Gunfire Reborn – Early access done right

I expected a lot of things from 2020, but what I did not expect was a solid first person shooter that reinvented the genre with new and innovative ideas, from a company I had never heard of, all for less than £10 . Gunfire Reborn, has been one of the biggest triumphs of the year for indie games, and  first person shooter games in general, setting the new standard for rogue-like FPS games for years to come.



Firstly to give you an idea of what this game is all about, The developers Duoyi (Hong Kong) Interactive Entertainment, state on the official Steam page:

Gunfire Reborn is an adventure level-based game featured with FPS, Roguelite and RPG. Players can control heros with various abilities to experience diverse Build gameplay, use randomly dropped weapons to explore random levels. This game can be played by single player, or Co-op up to four.

The introduction for Gunfire Reborn makes it sound like any other FPS  that has ever been put on steam, but dig beneath the surface, and their is a real hidden masterpiece to be played.

System Requirements (PC)

Gunfire Reborn is quite a demanding game especially on older hardware, Generally the game will run on anything over a GTX 750, although a good CPU is a must along with adequate RAM (8GB+)


    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 7 +
    • Processor: Intel Core i5-6400 / AMD FX-8320
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GTX 960 / R9 280
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 4 GB available space



    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 10
    • Processor: Intel Core i5-7500 / AMD Ryzen 5 1400
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GTX 1060 / R9 390
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 4 GB available space


Game-play, graphics and overall feel


My hype for this game was non existent before I bought it. I had played many first person co-op shooter games before; Borderlands,Call of duty,Left For Dead and killing floor 2, just to name a few. There was no marketing campaign for this game what so ever, and was not even on the front page of the steam store on the day of release back in May of this year.

I went in expecting nothing, and I think that is the best approach you need to have nowadays when it comes to video games, with all the over-hyped triple A releases and devious marketing tactics used by companies.

The first time you load in you are greeted by a welcome message from the developer which states that the game is in early access and you should report bugs.                                                                              I took this as a warning when I first loaded in, that the game was going to be a glitch filled, buggy nightmare, however I was pleasantly surprised.

The title screen was the first real surprise for me, featuring a dynamic 3D layout with your character sitting at a bar drinking his cup of tea, with some serene Japanese flute music. I could have sat there for hours if I didn’t need to write this review, just listening and relaxing.

There are 3 different characters you can unlock at different levels of your progression. The first being a ninja cat who can throw orbs that deal incredible damage, a dog who can dual wield guns and wreak havoc on the battlefield and take down some bosses in under 10 seconds. Finally there is the newest but also the weakest character which is the bird that kicks enemies in the nuts which is like a short range version of the first heroes ultimate and works the same just at close range and deals less damage.

When jumping into your first game, you get put into a starting area which truly showcases how amazing the cartoon graphics of the game are, and what can be achieved with a little care from developers. The graphics match the games overall feel so well when it comes to setting you up for the journey ahead, combined with the ancient Japanese flute tracks and tribal drum beats, it gets you into the mood to start

blasting your foes heads off.

The starting area features a welcome chest that cant be opened at first, but can be later on by investing in the right skills on the heroes talent tree. We will come onto more about the talent tree later.

The overall look of the user interface is slick and easy to understand, taking its style from other co-op games such as left for dead or borderlands 2, with the skill button in the bottom middle, a mini map at the top (which doesn’t really do much in all honesty considering the levels are linear) and a gun selection screen down the bottom right with your secondary skill and dash button. It’s nothing special and nothing revolutionary, just easy to understand which is how it should be.

Moving onto the gun-play now and this is where the game peaks. in total there are 39 different unique weapons to choose from, all good for certain situations and different enemies, for example electric weapons are good for breaking down shields, and some weapons such as the Thunderclap gloves and the Rainbow, are useless on their own but when combined together make a devastating combo.

The absurd amount of weapon choice includes rocket launchers, bow and arrows, mini-guns, lazer beams, machine guns, flame-throwing handheld dragons, sniper rifles, shurikens and grenade launchers. There are so many choices, it can be a bit overwhelming, but means no two plays are ever the same. some weapons also take a long time to unlock before being able to equip them, so it gives you something to work towards.


Gunfire Reborn starts you off with a hand cannon, which is potentially one of the most powerful weapons in the game when used with the correct perks. As you work your way through the first stages of the game, you will come across chests containing a skill point for one of  3 perk trees (these reset after the game is over) I found these to be a bit pointless and annoying sometimes as you only ever use 2 of the skill trees (red and green) as they  give lots of damage and increase your ultimates skill time whereas the other one (yellow)  just gives pointless upgrades for your grenades , which become useless after you defeat the first boss.

