If you’ve followed any of my previous works on here or various podcasts and YouTube streams, you might know I’ve got an interesting relationship with games where one gets to play as a cute fluffy animal. I do love them, but I am forever fighting off furry accusations. Unfortunately, Gunfire Reborn is likely to kick such slander off again among my team here.
Playing as a hardcore anthropomorphic animal this rogue-lite has a visual style that’s simple and striking with combat that’s simple but addictive.
I don’t think I’m alone in saying that rogue anything has started to outstay its welcome in the indie sphere. It’s made its way into AAA games and that does usually mean it’s time for indie to move on and invent the next momentous change in gaming. Personally, I’m never a huge fan of any game where my progress is reset with each death. Which is the definition of Rogue-like/lite. But as a fan of fir
st-person shooters and of cute fluffy creatures, I thought this was worth a punt.
The gameplay is nice and simple, shoot, grenade, some weird magic blast, jump. What keeps things interesting is the variety of projectile weapons you collect on your journey. Each weapon feels unique, modifying each run of the level enough to make sure it never gets too samey.
At the end of each level section, you collect a power-up, which further modifies your output. Be it zero reload time, bonus damage after a kill, or damage modifiers for elemental weapons. One run can go very smoothly when you luck out, the next might end in disaster early on.
As the time of writing, I’ll admit to having only ever survived to the second boss. So, my experience with level design isn’t vast. What I did see I liked. Starting with a stone temple fighting terracotta soldiers. Then onto a desert with bandito lizards. It’s all very colourful and pretty with cell shading.
What I would prefer to see in this game is the ability to checkpoint at the end of stages. I’m very unlikely to get through to the end of this on a single run. Being able to start at the beginning of the latest section I reached would improve the experience for me.
I also tried the online side of things. It was nice and quick to jump into a lobby and be matched with a couple of other animals ready to fight. While I did get further on my own, that was more due to my overconfidence than anything else. As it certainly helps to have others who can revive you if downed. I played with randos; I think I’d like to jump back into this with friends. Thankfully it’s on Game Pass, so it’s not something I’d struggle to get a friend to commit to joining me.
Despite my previous negativity towards rogue-like games, I can give Gunfire Reborn one ringing endorsement. Once I stopped playing my first session, I wanted to go back for more. I was left thinking about it. Wanting to know what the next boss is. Chastising myself for getting killed in ways that were always my own fault. It’s a challenging game, but it’s fair. Overconfidence does me in every time. It’s common for me to die too many times to a game and just decide it’s not for me, but this has me craving a return to the temple, Gatling gun in adorable paws.
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