The title could be my entire review. Gunfire Reborn, developed by Chinese game studio Duoyi Games, is competent.
On top of just being “solid”, Gunfire Reborn is also a first person shooter. It uses current trends in gaming to provide an experience that can be enjoyed either by yourself or with friends. I did not experience anything that damaged my enjoyment of the game.
Anything more than that? Well…
Zootopia meets Overwatch
Gunfire Reborn is inspired by Chinese culture and history, as well as funny animal Disney movies. Your protagonist is a cat ( though other characters can be unlocked), who is also the Crown Prince.
Said cat dives into dungeons where enemies, based on China’s terracotta warriors, await. Some of these foes use ranged attacks, some are hidden behind shields or attack from a distance, and one even invokes Serious Sam’s ‘ headless suicide bombers’, running up to you before exploding. Needless to say, it is clearly inspired by other media.
That is not a bad problem in and of itself, but if you’ve played Borderlands and you know the ‘looter-shooter’ formula, then you know what to expect here. You’ll pick up loads of different weapons (some mystical in nature), modify and augment them, and switch them out for other ones. These guns can be made to provide status effects that damage enemies, and those effects can be further modified. Rinse, lather, and repeat.
After each battle, whether you prevail or fail, you can increase your skills: health points, more damage, etcetera. You can use your inspiration points, which are gathered by taking out enemies, to acquire other characters too, or even to revive yourself if killed. You can also find points in chests, or buy them off of vendors.
You play through dungeons, encounter final bosses… and shoot them. You then proceed to another dungeon and repeat that same experience. Each level is procedurally-generated and random, by the way, so you won’t play through the same chamber twice.
Whether that’s good or not is something that’s entirely up to your own preference.
It is fun, in a ‘retro’ kinda way
By now you’ve no doubt picked up on my lack of effervescence. But I don’t want to give the wrong idea, because by themselves the gameplay elements in Gunfire Reborn are fine.
However, you’ve seen them before. Calling Gunfire Reborn uninspired isn’t fair really, but calling it unambitious is. There isn’t anything here that you haven’t experienced before in other games, and that can be said for the retro-ish visuals as well.
The art style is composed of colorful and chunky, cell-shaded polygons, which might hit the proverbial spot, depending on the gaming-era you originate from. Namely, if you were playing games in the early 2000s, you will likely get a rush of nostalgia from GR.
It does have a certain charm in that way, and if this game exited on the PS2, I imagine I would enjoy it. I also liked the terracotta warrior enemies quite a bit, so I’ll throw that in here as well.
But… after each positive I can think of, there is always a ‘but’.
Kids will like it
If you have or know children, then you might want to introduce them to this game. If they want something a little more grown up and in the ‘shooter’ realm, for example, but you’re afraid of getting a game that will turn them into a serial killer, then Gunfire Reborn should suit the bill nicely.
If you’re a mature gamer however, unless you’re in dire need of a new looter-shooter, I think you’d do better to look for something else. Gunfire Reborn is the embodiment of the first-person shooter sub-genre established by Borderlands. Expecting anything else is unrealistic.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for this review
Release Date: June 8th, 2023 | November 17th, 2021 for PC
Platforms: PS4 (reviewed), PS5, Xbox Series X|S (available on Game Pass), Xbox One, PC
Publisher: 505 Games
Developer: Duoyi Games
MSRP: $19.99 USD