First published: July 10, 2020
Written by: =420th= SemperFi
What is it about cute furry animals that makes them so endearing? Perhaps it’s their arsenal of unconventional weaponry and uncanny acumen for negotiating hostile dungeons that instantly captures our hearts.
Gunfire Reborn is an adventure level-based first person shooter with rogue-lite and RPG elements. Up to four players can team up to shoot their way through dungeons armed with randomly dropped weapons and items to craft a variety of diverse builds. The game was released on May 22nd 2020 and is in Early Access at the time of this writing.
The alluring combination of overwhelmingly positive Steam reviews, attractive pricing, and a night of unabated drinking landed this title into my Steam library. Admittedly, my casual foray began with some skepticism and no real intentions of staying interested for long, but once in, I was immediately hooked. Gunfire Reborn has all the hallmarks of a great game in finely-tuned balance; it’s intuitively simple to learn, easy to enjoy, has enough depth to be engaging, and quite challenging to master.
Here’s a quick rundown of what makes me giddy about Gunfire Reborn:
- Smooth as lube gameplay!
- The price. On sale, it’s practically a giveaway. Come on.
- Nice variety of weapons, abilities (aka Ascensions), skill powers, talents, and their applied combinations to create interesting builds.
- A simple but diverse skill tree progression that must be watered by the blood of your fallen enemies to grow.
- Each run-through is a new map (with reused elements of course).
- Stylistically like Borderlands without the seizures. I typically don’t enjoy this aesthetic, but it’s done well here.
- Giant damage numbers popping up all over the place satisfies something deep within me.
- 4 player co-op! I love co-op games with friends; not bragging here.
- The audio is crisp and bass heavy giving the gunfire a beefy feel.
- Very few noticeable bugs. Alt-tab and overlays seem to work consistently without issues.
- Being secure enough with my masculinity to enjoy playing as one of two cutesy animal protagonists in a low poly shooter. I mean, just look at these two adorable heroes. Just look at’em!
My lesser enjoyable gripes:
- The jumping puzzles, which are completely optional, can sometimes be frustrating until you grasp the timing.
- To date, there’s only two available playable characters, each with unique abilities. (I suspect more are in development.)
- Lack of host-migration. If the host disconnects, the game ends for everyone. However, the one saving grace is that you still retain your “soul essence” earned during that run which is used to upgrade your permanent skill talent tree. So that part isn’t complete cancer.
My conclusion: I curl eight toes in approval, only because seven is nearly impossible for me.
Gunfire Reborn is one of those games that took me by surprise. What began as nothing more than an intended casual fling morphed unexpectedly into a mild addiction of sorts. This game has the makings of a spectacular title: smooth gun-play, rewarding action, build diversity, skill progression, four-player co-op, and two cute playable heroes -a cat and a dog. Now, you must admit that there is something inherently adorable about a cat and a dog teamed up together in defiance of a common enemy. It is this sort of atypical dynamic that thematically underlays this game because, if you can believe in that scenario, then anything becomes possible.
I often recall many years ago when I first introduced Ninja, my then brand new 6-week-old puppy, to Homeo, my older and somewhat grumpy house cat. I had a burning desire at the time for these two animals to become close companions, to play, cuddle, explore, and grow together. Early attempts by Ninja to play with Homeo were promptly met with hisses and low grumbling noises that sounded oddly like a sink was backing up. Ninja remained persistent for months, but eventually abandoned her attempts to befriend Homeo. Alas, after years of both actively and passively struggling to bring this dream to fruition, I resigned to the fact that some things were simply not meant to be.
Then one day it happened, if only for a moment. If it’s one thing that brings two incompatible creatures together it is the threat from a common enemy; in this instance, it was the new terrifying bag-less Hoover vacuum I found on sale at my local Target store for $59.99 -what a steal! And so there they were, huddled together beneath the bed like two kindred souls, keeping an ever-so-vigilant watch on the new home intruder. Now I wish I could say that this was a watershed moment and hereafter they were the closest of kin, but it seems it was just a one-time thing. Homeo never really got over the vacuum and Ninja grew accustomed to it shortly after. But in that one moment, anything and everything seemed possible.
Well, that’s my review of Gunfire Reborn, for what it’s worth. I hope you can enjoy it as much as I have. Don’t be afraid to try new things. And vacuums aren’t that scary.
Below: A rare archived video of Ninja doggy attempting a full frontal siege on one grumpy Homeo kitty barricaded in a staunchly defensible cardboard fort.
SPOILER ALERT: Successful Run-Through on Elite – Angrypixels First Run on Elite Difficulty