by December 7, 2022 @ 12:30 pm
Reviewed on Xbox Series X|S
It’s a shame when games like Gungrave G.O.R.E. come along and look so promising and then fail to deliver. Something like this was probably never projected to be a game of the year contender by any stretch, but it looked like a crazy action game for fans of crazy action games. Instead, it’s held back by constraints and tropes that are too old school — or antiquated, really — for the game’s own good.
Generic Moody Protagonist in a Sterile Future World
The stylistic things that initially drew me to Gungrave G.O.R.E. didn’t take long to become stale. Grave, the game’s long-haired protagonist walks around stages with his arms at his sides and a terrible posture that might give you a backache just by looking at it. I get it — it’s a mood thing. But it’s not cool, like, at all.
The world of Gungrave G.O.R.E. is filled with enemies, many of which appear to be superhuman or cyborg, but they’re all just so generic. After just a few stages, you’ll have seen virtually all of the enemy variety the game has to offer. The bosses look okay, but they’re nothing special, either.
The environments themselves, futuristic industrial zones and cities, are decent if a little too on the nose. While the game is solid graphically, its presentation and visual themes are simply uninspired and drab. Where so many other action games revel in providing you with awesome, unique stage designs, Gungrave G.O.R.E. settles for recreating the most boring scenery for the protagonist to stumble his way through.
Gungrave G.O.R.E. doesn’t necessarily do anything wrong in terms of its shoot ‘em up and melee mechanics. But it also doesn’t do anything interesting or entertaining. You’ll mash on the trigger to shoot at enemies. Sometimes you’ll break their shields with powered up shots or melee attacks. You’ve got combo moves, too. But none of this feels exciting. It’s all paint-by-numbers in the worst possible ways.
In addition, there are some design choices in Gungrave G.O.R.E. that feel like the worst parts of a bygone era. One area requires you to run across the top of a train before you reach a tunnel, which causes instant death. The problem is that the game puts every cheap, dumb obstacle in your way to make that task as annoying as possible. There’s nothing fun about moments like that, though they might make you appreciate how far design choice has come in video games.
There are 31 stages in Gungrave G.O.R.E., and it’ll take you almost 15 hours to get through the game. Normally, I’d be stoked to play one of these 3D action games for that length of time, but what this game has to offer just feels monotonous and unsatisfying. It really is a shame.
Unless you’re a diehard Gungrave fan, there’s no real reason to dive into this latest entry — and I wonder if even longtime lovers of the franchise will find much to enjoy here. Quite frankly, Gungrave G.O.R.E. is an underwhelming experience and, truthfully, just a really poor action game.
Score: 4 out of 10
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