I got thirty fucking jumps.

...Okay, 29.

And I should explain.

So the super short version is that Mothergunship is a rogue-lite FPS. If you've never done a rogue-lite, it's exactly what it sounds like: a lighter version of roguelike mechanics, where you're not committing asmuch of yourself to the void if you die.

The premise here is real simple; You're a soldier shoved into some power armor, aliens have taken over the world, you're part of the resistance now, go kick some ass in their ships for mother Earth. And even then I spent longer on it than the actual game does before it gives you shit to do.

So right out the gate it's pretty standard FPS stuff. You can run, you can jump, you can shoot...Well, punch, to start. Mothergunship puts you as constantly dual wielding, and when you start off before you have any guns, what do you have two of? Your FISTS. And what is punching, if not incredibly short range shooting? So punch, punch with your fist guns until the enemy is dead.

I swear that line made more sense when I put it in my notes.

Anyways, the other schtick aside from constant dual wielding, and where the rogue stuff comes in, is when you get your first gun. And this is where Mothergunship starts getting interesting.

Because you don't get a gun.

You get gun parts.

Every weapon you wield in the game is made up of one or more barrels, connectors, and "caps", which are your classic modifiers. So you can just hold a Chaingun, and hey, it's a Chaingun. Or you can strap two Chainguns onto a connector mount, plus a recoil mod, and now it's a double-bouncy-Chaingun.

And you can have two entirely separate weapons at once.

This, this right here, is where Mothergunship's fun comes from. It's in getting, and messing with, parts. Chainguns, shotguns, rocket launchers, grenades, weird energy things, and that's just the sort of stuff I found in the early levels. The really crazy shit is still waiting for me to get good enough to earn it.

Because that's the other thing. You take a few parts in with you, and buy more in the field, but if you die you lose everything you had on your person. So if you can't handle a sufficiently difficult mission...Well, hope you weren't taking your good equipment.

We're going to come back to that.

You do have one thing you can always take back, your experience. You can level up your power armor, letting you go in with starting health or energy bonuses, having faster recharge rates (your guns are fueled by energy instead of ammo) and so on and so forth. Getting a few of these levels, properly placed, under your belt can be the difference between a smooth run and screaming death.

So let's talk about that thing I said at the start. The thirty jumps. One of the other tricks that this game pulls, is you're running on something more like some of the crazier DOOM mods. Secrets abound, and rooms can have modifiers and challenges and stuff. There's not exactly a ton of exploration, but every room manages to be a different interesting little arena and they can be arranged in all kinds of different ways.

Those modifiers get pretty nuts. You get the real crazy ones if you run into a dice door, which will throw a random mod onto a room. Sometimes you get stuff like acid. Sometimes you get stuff like every enemy drops 4 times the normal loot.

And sometimes you get one that makes every single enemy drop jump upgrades.

Right out the gate, you have three jumps, one better than your typical double-jump. But aside from health and energy, one of the short-term (you lose them at the end of the level, but they're there for the entire rest of said level) powerups you can get gives you an extra one.

Well, that modifier dropped onto a stage that, instead of having a few big enemies like I imagine it was supposed to, was packed to the brim with like 25 floating landmines. ...airmines. Boom boom balloons.

So a few shots into the mass of boom boom balloons, and it rained jump upgrades onto me. Until I had enough that I could enter and exit a loading hall without ever touching the ground. Enough that I made two laps around the room I got them in before I had to hit the ground and refresh them. Enough that I went up through a tunnel I was supposed to use a boost pad for, with nothing but jumps.

That one single stage may have been one of the best times I've ever had just fucking with a videogame.

Of course, that said, it's not a perfect game. So like always, let's wrap up with the flaws.

I won't lie, the individual guns sometimes don't feel amazing. It's mostly a sound design issue; I want more bass in a lot of them, especially things like the shotguns, to make them feel stronger. While some recoil animation would be nice to further sell it, that would be damn near impossible with the multi-weapon build mechanic, so yeah.

And the whole rogue style does put some perverse incentives down, to only ever use your best gear in the test room where you don't have to risk it, or on missions where you're confident. I feel like just something as small as being able to keep one or two of your guns when you went down, would do a lot for this...But I'll also freely admit that it comes with the territory.

Lastly, if you're really into good exploration and tons of environmental detail, you're not gonna find it here. The rooms are well put together, but this is literally and explicitly an arena-hallway-arena kind of shooter. You're gonna go into a room, fight all the dudes in there, step into a loading hall, and it's going to take you to another room to fight dudes. This pulls a lot of inspiration from the classic maze-style FPSes of the 90s, but map design is not one of the things it borrowed.

But honestly...This game is just fun. It's a big smashy explody mess of a game that's willing to do things like hand you over twenty jumps and just see what you do with them. I went through one stage with four shotguns, which actually was pretty damn effective. There's a ton to like here, and quite a bit of character and charm for such a simple setup and loop.

So, yeah. Mothergunship is one to get.