The age-old tale of revenge can sometimes feel tired and repetitive, but every once in a while, a new face finds its way through the crowd with a lot to offer. This time, you only need a high-powered umbrella, slick moves, and a unique aesthetic. Gunbrellais here, and it kicks some major 2-D action butt.
I had the chance to play a preview of the game earlier in the summer and thoroughly enjoyed the opening 90 minutes. I’m happy to report that the over-the-top action and tight gameplay continue for the remaining hours, topped with a story that goes to some incredible places.
Revenge With a Capital R
You begin your journey as Murray, a new father who lives in an isolated cabin with his family. But when terror strikes his home, a mission of revenge and a journey of dark discovery begins. Without spoiling how the story plays out, you’ll face off against aggressive animals, weapon-wielding junkers, and spellbound cultists and their insane creations (you can see one of those in the video above).
The clever and often funny writing throughout Gunbrella ties everything together. No matter who you connect with, every person has their place and connection to the spiralling world, complete with their hilarious dialogue. It was satisfying to gather as much information and context about the world as possible. As the player, you are learning about your surroundings, and so is our hero, Murray.
Gritty Gunbrella and Ghouls
Gunbrella’s action begins nearly immediately. Once you step off the boat, you’re met with enemies and have a chance to master the unique and fun traversal. With the Gunbrella, you can lift yourself quickly, glide through the air, block and deflect bullets, and zipline across wires at intense speeds.
It only took a few minutes to get a handle on how developers Doinksoft wanted me to jump, dash, and blast through this game. The mechanics are a ton of fun and easy to master. It encourages experimentation, and each scenario and screen allows you to approach your foes differently.
As I went through Gunbrella, I dashed and shotgunned with ease and enjoyment. I had a fantastic time following the long line of clues that led to the individuals responsible for… the tragedy. Murray’s rage builds the closer he gets to the answers he’s looking for, and the smile on my face grew over my 7 hours of gameplay.
A Splash of Red
The satisfying gameplay combines excellent visuals, sound design, and music. These all come together to create a complete package of rewarding results. Gunbrella trades a black-and-white aesthetic for a brown and beige world interrupted by rays of pixelated light and some hints of bright colours occasionally. The most common colour to break through is the red blood from your enemies that spills onto the floor and walls.
I expected the heavy use of muted colouring to be off-putting, but I quickly appreciated what the devs created. There’s an understated level of detail in the character designs and environments.
Gunbrella also has some great music to accompany your journey of revenge and supernatural occurrences. It’s understated when it needs to be and swells with intensity at the perfect moments. The sound design brought the small but deadly weaponry and enemies to life.
Gunbrella is the definition of a satisfying game. It has fun and wacky characters, a story that goes to wild and exciting places, and delightful gameplay.
I didn’t want to put my controller down, I just wanted to continue my quest for revenge. Each character I met, friend or foe, was brought to life with entertaining dialogue and sound.
Ultimately, I had fun as I busted through barrels and traversed new environments with the unique Gunbrella artillery.
[The publisher provided a copy of the game for review purposes.]
Reviewed on PC
Gunbrella is a complete package of fun, wackiness, and charm. The gameplay is tight and satisfying, while the characters and story go places I didn't expect.