Mothergunship

Game review by
Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
Mothergunship Game Poster Image
Fast-paced sci-fi shooter tests your dodging skills.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

No explicitly stated messages, but the idea is to save Earth from alien invaders by fighting and destroying each ship in their armada.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You don't know anything about the character you're playing; there's no character development to tell whether or not they're a positive role model.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, but challenge comes in combat. Players have to rely on quick reflexes to dodge the dozens of bullets constantly thrown at them, which isn't easy.

Violence

Frequent combat in which players shoot large, unrealistic weapons at robotic opponents. When enemies are damaged, their weapons and bodies blow up; no blood or gore is shown. When your character dies, you simply fall down. 

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mothergunship is a downloadable first-person shooter for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC. Players try to stop aliens from invading Earth by blasting their way through the aliens' ships and dodging a seemingly impossible number of bullets. The game's difficulty and challenge comes in avoiding attacks and returning fire, which will test players' reflexes. Combat is frequent, and the robotic enemies tend to explode when destroyed, but no gore or blood is shown. And aside from gunfire, there's no inappropriate content.

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What's it about?

In MOTHERGUNSHIP, an alien armada has managed to invade and take over Earth. One lone soldier, armed in a powered space suit with a variety of weapons, has to fight through the armada one ship at a time to try to save the planet. Along the way, players will engage a variety of enemies, including turrets and roving droids, while also dodging environmental obstacles like lava beds. Each room quickly becomes a frenetic battle zone that relies on reflexes, but when you do get a chance to breathe, you can craft weapons that are every bit as nasty as the enemies you're facing. But be careful, because if you die on a mission, you'll have to start over from scratch.

Is it any good?

This first-person shooter draws players in with its fast-paced action, clever crafting system, and reliance on reflexes to make it stand out from other run-and-gun games. At first glance, Mothergunship looks like a traditional shooter: Players have to move from one place to the next, trying to make it to the next level while fending off enemies. But clever features help it stand out. First, it has a rich crafting system: As you go through each room and defeat enemies, you'll gain items you can use to build everything from shotguns that fire lightning bolts to rifle rocket launchers. This isn't just for amusement; without augmenting your firearms, trying to fight your way through the hordes of enemies in each ship will become impossible. This is part of the "bullet hell" gameplay, in which dozens of bullets are fired at you, and it's up to your reflexes to avoid getting destroyed by theincoming fire. The barrage of missiles coming at you is borderline surreal, and while there are pauses to allow you to catch their breath, the action leaves little time to think. But that adrenaline rush is part of the fun.

If there are any downfalls to Mothergunship, it's that the game's overall tone rarely changes. Ships frequently have similarities in their layout, and the gameplay almost feels like a wash, rinse, repeat style after a while. But the pacing is so quick that players won't have much time to think too much about the repetitive nature of the action. Similarly, while you won't pay much attention to the plot, it does have solid voice-overs and an amusing cast of characters who don't praise your efforts as much as they remind you to "not die." Full of style, challenge, and entertainment that breaks the standard shooter mold, Mothergunship delivers on all fronts.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. How is the impact of violence in Mothergunship affected by the fact that you're fighting against robotic opponents? What about the constant gunfire?

  • How do you set screen limits with an intense action game like Mothergunship, which can easily draw you in for "one more round"?

Game details

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For kids who love action

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