Developer doinksoft • Publisher Devolver Digital • Release 2023 • Platforms Switch, PC
Heading into Nintendo’s GDC event, I had a list of every game I needed to check out. On the top was Gunbrella. I had a marvelous time with the game’s demo last year. Its action is intense and well-oiled. The tone is both dark and funny. And its pixel art style is to die for.
My recent in-person time with the game featured the same content as 2022’s demo — some small quality of life upgrades like laser sights on the turrets aside — so you can read about my gameplay impressions here. There’s even a demo up on Steam right now if you want to try your hand at the umbrella-led action. This sitting did have one important advantage, though. The doinksoft developers, creators behind Demon Throttle and Gato Roboto, were in attendance and ready to answer questions.
So, I asked about an alligator.
It’s not quite as off-the-wall as it sounds as, according to developer Cullen Dwyer he counts an alligator-like, so-menacing-it’s-cute creature as the game’s unofficial mascot. He is so taken with the spiky-tailed badie that he couldn’t help giving it a fun scene later in the game. Having promised to help a character retrieve his — likely metaphorical as well as psychical — lost marbles, our hero trudges off to find them. But on finding the sought-for objects, a group of the scaley foes show up. With Yackety Sax-like music playing in the background, they grab the marbles and dive underground.
Guiltily, Dwyer admits completing the quest requires you to kill the green thieves. But his follow developer, Britt Brady has an equally humours favorite character: Sewert, the man in the sewer running Risky’s Grill. The wild-looking individual offers delicacies like cooked rat. It’s not a gourmet experience, says Brady, but the questionable treat is better than nothing in a pinch.
The conversation turns to the team’s apparent interest in mixing the goofy and the serious. Brady observes Gunbrella can get incredibly heavy at times, and throwing things in like silly animations that make your eyes go impossibly wide when taking damage, or silly characters give it some balance.
The final word from the developers on what we can expect from the full game is all about choice. The world is dense. It’s filled with characters, factions, and hard decisions. They say these are hard to show off in a brief demo, but the choices players make throughout the game have rippling consequences. Killing or helping — or deciding not to kill or help — a character will change how Gunbrella‘s story unfolds.
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