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I'm obsessed with Gunbrella's deadly brolly

One gadget for all your needs

Image credit: Devolver Digital

Ever since played the Gunbrella demo at the Devolver Digital booth at PAX West last year, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it again. I don’t usually go for nails Metriodvanias, but there’s something about Gunbrella’s slick, parkour platforming and scrappy world that made me wanna give it a chance. Oh, and the deadly brolly, of course. I mean, it’s a gunbrella. What else is there to say?

The demo I played at PAX is now available to download and play on Steam, and I highly recommend it. Even if you’re a bit like me and Metriodvanias aren’t really your thing, the hour-long demo is entirely linear, and messing around with the gunbrella's many, many abilities is more than a good enough reason to have a play, even if you're just mucking around.

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The demo follows the nameless gruff protagonist - and wielder of the gunbrella - as they saunter into a backwater town, only to find that the mayor and a local lass have been kidnapped by a creepy cult. Unable to pass through the town until the mayor returns, our gung-ho protagonist decides to rescue them, delving into the cultist's base of operations - an abandoned mine on the outskirts of town - unaware that there are more than just creepy weirdos lurking in the network of underground caverns.

But, back to my love of the shooty shooty brolly. It's fantastic - a high-caliber close combat weapon that lets you fire bullets in a bombastic spray, instantly turning any enemy caught in your range into a smear of blood-red pixels. It's also a powerful shield when opened, letting you easily deflect machine gun fire and other incoming missiles. One of my favourite things to do is combine these two features: I get the drop on an enemy, quickly open the brolly as a shield to push them back, and then, as they’re recovering, unload a whole load of bullets into 'em.

A 2D pixel art screenshot of Gunbrella showing an evil cultist in a cavern talking to an fleshy monster.
A 2D pixel art screenshot of Gunbrella showing a man leaping over rooftops holding an umbrella over his head. There's a zipline above him.
Image credit: Devolver Digital

Most enemies die with one shot, sometimes two, so moving throughout each area feels fast paced as well as incredibly bloody (Gunbrella feels very Hotline Miami in this way). The slick platforming only encourages this kind of play, and, once again, the brolly takes centre stage. Open it up and you can use it to gracefully glide between platforms, boost yourself into the air from the ground, or take a short dash. But wait, there's more! On top of all that, the handle acts as a zip-wire grabber to zip both upwards and downwards. What can the gunbrella not do?

The result is some tight and satisfying platforming. I found myself furiously shooting, gliding, and dashing my way through the demo, and at the very end I got to test out my brolly skills against a wonderfully fleshy monster, which was a big surprise seeing as I had only been in shootouts against cultists and bowler-hatted goons up to this point. This boss fight feels like a tasty little teaser into the wider lore of this world, and it looks like there’ll be more monstrous perils ahead outside of the crime, cults, and corruption.

I cannot wait to play more of Gunbrella. Here are some more fun buzz words from the game’s store page that make me excited: “a quest for revenge”, “gritty noir-punk action-adventure”, “junkyard fortress ruled by a ruthless trash gang” and “ghastly agents of the supernatural.” It all sounds incredibly creepy and ruddy mysterious, and it looks like we won’t have to wait long to find out what it all means, as Gunbrella’s releasing sometime this year.

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