Mothergunship: Forge delivers a clean roguelite experience, with a snappy loop, an innovative spin on its genre, and fun gunplay. It's not the biggest game on the Quest — let alone in its genre — but what it lacks in content, it makes up for in fun.
- Satisfying shooting mechanics
- Engaging boss battles
- Great difficulty offerings
- It's just cool
- Not enough to do
- Daunting for new players
Mothergunship: Forge checks every box that a good roguelite needs to. Its gameplay is complex, it rewards players for experimenting with (and breaking) its systems, it offers consistent and rewarding progression milestones, and most importantly, it's impossible to put down. I can count on one hand the number of different games that I've burned an entire Oculus Quest 2 charge on playing in one sitting, and Mothergunship: Forge is one of them.
Mothergunship: Forge follows in the footsteps of excellent Quest 2 roguelites like Until You Fall and In Death: Unchained, while offering its own unique take on the genre. Its gameplay draws from modern must-plays like Hades or Enter the Gungeon, with a bit of Resident Evil 4's mechanics thrown into the mix. Mothergunship: Forge does so much right. I just wish there were more.
What you'll love
From go, Mothergunship: Forge puts you right in the thick of it. Tutorials teach you the basics; you can attach different weapon parts, like barrels, shields, power-ups, and extension pieces to your robotic hands to build the over-the-top sci-fi gun of your dreams. After that, it's pretty easy; just blow up the robots that threaten your mech suit.
Like a kid who can't stop adding new parts to a Lego spaceship or car, you'll find yourself building some truly outlandish robot-blasting contraptions. There are very few rules when it comes to building out your perfect mayhem machine. Your only limitations are the parts you collect and the number of sockets you have at your disposal to attach those new parts.
Customizing and building out your weapon feels like a combination of Resident Evil 4's suitcase management and what I can only imagine building a lightsaber feels like. Each run is different, but I always felt like I was building out each weapon to fit my playstyle, especially on a good run. Even on runs that started me out with something I wasn't too keen on, my weapon became an extension of myself unless I died early on.
If you think you might be able to make a specific build or combination work, chances are it will, especially as you get your bearings with Mothergunship's mechanics and gameplay loop. Games rarely pull this off. Even some of the most beloved roguelite games can't quite nail the sense of satisfaction that comes with getting a great build run after run.
There's a wildly diverse offering of weapon types available, too. Standard shotguns and machine guns are right at home next to more outlandish guns, like a sawblade launcher or a gun that shoots big balls of spikes. The best part is that you don't have to choose between just one. As long as you have an open socket, you can attach a new, different barrel to the end of your gun.
Of course, even the most game-breakingly-busted build can only get you so far. If you find yourself in over your head and lose on a run, it's incredibly easy to hop right back in. After a few post-run stats that summarize how you did and some light banter from the game's amusingly self-aware (but wholly unmemorable) cast of NPCs, you can start again.
That's where another major strength comes in. Mothergunship is very accommodating to both difficulty-loving thrill-seekers and newcomers with a smattering of difficulty and run options that really serve to help players find their balance.
Roguelite games, like Mothergunship: Forge, tend to be hard to get into. Players new to the die-play-learn-repeat loop of games like The Binding of Isaac or Enter the Gungeon are sure to encounter a bit of confusion, or even frustration when they're just starting out. While learning how to completely crack a game might be integral to the "rogue" subgenres for fans, it could certainly be a barrier to entry for the uninitiated.
Once you get your robotic mech legs, however, Mothergunship: Forge is most hampered by the same tendency shared by a majority of VR games: it's a short experience, even across multiple playthroughs. That's not to say the game isn't deep or that it doesn't offer plenty of different ways to play; it's just lacking in new things to do after a while.
After you fully complete one successful run, you've seen all the areas and bosses the game has to offer. You'll still be unlocking new gun parts, modes, and modifiers for future runs long after you destroy the eponymous mother gunship for the first time, but once you've mastered the flow and learned how to break the game, Mothergunship's gripping loop will be the only thing pulling you back.
For me, that core loop was enough. Players looking for a sweeping narrative to string together each run or really anything beyond blasting bad bots won't be satisfied with Mothergunship. If like me, your lizard brain enjoys the simple things; like attaching eight sawblade launchers to your bionic arm, letting 'em fly, and watching them ricochet through a spaceship, wiping out legions of robotic assailants in the process, then Mothergunship will land right in the Goldilocks zone for you.
Should you buy it?
Yes! Mothergunship: Forge expertly toes the line between approachability and depth. While its core mechanics and structure might be intimidating at first, it goes above and beyond the trappings of the genre to welcome new and experienced players alike.
Optional challenges and additional modes reward experienced and difficulty-loving players, while clear item descriptions and accommodating difficulty modes make the early-going much easier — a rarity for the roguelite genre.
Although it's a bit content-bare, I've only played the base game. Given how other roguelites both on and off the Quest have been supported post-launch, there's sure to be at least a little more on the way.
Very few games hit the same sense of unadulterated, satisfying coolness while also challenging the player. Without its central gun-building mechanic, Mothergunship: Forge would already be a decent roguelite. Thanks to its unique, tactile take on progression, Mothergunship: Forge cements itself as a roguelite to remember and one of the best Quest 2 games.
Charlie's a freelance contributor at Android Central from Milwaukee, WI.
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