One of the highlights of my day at EGZ Rezzed 2018 was coming across a rather old school feeling FPS with classic graphics, platforming and the very fun mechanic of having the ability to build your own weapons to defeat the oncoming hordes of enemies always heading your way. It instantly reminded me playing the early forms of FPS titles back in the day such as the original DOOM and Wolfenstein but with a nice sci-fi twist to give it some modern day magic. Mothergunship has landed and I was itching to tryout the full game.
Would you believe it that Earth has once again come under attack from an alien race in the form of evil killer robots and that the last line of defence is a single super soldier? Yup here we go again but hey when the Earth and human race are in trouble sometimes one person can make a difference. Taking that key role will us as the player of course and your mission will be to taken down the invading forces by taking them on in their own ships as you blast your way to their main ship, the Mothergunship.
Now the alien fleet are not going to simply sit back and let players just walk in and destroy everything the various levels are full of robots and turrets all powerful enough to take you down either in sheer numbers of enemies or in their ever increasing size and firepower, and they will throw everything that they can find at you to stop you from saving the Earth. This will quickly turn into one giant bullet hell of aggression against the player which can be relentless unless you start to fight back but with the odds definitely against the player, you will need something to help rebalance the fight.
This is where the greatest strength of Mothergunship comes into play as players will be given the opportunity to create and build their own weapons of mass destruction throughout the game by finding gun components and through buying new parts with currency collected from destroyed enemies. You can really create some powerful guns combining different parts as long as they all fit together of course and soon you will be slaying evil robots left right and centre as you build triple barrelled chain guns with rocket attachments or powerful lasers. There are thousands of different combinations that can be put together by the player but there is a strategic limitation to what beast of a gun you can put together.
Weapons all need power and should you build too powerful a gun you could be left with a lengthy recharge/reload time penalty leaving you vulnerable to all enemies around you so whilst it might look epic to create a gun worthy of John Wick himself to wield, build one that uses up all your energy in one blast may not be the most effective way of jumping into combat. So fine tuning your weapons to deliver maximum damage but at the same time making sure you monitor how much energy it uses as it fires so that you do not end up shouting at your TV as you wait for the energy gauge to replenish can cost you a cheap death in the middle of a fight. It came as a surprise to see just how deep the crafting mechanics are in this game and you will constantly be faced with having to adjust and improve on your designs as you shoot your way through the game.
Visually I absolutely love the classic FPS look to the game and the design allows for constant shooting battles which are enhanced by the platforming elements to find just the right balance of exploring and movement to keep the fighting always on the go. Being constantly on the move just gave me the right nostalgia feeling for classic FPS titles I grew up with and in Mothergusnship it certainly feels as though they inspired so much in this game. The levels are randomly generated as well so the player never really knows what it will look like or indeed the type of enemies they will face. I love the sci-fi feel to the environments and bright colours from the explosions just makes this a feat on the eyes complimented so well by the musical score and audio effects help give the action an exciting pace.
What I did enjoy is the writing and dialogue in the game with some of the NPC characters you speak too have more than just a passing resemblance to iconic 80s and 90s action films, it is writing that does not take the game seriously but still gets the balance right preventing it from becoming a throw away parody game as well. I smiled from the dialogue and from the action itself making this one of the surprise hits of this year for me.
Mothergunship brings together so many elements that all compliment each other which calls on the player to not only be a skilful shooter but also in finding the right tactics to deal with the enemies and challenges placed in front of them. The ability to craft a monster of a gun is tempered by the need to be logical about what you do build. On the surface this may look like a fairly simple FPS title but once you are in its world you will find a challenging and rewarding shooter that focuses on getting all its different elements to work together then simply sits back and gives players the freedom to play however they choose to as well. This game is all about having fun and experimenting in making different gun configurations.
Perfect if you want a change of pace from the more serious and big hitting FPS titles available, I have lost many an afternoon with this game and have no regrets in doing so. Definitely a highlight of 2018 and one worth checking out if you are a fan of classic FPS with a refreshing modern twist.