Review: Mothergunship: Forge
Mothergunship: Forge, a new VR shooter, just released on SteamV and Meta Quest 2, and while there are a few games in this genre in the VR stores, nothing is quite like Mothergunship: Forge. Its quirky humor, roguelike gameplay, and gun crafting mechanics make this game stand out amongst the others in the fields.
Mothergunship: Forge gets its DNA from Terrible Posture’s previous titles, Tower of Guns and Mothergunship. And while the studio could have attempted to port the game where Mothergunship: Forge gets its namesake from, I’m glad they didn’t, and because of this decision, you get a better VR experience. A lot of thought and effort went into making this game, and it shows.
The premise is relatively straightforward; it’s a roguelike wave shooter where you must defeat all the enemies in the room before moving on. While you’re in a stationary area, you can dodge the bullets (and you’ll need to do so to survive). This is a bullet-hell type game, but I never felt I was in a situation where I didn’t have a chance. I also appreciate the decision to keep you in a defined area instead of allowing you to run around the room; I never got motion sickness playing this game.
What makes this game unique, though, is the weapon crafting mechanic. You start by choosing one connector piece and one weapon. Crafting is much like Legos, you have one slot in each hand, but by using the connectors, you can increase the number of spaces you have in each hand. You can then attach weapon pieces or modifiers you find to the slots. For example, you might find a connector that has four open spots and a shotgun piece in one of those spots. As you progress through the level, you might find a rocket launcher that you can add to one of the slots. You may also find a modifier that adds acid to your projectiles. As you keep going, you’ll keep adding to your gun to the point where you can have quite the monstrosity of a weapon. The number of different pieces feels pretty endless and each run will provide you with various weapons, so no two runs will ever feel the same. Unfortunately, that means that the perfect outfitting you put together is gone once you die. Part of the appeal is knowing that you might make something even better on your next run.
Most rooms will have a branching pathway, with some rooms rewarding you with additional arsenal pieces, others may have purple diamonds, and yet others may offer you health, shields, or money. This is where the risk and rewards system comes into play. After you clear a room, you may be offered a path that will give you additional weapons or one that will provide you with more health after you clear it. Sometimes the choice is quite apparent, but other times, you’ll have to decide if you want to take the risk and skip picking up the health or shield.
After a few rooms, you’ll fight the boss for that level. The boss battles are intense, and each boss has a pattern you’ll need to learn to defeat it. Most of my runs ended in a boss fight, and I was itching to jump right back in, to take on the boss again. The trick for a good roguelike is to give the player a sense of progress. This is handled a few different ways in Mothergunship: Forge. First, you get purple collectibles during your run (in fact, some rooms offer more purple pieces as a reward). The more you have of these pieces, the more different weapon pieces unlock for your next run. So if you want a more powerful gun, you’ll need more purple pieces. Second, some achievements unlock as you progress through the game; it’s a nice feeling when you see the pop-up on the screen telling you that you completed one of these achievements.
The game's humor and the line delivery is spot on. I chuckled when the commander said he’ll give me a special reward after three more runs, but only to find out he meant four more runs. The NPCs argued with the commander, insisting he said three. It’s little things like this that make a good game great.
Final grade: A
There are a lot of shooters in the VR store, but few offer such a unique experience as Mothergunship: Forge. The gun-building mechanic is by far the feature that allows the game to stand out amongst other games in the genre. However, it shouldn’t be overlooked how well the roguelike mechanic is implemented into this game. At the end of each run, you’ll want to jump right back in and try again. Couple that with the humorous writing and good voice acting, and you have a good game. If you like VR shooters, consider picking up Mothergunship: Forge.