Each gun has its own unique feel to it, always extremely satisfying when you get a critical head shot kill, just to hear the ding of the enemies heads collapsing in front of me,  gave me a mini rush each time.The game rewards accuracy and punishes mindless aiming and gunning. Critical hits are key in this game. 

Across your many journeys in Gunfire Reborn, you’ll encounter many unique enemies who may not all appear on your first play-through, from giant lobsters to shaolin monks, there will always be some grotesque creature to sink bullets into. Each enemy has their own unique skill set and method of attack, which makes you think strategically before you attack a whole heard of enemies, otherwise running the risk of being overrun (happened many times in my playthroughs)




Level Design

Each level consists of 5 stages with 1 boss stage. there are 3 bosses in total, each with their own skill sets and weaknesses. Part of the fun of grinding through Gunfire Reborn was finding these weaknesses and exploiting them, leading to some incredibly fast kills and tough fights, through the course of the 30 hours I sunk in.

The levels themselves are well designed and encourage the player to hide behind cover to avoid getting overwhelmed. The AI do sometimes get stuck on corners which could do with a bit of polishing over and perhaps remove some unnecessary structures.

The stages leading up to the fights provide the player much needed time to prepare for their next epic boss fight, by randomly dropping weapons and scrolls from chests and rare enemies. 

Scrolls play a huge part in this game, providing positive (and sometimes negative) bonuses for the player, sometimes adding critical damage, armor piercing bullets or negating certain elemental effects.These can be obtained from enemies, as well as in special “occult chests”  Where the player can choose to sacrifice a bit of their hp, obtain a cursed scroll, or pay money for a rare scroll that can be the difference between winning the game or certain death.

Some scrolls are too overpowered and some are too weak, there are plenty of memes on the steam community hub about how some scrolls do basically nothing, but thats the point in a rogue-like game isnt it? you want a mix of scrolls otherwise it would be too easy, so decide for yourself on that and let me know in the comments on that decision.

Talent Tree

The skills tree is powered by coins that you earn by either completing the game or dying. Once either of these outcomes have happened, the game resets all progress apart from your coins which you can use to spend on your character, granting new  abilities that make the game easier, whilst still encouraging you to come back for more.

 The Talent tree in this game is what breathes replayability into this game, by upgrading different skills, you can create an entirely different character from the previous one you created, leading to endless opportunities. What makes this game so fun is having no path on how you choose how to play, you can learn your own way and make your own destiny.

The game may not feature as many features as say Borderlands 3 But it is still nice to see some interesting options when it came to the skills tree.


Performance, bugs and outstanding issues

No game is ever perfect, and although I’ve made Gunfire Reborn sound like the holy grail of video games, it does have a few issues that I just can’t let slide. 

First of all, the matchmaking in this game is absolutely infuriating, finding a co-op partner takes for what seems like an eternity. Fortunately the game is offline solo, as well as online so that is why its only a minor issue.

Secondly this game loves to drop-out during boss fights, meaning you could have just played a 40 minute journey and at the very last minute  the server will crash. I made sure this was an issue on their end by seeing if the others in the lobby all dropped out too, to which they did. Server issues are the biggest downside to what is otherwise a solid and well polished title.

Lastly, some enemies hit boxes are slightly off on parts of their bodies, which can ruin the immersion.

The overall performance of the game on my GTX 1070 with 16GB of RAM and an I5-6400 CPU was consistent at 60fps on ultra settings, with only a few minor frame drops to about 30fps in some heavily guarded areas.


The Verdict

Gunfire Reborn is a shining example of what early access titles are capable or being, and that the days of indie developers could be blossoming once again. With excellent game-play that takes me back to the good old days of playing Borderlands 2 and dungeon defenders on the XBOX as a kid.

The game has a solid level design with challenging boss fights and just enough luck based, rogue-like fun to keep you always wanting more.


I almost feel bad for the price I paid for this game, at just £9.29 this game has been an investment that I haven’t regretted buying into once, getting well over 30 hours of game-play at the time of this review.

With more features being added soon including new stages and difficulty settings, Gunfire Reborn is certainly one to add to your wish-list if you are into first person shooters within a cartoon world, similar to games like risk of rain 2 and Borderlands.

If you can ignore some of the minor multiplayer glitches and AI bugs, then this is without a shadow of a doubt, worth a buy. 


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