Mothergunship is quite unlike anything we’ve played before.
Long story short, you’re plonked into a 3D roguelike dungeon, and told to go tear things up with a gun you’ve made yourself. The more stuff you blast to pieces, the more bits you get to make a gun out of. And the better your gun, the more things you can destroy. You see where this is going?
The conceit is pretty simple – move from room to room and make things die – but the custom gun mechanic that sits in the middle of the game really makes it stand out from its competitors.
In single-player mode, this is satisfying enough – your own creativity and destructive power drives you to push through, you try and beat your personal best when it comes to progress. The roguelike elements keep the challenge fresh, keep you on your toes.
But we recently had the chance to sample the game’s upcoming co-operative mode, where two pilots can jump into their space juggernauts and start ripping things to shreds together.
When the second player jumps in, the games hectic, bullet-hell nature really starts to hum – a lot of the mechanics start to make more sense.
Mothergunship’s various guns, powers and setups start to click. Power-ups and health packs and components you can pay for and collect for your custom creations are not shared in co-op mode – so you need to communicate and talk about which things you’re picking up… and why.
Maybe one of you wants to pick up all the jump powerups, to make you better at hovering around, staying above the primary line of fire and using rockets to rain death on the drones below.
Maybe one of you wants to pick up the lion’s share of the HP upgrades so you can become a hefty tank, strafing the myriad bullets coming your way and spitting rapid-fire rounds at anything that dares spawn in your sights.
Together, you form a unit that can take on pretty much anything the game throws at you – but you need to keep your lines of communication open and really double-down on the build you’re going for.
Co-op in Mothergunship makes sense. You can imagine a couple of mates sitting down, booting up the game and cracking open a four pack of beers, happy to just mess around with the ludicrous toolkit the game throws at you.
Apparently, players have already gotten pretty creative with the sorts of weapons you can make: someone made a future, Metal version of Thor’s Hammer from the MCU. Someone made a gun called ‘The Window’ because it’s just barrels all around the edge of the screen.
The level of creativity – alongside usability – each weapon has is this game’s selling point.
This writer has been playing a lot of Enter the Gungeon recently, and Mothergunship scratches the same itch – the randomly generated rooms, the impressive size of the loot pools, the slow, edging nature of progress… you can see they’re genre stablemates there.
But Mothergunship does co-op so much better – we dare say it’s what the game was made for. From our time in co-op, we’re keen to play more of the game and see where the conflation of mechanics and creativity can end up.
Mothergunship is the perfect game to casually drop into and out of with your pals just to blow off some steam and, excuse us, blow shit up.
You can try the co-op content yourself when the game launches physically on August 21st for PS4 and Xbox One.