STAFF REVIEW of Gunfire Reborn (Xbox Series X)

Tuesday, November 29, 2022.
by Ayden Heilman

Gunfire Reborn Box art GunFire Reborn is a first-person 4 player co-op roguelite shooter jam-packed with different enemies and an array of creative weapons. Made by the developer Duoyi games, it originally came to steam back in 2020 and has now been ported to the Xbox One and Series X|S, also released on Xbox Game Pass day one.

Gunfire Reborn is not 'game changing' in any way like many other roguelite dungeon crawlers though. As you fight your way through themed levels and acts then fight a boss that fits said theme at the end of each, although each section in the levels can get pretty repetitive since there is not much differentiation until you get to the next act in the story. Where it does stand out is its art style, resembling that of Borderlands with its cell-shaded visuals. Even the loot drops resemble the Borderlands series and are reminiscent of the series with its weapon buff systems.

There are a few elemental effects that guns can drop and be equipped with; Fire, Corrosion and Lightning. Similar to another roguelike game, Risk Of Rain 2, there is a roster of characters to unlock. You can unlock each by completing a corresponding challenges. In total there are 6 different characters, all of which are animals with anthropomorphic features. Each of these characters offer different passives and abilities like a smoke grenade or a ball that chains people to the ground, stunning them.

For what Gunfire Reborn lacks in story it makes up in its skill and builds system. The large leveling tree is satisfying to go through and progresses at a good pace. During every run you accumulate skill points to put use at the end of each to progress further through the acts or go through them quicker than the last time. The lack of story was a bit off-putting; it feels like the sole purpose is to make the characters more powerful and get further into the acts.

The gunplay and builds are expansive in Gunfire Reborn, with a total of 54, ranging from variations of one another or are completely unique. A lot of the guns vary in style, from a dragon bone black hole gun to shurikens that ricochet off of walls. The aforementioned elementals all vary differently and have a chance to be on a gun when it spawns, or you can inscribe your desired effect onto it later on.

The fire elemental burns enemies with 20% of the initial hit's damage and lasts 5 seconds. The shock status effect causes inflicted targets to take 10% more damage for 5 seconds. And lastly, the decay effect affects the target's movement speed by -50% for 5 seconds. These elemental effects are caused by the weapon's elemental damage and each time it's applied, the corresponding elemental effect has a chance to be inflicted. You can upgrade elemental effects with scrolls that you can get by entering vaults which are challenge areas, buying from the peddle (an in-game merchant) and killing elite enemies or bosses.

These scrolls can interact with your elemental effects or abilities that differ with each character or give you passives. An example of some scrolls is the elemental relic which increases elemental damage after killing an enemy under any elemental effect, or the berserk soul which gives a 0.5% chance lucky shot (critical hit) for each percent of health missing. The color on the scroll indicates its rarity, from cyan for normal, orange for legendary, and red for cursed scrolls.

The gunplay and movement in gunfire reborn isn't too quick, but it's quick enough and smooth with an arcadey feel. The guns are the my personal favorites, but there's also Bows, Rocket Launchers, Pistols, SMGs, Shotguns, Snipers and Grenade Launchers. Each gun and type of gun feels different and the elemental effects only add to that feeling. Although there are some HUD issues, there's always a FPS counter on the screen, but the constant 130-150 frames isn't bad and makes the aiming buttery smooth. Some of the chests you can open have Chinese characters and then the English-translated characters below it can make some of the HUD portions feel pretty cluttered.

There are four different acts each with different enemy styles in Gunfire Reborn. Longling Tomb is the first act and it's a cramped stone brick tomb that has fallen into disrepair, causing leaks and holes everywhere. The cramped nature of it allows the throwing dagger that ricochets off of walls to be utilized very well. The Longling Tomb's enemies are all made of stone like they were statues that came to life and they seem to resemble Roman soldiers utilizing spears and shields. The second act is the Anxi Desert which is a hot desert plain with animal bones scattered around, and later on the crumbling ruins were inhabited by bandits. The enemies are either different types of bandits or desert creatures which feel quite different from the first act.

The third act is Duo Fjord which seems to start on top of a mountain and progresses down, starting with forests, waterfalls and a town, and the last level is a beach. This was my favorite since it felt so different in all three of the levels. The enemies in this resemble Japanese samurai and ninjas, along with a sea theme to them. The levels in this act were large so snipers exceeded for me when I played through. The fourth and final act is a snowy mountainside. At this level, you're climbing up the mountain fighting through setup camps and outposts made by the enemies in the last ditch effort to stop you. There are two levels in this act, one at night and one during the daytime, and each stage is a big open room which is good for snipers again.

Gunfire Reborn was fun to play alone, but it shined when I was playing with someone, almost as if it really was meant to be played alongside with a friend. Gunfire Reborn shines in some aspects, and not so much in others, but it is definitely worth a try if you have Xbox Game Pass, especially if you can get someone else to join you. It may not be game changing, but with smooth satisfying gunplay and an expansive build system, there is a lot to explore in Gunfire Reborn.

Overall: 7.7 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 7.0 / 10
Sound: 6.5 / 10


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