Mothergunship is a mix of bullet hell shooter, a more classic arcade FPS titles and roguelike games. It has been developed by Terrible Posture Games led by Joe Mirabell, who previously worked on a very similar title Tower of Guns.
The Earth has been attacked by a cybernetic data-eating alien, which transformed all of its inhabitants into heads in jars attached to robotic bodies. Many years after the war, a small resistance movement tries to reclaim the Blue Planet. To get rid of mechanical occupants, its members must strike at the very heart of the enemy’s fleet – the titular giant ship Mothership. But the suicide mission requires them to get through the defending units surrounding it, each more difficult to take down the ones before it.
Like the previous game of the studio, Mothergunship combines features of fast shooters like Doom and Quake with dodging swarms of bullets, rockets, and lasers from bullet hell titles. This is complemented by roguelike elements, with randomly generated levels of growing difficulty.
The game starts with choosing our character, or rather its conserved head with the robot body. We can play as human characters, but nothing stops us from choosing a dog soldier or… a tree frog. Each creature comes with different behavior and skills.
After a short introduction, we are sent to a first ship and are instantly thrown into the battle, trying to stay alive in face of myriads of bullets while taking lives of many opponents. Each following room is a small challenge, and defeated enemies drop currency that can be used in rare shops, raw resources for upgrading weapons, first-aid kits, ammunition and other useful trinkets. Each deck consists of several rooms ending with the battle against a giant boss. If we defeat him, we are taken to the next ship, but if we fail, we must start all over again, though we keep some of our upgrades.
If the standard rifle isn’t enough, no worries. Developers provided us with one of the most modular systems of weapon customization in history. Adding proper barrels, magazines, special effects and other parts can result in very unusual tools of destruction, like a homing ten-barrel rocket launcher, a shotgun powered by lightning, and laser machine gun that reflects rays and bullets from walls. The only downside is that all shooting ends have to face an enemy.
While the game focuses on conquering ships by ourselves, Mothergunship also offers online cooperation mode. Players can obliterate hordes of robots together, although they must be aware of a few unique surprises prepared for them. Aside from that, there are also community objectives, which we try to achieve together with other players.
Mothergunship is based on Unreal Engine, with the developer even receiving a special grant from Epic Games to expand upon it. Thanks to that, the game stands out with a realistic yet fantastic recreation of industrial ships used by aliens. The same applies to the peculiar design of giant bosses, flooding players with effusion of colors and various special effects.