Hands on with Gunbrella

There’s something weird in the water where Doinksoft operates. Their first title was a black and white metroidvania featuring a house cat that can pilot mech suits, their sophomore title was a top down shooter featuring a cowboy and a vampiress going after a demon who slept with the cowboy’s wife…oh and that game was physical only. So I don’t know what’s in their water supply, but yet I can’t seem to look away when they put something out and this includes their third title, a tale of revenge with a very catchy title…Gunbrella (it certainly helps that a very gravelly voice says it every time I’ve seen a trailer for the game).

You’re placed in the role of an unnamed mountain man…sent to gather food at the behest of his wife. As you return with your bounty, you see your home is on fire from a distance. You arrive too late to make a difference, your wife has been slain, your child is nowhere to be found…all that remains at the scene is the weapon, possibly the one which perpetrated all the violence. An umbrella that is also a gun…a gunbrella if you will. You set off to find the party responsible and why your idyllic life was shattered.

The preview encompassed half of the game so I’m going to minimize the chatter regarding the plot. I will say the game feels very much like Zelda 2, but with choices and consequences that will carry through the rest of the game. Even innocuous things had me double guessing my responses such as “what if I didn’t tell the hostel owner that her facilities were not the cleanest I’ve seen”. I’m sure there are more substantive choices, but being curt with this business owner haunts me for my time with the title.

While the mountain man is your guide to the game, the gunbrella is the star of the show. It’s a versatile firearm that can use several types of ammunition, the default shotgun shells, the limited grenades, saw blades, machine gun bullets and possibly more. While some of the limited feel powerful, your limited capacity will mean you’ll be relying on your seemingly infinite amount of shotgun shells. As per all shotguns, you want to fire as close as you can, less the buckshot spreads too far. The gunbrella is also your defensive option, once opened all projectiles seemingly are absorbed, but if you time it right you can even reflect the projectile back to its shooter.

Outside of combat the gunbrella is a versatile traversal tool. Dash, both on the ground and in the air, glide and even use it to ride overhead wires like a zip line. It takes some practice and I know the first cliff gave me some trouble, but after some time I was zipping through the environment like it was my second nature.

Besides the crux of the adventure being the hunt for the party responsible for murdering your family, you’ll get involved in side quests both mundane and dangerous. These diversions will bring much needed resources as everything is scarce. Enemies don’t necessarily respawn as soon as you return to a room and having enough money might mean the difference between securing a first aid kit or dying in the next encounter. You’ll also endear yourself to some of the wackier characters that inhabit this world.

I definitely enjoyed my first taste of the title and will definitely come back to unravel the mysteries of this world. The game doesn’t have a set release date, but is expected to release some time this year. With that said, whatever is in Doinksoft’s water…keep pumping it into it. Cause they’re doing some fine work!

Gunbrella will come to PC and the Nintendo Switch.