Simple and silly are two concepts that can make a great game. While modern games typically try to create experiences that could happen, at least in some capacity, a lot of older experiences viewed gaming as an escape. Players could run away to a weird and different world that was built on a variety of concepts. Trigger Witch builds on the latter, adding guns to a fantasy world where such objects seem foreign. With co-op and more, is it a worthwhile experience or does it run out of bullets?
Trigger Witch tries it best to build a story out of very little. You play a girl who is about to graduate, assuming she can pass her last test. Unlike her friends, you do and they assume foul play due to the examiner being your mom. This might start the adventure but it eventually leads to some weird happenings that you need to look into and deal with.
Where Trigger Witch starts to fall short is not knowing when enough is enough. Unlike Enter the Gungeon, which playfully took traditional enemies like Beholders or an anaconda and gave them names that related to guns, Trigger Witch tries to do it as often as possible. And, much like a joke that goes entirely too long, it gets tiring. Part of it is the lack of inventiveness, like Enter the Gungeon’s Ammoconda is really clever as much as it’s silly, whereas Trigger Witch goes for the same joke. And, much like a Rick and Morty episode that lost its charm 20 minutes ago, it starts to feel tired and forced.
Part of what hurts the experience is the lack of variety as well. Trigger Witch doesn’t seem entirely sure what it wants to be, so it relies heavily on the concept. There are guns, silly creatures and lots of blood. It’s fine to play, it’s a top-down shooter after all, it just doesn’t do anything special and the gimmicks overshadow everything else.
Even this could be salvaged, there will always be people who buy on concept alone, but Trigger Witch has a kind of eh feel to it. Combat isn’t varied or fluid enough to stand out, enemies really aren’t deep or interesting enough to matter, making the whole experience feel hollow. There is only so many times I can kill an enemy and watch their blood splatter across my screen before it loses the charm. Especially when the experience could use a bit more polish.
Certain sections can kill players in seconds, simply due to how quickly damage is accrued. There are ways around it, like dodging removes poison for some reason, it just doesn’t feel fun. Go to town, read some silly dialogue with like 30 weapon puns in a room with as many gun designs as the developers could figure out, go to the next place and do it again.
Trigger Witch Review Verdict
The hard thing about Trigger Witch is that it proves you can be worse than the sum of its parts. Instead of creating an experience that feels like a lot of thought and effort went into it, like Enter the Gungeon, it feels like someone had a neat idea and they just wanted to build that as far as they could go. This isn’t to say you can’t have fun with Trigger Witch or even that it’s bad, there are just better efforts out there.
[Editor’s Note: Trigger Witch was reviewed on PlayStation 4 and a copy was provided to us for review purposes.]