Gunbrella Preview – A Storm of Bullets

A sword and shield is a classic, staple icon of weaponry within history and media. What better combination of offense and defense could you possibly have? Developer doinksoft decided they could try to rival such a combination with Gunbrella. Not only does this umbrella shoot bullets, but it also deflects projectiles and adds a novel layer of movement and maneuverability. With such a unique concept, I was excited to delve into this gritty noir-punk action adventure.

You play as a quiet woodsman who’s on a quest for answers and revenge as he arrives in a new town. Your special weapon, the Gunbrella, is shrouded in mystery itself as you aim to discover the meaning behind the insignia on it. However, you soon find that your exploration into the puzzles and secrets of this world brings trouble and chaos. It doesn’t take long for Gunbrella to throw you into the mix of utilizing your weapon.

The multiple uses of the umbrella are utterly impeccable. When you start to use your weapon, your main thought is to shoot with it, as it does act like a shotgun with quick bursts. Yet the applicability of this tool has so much more to offer. Many platforms and areas are hard to reach with your simple jumps, but the umbrella allows you to float upwards in the direction you’re holding towards. You can even zip-line across certain sections, often finding some items and rewards in your exploration. Factor in wall-jumping and the traversal you’re capable of performing is so fun and satisfying.

Gunbrella 1

When going into combat, you’ll have your standard enemies consisting of creatures and other gunmen. However, you also come to learn that your umbrella can also block projectiles. Not only that, but you can deflect them back in the direction they came from when you time your umbrella blocks just before contact.

With all these mechanics in place, the variety you have to combat your enemies makes for an exhilarating experience. Fighting multiple enemies as I floated around and deflected projectiles gave me a rush. In fact, a boss encounter you come across early on is so satisfying to dodge and attack. I almost felt like a badass cowboy version of Kirby.

Gunbrella 3

Outside of combat and movement, there’s some wonderful pixel art to become immersed into. Throughout this world, there are some beautiful reds, oranges, and browns throughout the environments, painting a sad autumn-like aesthetic. It almost feels like I’m going through a rough and bleak Western film as I’m hunting down the clues to the mystery. Alongside your main objectives, you’ll come across additional side stories and quests to discover more about this society.

In fact, the setting and story are quite riveting. You come to learn that this dark world is dependent on Crude, a natural resource equivalent to the crude oil that we use in our world. This resource is rapidly diminishing, and the cracks within this civilization are showing as you see the downfall of corporations and a cult that’s rising in power and influence. The power shift is apparent as you continue to become entangled within this crumbling society.

Gunbrella 2

With what I’ve got to get my hands on, Gunbrella delivered a lot more than I had expected. I felt hooked as the mechanics and movement felt so smooth and sturdy. The creativity to make use of an umbrella in such a variety of methods is impressive and kept me itching to see what else I could do. If you’re a fan of Metroidvanias, this is a unique one to capture your attention.

Gunbrella is coming to Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam in 2023.

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Semy Rahman

Spicy food enthusiast who also happens to love and adore video games. They just both season life so beautifully!