Mothergunship: Forge (PC VR) Review

A Little Rogue-like, A Little Industrial, A Lot of Fun

Mothergunship Forge is another participant in the roguelike gold rush, this time as a virtual reality run-based experience.  It is a “shooting gallery” – a virtual reality experience where you’re affixed to one relative area while waves of robotic brigades infiltrate your space and attack, gunning them down until the area is clear.  The developer Terrible Posture Games couples this “just one more run” gameplay with a lottery pull of weapon parts and upgrades that can change your approach each time.

The core structure is a first person shooter.  A run includes a string of levels with boss battles where various robot creations (one looking like a mouser from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) approach you to bite, shoot from a distance, or run up to explode in your face.  After each encounter, the game offers new weapons, upgrades, or alternate ammo types.  There are also shops to spend on consumable items and permanent unlocks like new weapon types.  This eventually leads to a boss encounter where you take your new arsenal to the test.   

The premise is simple, but the venue of virtual reality meaningfully changes the experience into a unique one.  You’ll be completely overwhelmed with projectiles heading your way.  I was mobile through my entire time, having to strafe, sidestep, and twist my neck around to avoid taking bullets. They even have that kind of reverb trail effect for that true to form bullet time feel from The Matrix.  This leads to a really cool feeling of shooting at one enemy, keeping your eyes on your side, and knowing when to step away or play twister with the space you have to work with. It all feels fluid and natural, which is important for this kind of experience.  Beyond this, the modularity of the weapons & upgrades gives this sense of endless combination options, with the different outfits feeling distinct.  There’s also this great snapping in place that happens when attaching it to your arm weapons.  Eventually there are so many attachments that it looks ridiculous in the best kind of way.

Mothergunship Forge takes its aesthetic from their name, looking like a series of rooms adorned with metal brackets and molten lava with sounds of metal scraping and steam rising.  They hit a tone & theme consistently, but as strange as it sounds, I think it’s almost too industrial, too spartan.  It would benefit the game to have some more biodiversity throughout, lest it become too samey.  This extends to the soundtrack as well – while the music was serviceable, it got drowned out by everything happening around it.  

That said, Mothergunship Forge is a fun experience with enough of a hook to keep me revisiting it every so often.  The low complexity but high tension game makes it approachable but undaunting which as a general VR novice I appreciate. 

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