Dodge Roll's Exit the Gungeon is a familiar yet very different sorta-sequel to their previous hit title, Enter the Gungeon. Done in an entirely different dungeon-trekking style, you play as one of the four available Gungeoneers as they now battle to Exit the Gungeon.
Instead of playing in a top-down view working through rooms, we are instead playing more of a 2D platforming style, with a lot of the gameplay taking place in an ascending elevator. A lot of the core elements of the original are still here: dodge rolling, fantastic weaponry, blanks to wipe the screen of bullets. But instead of picking up weapons along the way, your weapon has been blessed by the Sorceress, causing it to randomly change as you go.
Facing off against enemies - new and old - you'll have to learn fast as the now-limited space available to you in the elevator can make for a quick death, with bullets coming at you from every angle and no way of keeping your distance. And with an ever-changing weapon there's no guarantee of saving better weapons for going up against the harder opponents - so you just have to fire away and hope you don't get landed with an awful gun for the bosses.
Surprisingly, I felt that the lack of space worked better for me when compared against how I often fared in Enter the Gungeon. There's proportionally less going on in the elevator than there was in any given room, so this was a godsend for a panicky player like me. Unfortunately I still died unbelievably fast during most runs, but I felt better equipped to deal with everything going on on screen.
Similar to Enter, there's a wide variety of weapons here, with all of their weird and wonderful ways of firing. As well as a lot of the OG weaponry, a few new pieces have been added to the arsenal. As you progress through the game you will unlock additional guns, allowing them to be added into the pool for your gun to change into. Some are fantastic, and work brilliantly in the tight spaces of the elevator - which is a bonus for if you play as the pilot and have to navigate the floating elevator yourself. Having a decent weapon that doesn't require a lot of thought is a lifesaver here. Weapons that require a charged shot however can be a kiss of death to your run as they require a lot of attention as to where you should be aiming when the gun is finally charged, as well as dealing with their frustrating slowness in the midst of all of the fast-paced action.
Having new guns and enemies helps to keep things fresh - most avid players of Enter the Gungeon will feel right at home here, whilst having enough new-ness to keep them interested. Bosses have similarities to enemies from the previous game, with some being amalgamations of two existing enemies or otherwise transformed opponents. Medusalier for instance, is a combination of the boss Gorgun, and mini-boss Fuselier. This helps to give an idea as to how her attacks will play out, as her attacks are similar to what the individuals' attacks were previously.
A fantastic addition to your regular old dodge-roll to get you out of harm's way is your jump. This time around, the jump also makes you invulnerable whilst in mid-air - much like your dodge roll protecting you when you're in a tight spot. This makes things a little more bearable as you jump up and down from level to level within (and on top of) the elevator. Being a frequent Enter the Gungeon player, this felt odd at first, as though the hit-box for my character was off as I'd find myself somehow missing so many projectiles from damaging me, but this is a warmly welcomed perk of Exit.
With Devolver Digital as publisher, it was a safe bet for us that we'd have a good time here. They have been one of the companies that we have consistently enjoyed every release that we've played, and so are always very excited to see new titles that they've published. If you're a fan of Enter the Gungeon, this is a fantastic new game to keep you going - especially whilst most of us are currently on lockdown! It's not as in-depth as the previous game, but it's great to just pick up and have a quick run or two (or ten, or twenty!) and it feels right at home on the Switch. The art and sound design are amazing once again, with the lyrics of the brilliant doseone intro now being changed to reflect the new title.
Eeeee-xit the Gungeon!
In the end, we decided to give Exit the Gungeon the Collecting Asylum rating of 8/10.
Have you played Exit the Gungeon yet? What did you think of it?
Let us know in the comments below!
- V x
Thanks to Devolver for the Exit the Gungeon Switch review code!