PAX Prime 2015: Enter the Gungeon Review

The huge video game convention PAX Prime 2015 just concluded a few weeks ago in Seattle. PAX Prime started as a small conference honoring independent video game developers when it debuted in 2004, and they still honor that rich tradition today. PAX Prime 2015 had one of the largest displays of indie games you’ll find at one of the major video game conferences of the year, and while there were dozens of great indie games on display, “Enter the Gungeon” was easily one of the most impressive shown at PAX Prime 2015.

The title of “Enter the Gungeon” accurately describes this great indie game. Enter the Gungeon successfully and uniquely marries dungeon crawling with shoot-em-up gameplay, featuring lots of dungeons and lots of guns. The combination of the two styles of gameply make for a fun-filled, loot-dropping adventure that’s super fun with a co-op partner.

The simple dual-stick controls make shooting easy and intuitive. Defensive maneuvers are one of the things most over-the-top indie shooters fail to accommodate, but that is not the case in Enter the Dungeon. The dodge roll maneuver makes it easy to avoid getting hit, while allowing you flexibility to shoot back at enemies without losing much time. It only take a few hits before you die in Enter the Gungeon, so mastering the art of both defensive dodging maneuvers as well as carefully-aimed shooting (which is necessary due to limited ammunition) provides a satisfying skill curve.

One of the best things about “Enter the Gungeon” is the replay value of the game. Everything you experience in each dungeon is randomly generated, which means that every time you play, it’ll be a new experience. Just about anything can happen when you enter a dungeon, and that’s exactly what makes this game so special. While the dungeons are procedurally generated, the loot consists of guns and power-ups totaling over 200 different drops. During our demo, we were shown a machine-gun rocket launcher as well as the “Unicorn gun” which shoots a rainbow beam. Both were pure awesomeness.

Once you make your way through the dungeon to the boss chamber, you’ll enter into a boss fight. Each boss has a wacky design to add a little humor to the game. Despite the humor associated with the boss fights, Enter the Gungeon is a difficult game, but it never takes away from the fun experience. It doesn’t get much more entertaining than “Enter the Gungeon,” especially when played with a co-op partner. This is a must-buy.

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