Gungrave GORE is one of those games that I REALLY wanted to like after being a fan of the series in its PlayStation 2 days, but that sadly feels like a bit of a relic of the past. It’s not that I think it’s necessarily an awful game, but it definitely isn’t a good one either, with the gameplay very dated, repetitive, and lacking the modern pizzazz to make it feel like a worthwhile revival of the franchise.

Check out some screenshots down below:

The game recaps the tale told across the original games as well as its 2017 virtual reality follow-up, so those who aren’t so familiar with the Gungrave story are given the opportunity to catch-up beforehand – not that you’ll necessarily need it, given that the tale is a bit bonkers and all over the place anyway. Players take on the role of badass death-defying gunslinger Grave as he works with a group known as El Arcangel to take down a villainous organisation known as Raven Claw, who have been spreading a deadly drug known as Seed across the land. Things take a bit of a sour turn for the group when they find themselves defeated by the powerful bosses of Raven Claw during the early parts of the game, but hey, you can’t keep a dead man down for long, right?

Gungrave GORE’s storytelling is ok and brings with it some cool moments, but I’d be lying if I said I found it particularly engrossing. It’s full of dumb over-the-top sequences that rarely make sense, whilst the characters you encounter feel like a severe case of ‘style over substance’. It’s not bad, but I wouldn’t say I really found myself invested in the battle to take down Raven Claw.

When it comes to the action, Gungrave GORE is very old-school and a little bare boned. Players will traverse a variety of linear levels, all whilst blasting away at the seemingly endless onslaught of enemies coming their way, with little else offered in the way of obstacles. Sure, there’ll be the occasional bit of platforming to complete (that can actually be a little unforgiving), but for the most part it’s a case of following a hallway, entering a room, killing the enemies, and repeating. It’s dull and lacks the exciting spark to really keep players invested in the adventure.

“You can expect to get some pain in the fingers when playing though, with Gungrave GORE making the insane design choice to have players mash the trigger button in order to shoot.”

At least the combat is exciting, but it does bring with it some caveats of its own. Grave is a meticulous killing machine, with his weaponry proving effective at slaughtering any enemies in his path. He’s got a few neat special abilities to use as you progress through the adventure, whilst it’s even possible to unleash a barrage of bullets when hitting certain combos with his hits. He’s also armed with a grappling hook to pull enemies straight to him, whilst his souped-up Fury mode sees him dishing even more damage than before. It has all of the typical hallmarks of a third-person shooter realy, and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t fun to kill enemies – even if it didn’t offer anything I hadn’t seen done plenty of times before.

You can expect to get some pain in the fingers when playing though, with Gungrave GORE making the insane design choice to have players mash the trigger button in order to shoot. If you hold it down, you’ll charge up a powerful shot, which is handy in some situations but isn’t ideal when you’re trying to quickly blast away at multiple targets to take them down. It just felt uncomfortable and seemed a stupid design choice by the developers, whilst those who are precious about their controllers will certainly feel like they’re doing some damage to the trigger with the constant mashing.

It makes Gungrave GORE feel like a chore to play, especially since it falters in other areas too. The sound design isn’t the best thanks to some grating music choices for example, whilst the bosses lacked the creativity to make the encounters feel particularly exciting (even if there are some cool foes to face off against). There’s just nothing about the game that feels like it excels in any way, with most aspects of it just feeling ordinary (or, in some cases, bad).

Check out some screenshots down below:

The worst thing about it all for me is that I really wanted to like the game. The whole Gungrave concept is undeniably cool whilst I’m always happy to check out an old-school throwback, but everything here just feels a little dated. Even the visuals lacked any real flair, with a lot of samey-looking locales to explore that don’t bring a lot of excitement. Don’t get me wrong, there’s the occasional level that looks a bit more unique, but the repetitive level design ensures that they always feel the same from a gameplay perspective. It’s just hard not to feel a bit disappointed by Gungrave GORE, and whilst it isn’t the worst game I’ve ever played, it’s certainly one of the most underwhelming.

Gungrave GORE Review

Gungrave GORE isn’t the worst game I’ve played, but the repetitive gameplay, frustrating shooting mechanics, and lack of creativity ensure it’s not a good one. I just found myself bored playing, whilst the constant need to mash the trigger button left my finger aching after a few hours of playing (and also left me worried that I’d damage my controller in some way).

I was a fan of the original so I really wanted to like this, but Gungrave GORE just feels dated and boring. Returning players MIGHT find something to appreciate, but for everyone else, there are WAY better action games to play.

Developer: IGGYMOB
Publisher: Prime Matter
Platform(s): PC (Reviewed), PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One