Take a gun, shove it into an umbrella, and according to spy logic, you have the ultimate stylish weapon. Gunbrella takes that name, shoves it into a noir setting, and gives exactly what is promised: A umbrella containing a gun. As a bonus to this 2D platformer, it also makes the eponymous tool a highly capable movement option that is excellent to control for Mary-Poppins-Style use in combat.
Gunning Through Grit
The world of Gunbrella is not a pretty one in the traditional sense. It is a grungy, trash-polluted film noir inspired world on the brink of total environmental collapse due to the over-reliance on a rapidly vanishing natural resource. There are cultists sacrificing people, piles of trash, sleazy merchants, questionable pills and an ever-present organization which may or may not be the source of all the problems the protagonist and others face. A film grain filter is on by default to add to the flair, but can be disabled at any point should you so choose.
Did I mention the game kicks off with the protagonist learning that someone murdered his wife and kidnapped his child? The only lead he has is a Gunbrella left at the scene.
Despite all this, the art and sound direction of this game are top-notch. Characters are expressive, identifiable and memorable as are locations and their musical motifs. Albeit muted, colors are used smartly and pop when needed, and only when needed. More often than not though you’ll be seeing a lot of red as enemies will explode into a mess of pixels upon death.
You will be boosting, flying, shooting and bashing your way across this dirty world with your trusty firearm towards an ending before you know it due to excellent pacing and fantastically fluid gunbrellaplay.
This title is tightly packed, much like one of the many shotgun shells you’ll be firing off. With roughly six to eight hours of well-paced play, Gunbrella keeps things rolling as fluidly as its movement and combat. It’ll keep you coming back if you want to go for full completion, as a 100% achievement clear will require at least three runs. I can confirm the triple experience was worthwhile as there was something new to look forward to each time, be it in new character interactions, encounters, or lack thereof.
A certain beloved CFO also lends his voice for this title, which should tell you of the quality of this title. He’s not an easy one to land, after all between all of his money-counting sessions and the like.
My only gripes with the title tie to minor bugs (which are being patched or have already been patched by the time of publishing) and the fact that most, if not all bosses and enemies can be cheesed just by bashing them with the Gunbrella repeatedly to effectively stunlock them. This completely removes the need for all but one of the additional ammo types and does make them feel like a somewhat half-implemented idea in an otherwise compact and directed title. I would have loved to see more of this game, but am pleased with what is here for $15.
Good, Fad, or Ugly?
Gunbrella is safely within the Good category. At $15, with at least six hours of gameplay and more if you decide to go for 100% (which is very much doable) this is a perfect game to play on those days where you need to pick up a parasol.
Gunbrella is Developed by Doinksoft & Published By Devolver Digital
Rated M by the ESRB for Violence, Blood and Strong Language
Available on Switch and Steam
This title provided for free to the reviewer.
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