MOTHERGUNSHIP: FORGE Preview
Almost exactly seven years ago, I played and reviewed a game called Tower of Guns, by developers Terrible Posture Games. And it was … alright. I liked the zany, procedurally-generated scenarios. And the hectic bullet-hell gunplay was pretty rad. I wasn’t a fan of the samey-ness and punishing difficulty of the experience. Plus, the drab visuals were just so-so. Now, Terrible Posture is back with a VR version of their 2018 PC game MOTHERGUNSHIP (which I haven’t played), called MOTHERGUNSHIP: FORGE. And you know what? I’m liking it so far.
The move to VR feels like a revelation for this kind of game. Like the PC version and Tower of Guns, MOTHERGUNSHIP: FORGE is a first-person shooter that places you in a series of dungeons. It’s not exactly the same as Tower of Guns, but there are many similar aspects. Again, you are given guns (lots of guns) to fend off attacks from enemy gun turrets, walking stapler-like robots, floating drones, and many more varieties. In its nastiest bullet-hell moments, you’re getting attacked from all sides. And dying — a lot. It’s insane, and like the title I reviewed seven years ago, MOTHERGUNSHIP: FORGE is definitely action-packed.
But in VR it seems to work so much better than in 2D. Getting attacked from behind in Tower of Guns felt unfair when I had to use a handheld controller to swivel around and see everything. And I’d imagine that it was an issue in the original MOTHERGUNSHIP as well. But in VR, you can be so much more aware of your surroundings. Assessing the environment in MOTHERGUNSHIP: FORGE is as simple as looking around. It’s just as tough a game as its predecessors, but I now feel more equipped to tackle it.
I mean, in VR you can duck! Instead of an awkward series of button-presses and stick movements to dodge bullets, in MOTHERGUNSHIP: FORGE it’s as simple as crouching down. Or maybe tilting your body to the left or right. Whatever. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still fiendishly hard at times. In later levels (my Preview was only of a partial build of the game) I was doing a complex ballet of physical movements to stay alive. But it always felt exhilarating. It feels like this game was made for VR. Maybe more importantly, this game feels like the kind of game VR was made for.
Terrible Posture has also wisely kept what worked in Tower of Guns, like choice. In MOTHERGUNSHIP: FORGE, you customize your experience in nearly every aspect. For example, what reward do you want in each level? New gun parts? Extra Health? Better shields? And if you choose, say, gun parts, you then choose again from a number of gun-part options. Then there’s the choice as to how you will connect your new gun part. Yes, even that is customizable. All the choice makes MOTHERGUNSHIP: FORGE feel like a very tailored experience. I felt like every time I died and started over (which I did a lot), I was playing a new game, a fresh experience. That’s a good thing.
On the not-as-good side, I might point out the visuals (again). They’re a touch brighter and more colorful in MOTHERGUNSHIP: FORGE than they were in Tower of Guns. It’s been seven years, after all. But I wouldn’t call them a standout aspect of the game. Think old-school DOOM, with polygon shapes and low-res textures. I haven’t played hours and hours of MOTHERGUNSHIP: FORGE yet, but I could see the visuals getting on my nerves without some variation later in the game.
Overall, though, I have been enjoying MOTHERGUNSHIP: FORGE. This kind of game just feels so right in VR. There’s exciting gunplay that feels challenging but fair. And there’s lots of customization that keeps the action interesting and fresh despite a lack of story and average visuals. It may not be perfect but MOTHERGUNSHIP: FORGE is definitely a VR game to keep an eye on. MOTHERGUNSHIP: FORGE is set to launch June 16, 2022 on Meta Quest 2 and SteamVR for Valve Index.
** A Meta Quest 2 code was provided by the publisher **