MOTHERGUNSHIP blasts onto the scene with an 8 barrel shotgun

Posted on July 18, 2018

Releasing onto PC, PS4, and Xbox One on the 17th of July was MOTHERGUNSHIP, a game that brings first-person shooting to outlandish and ludicrous new heights. The game meshes together FPS, bullet-hell and roguelike elements to create a frenetic and over-the-top experience that revels in its own lunacy. Oh, and it gives you the tools to create and use an 8 barrel shotgun, if you so desire.

MOTHERGUNSHIP puts you in charge of eliminating an alien robot threat and it definitely gives you the right kind of firepower to handle the job. Weaponry is entirely customisable and highly variable and its within that customisation that the game excels. It’s also within that customisation that things get off-the-wall crazy, like building a weapon that’s half railgun, half rocket launcher, half chain gun, and half saw blade launcher.

I’ve been playing through the game and it’s genuinely a lot of fun. Narrative elements such as dialogue, story progression and voice acting are surprisingly good for a game of its type. It also managed to make me a chuckle a few different times with some clever writing that doesn’t go full cringe.

With a name like MOTHERGUNSHIP though you know you’re going to be playing primarily for the action. The game will throw you into various ships where you’ll progress from room to room and disperse of any pesky robots / turrets who may be firing in your direction. Movement is key because at any given moment there’s likely to be a screen full of projectiles or enemies flying at you, which is where the game draws its comparisons to the bullet-hell genre. As you duck, dive and weave your way around each level you’ll also blast your enemies down to their nuts and bolts from a first-person perspective. This is the standard gameplay loop for MOTHERGUNSHIP and it’s as satisfying as it sounds.

There’s a lot of verticality to the level design and as such you’ll have a lot of movement options that involve multiple jumps and environmental obstacles like boost pads. Keeping aware of your surroundings is half the battle with frenetic movement and gunplay being core to the game’s experience.

MOTHERGUNSHIP gun customisation

As you play you’ll also gather tokens which can be spent on the game’s various shops found around each ship. In shops you can purchase gun parts which can be used to create insane firepower with next to no limitations. As long as the pieces fit together and the barrel of the gun doesn’t face the user then you’re good to go. It’s basically like Lego but for functional weaponry and the variability that comes with it is super impressive. You can make gargantuan creations that take up half of your screen if you want and have the parts to do so. The game balances weapon creation with an energy metre that will diminish as you shoot. The more you add to your gun the more energy it will use, so you’ll prob have to cut back on some of the more extreme creations to be effective. It’s unfortunate sometimes that you’re punished so harshly for outlandish creations because it seems like that’s where this game really excels. But at the same time I understand how quickly things could get imbalanced without it.

The levels you fight through are randomly generated and there’s a lot of chance that comes in to play when it comes to the kind of gun parts or other upgrades you’ll find. The game at it’s core is a roguelike after all so death should be expected from time to time and you’ll have to learn to adapt to whatever the game throws at you. Sometimes this means you get dealt a terrible hand which can be devastating and feel unfair, although for the majority of my playtime things worked out to be fairly balanced. Different rooms will also offer up different challenges and the overall progression feels good with some actual downside to deaths and thought that needs to be placed on where you travel to next and what parts you bring. There’s quite an impressive amount of content on offer and some smart choices in relation to game design.

It won’t take you too long to complete any given ship before you’re beamed back to the control room. Here you can make upgrades to your suit and more with experience gained from battle. I like that it doesn’t take too long before you complete a ship because it means you haven’t wasted too much time if you were to die and it means the story can continue to progress. The downside is that you’re not given all that long to find gun parts and create an amazing and fun weapon. In fact, usually your run will end just after you’ve finally made something exciting, which can be disappointing.


MOTHERGUNSHIP is an impressive game for anyone interested in a bit of arcadey fun. I certainly didn’t expect it to be as enjoyable or as variable as it ended up being. If you’re looking for some silly carnage, it would be hard to look past this game.