls and temporary invulnerability and properly pull off attacks to survive and change your character’s past.

 enter the gungeon trigger twins

 

In some ways, these boss fights can sometimes feel like facing a foe from a Touhou sort of game. The bosses have different patterns they rely upon, and they’ll usually increase in difficulty. The Trigger Twins, a rather nonthreatening duo in Keep of the Lead Lord, aren’t too dissimilar. Both have similar sorts of attacks that are easily telegraphed, so if one jumps in the air, you know it’ll land and send out a spray of energy bullets. There’ll never be the same sort of full screen curtain of projectiles here, as there is with Touhou. But, getting to the Bullet King makes things a little more complicated, as we start to see a spread that, at certain points, can have the projectiles close enough that you need to pull back and have the distance so there is enough space between them to dodge.

 

As you get further in, the bosses get more phases, have more energy bullets shooting out, and can have random segments where the projectiles will be sent out, but there’s no defined logic or rows behind them. For example, the Oubliette’s Blobulord begins by sending out bullet patterns that resemble blobs like itself when standing still. Then, it sends out random bullets. When it sort of holds its breath, there are four consecutive, circular waves. There will even be moments when it targets you with a stream of bullets that home in on you. When its health gets low, it will go into the sewers and come up upon certain grates to send out a ring of attacks. Since Enter the Gungeon has this randomization element and secret bosses like the Blobulord, due to its roguelike nature, it doesn’t get old. Even things added a while back can feel as fresh as the 2019 A Farewell to Arms update.

 

enter the gungeon blobulord

 

And A Farewell to Arms, the last Enter the Gungeon update that is available free to everyone, goes one further. It’s designed for people who already have beaten and been going through the game. You can’t use Paradox until after earning one past, after all, and The Gunslinger’s story offers a definitive take on things after beating the game with Paradox. The secret boss, Agunim, is this fun moment with multiple bullet patterns being executed at once and Cam “Liquid Snake” Clarke voicing the opponent as it flies around in a helicopter and you do your best to dodge and fight back from the roof of the R&G Dept. area.

 

It’s a good way to say goodbye to a game that received its last update in 2019, finally got a Nintendo Switch physical copy, and will eventually have its own Enter the Gungeon: House of the Gundead light gun game. It’s always been the sort of genre-straddling game that has long legs and lots to do. The last updates just ensure people can enjoy it for a longer period of time.

 

Enter the Gungeon is available for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.