Gungrave GORE sees the return of a classic anti-hero from yesteryear. While not the first new game given the VR spin-offs released not too long ago, this could be considered the first mainline entry to continue the story & characters you may recall from the PS2 games. A worthwhile blast from the past? Lets take a look.
In the near future, the Seed, a dangerous alien drug re-surfaces and spreads all over the world. Grave, a former Mafia hitman, finds new allies also obsessed with eradicating the Seed and protecting his adopted daughter, Mika. What ensues is an epic & emotional quest across South-East Asia to exact Grave’s vengeance.
Going in expecting BAFTA tier storytelling is the wrong idea with this one, its decent for what it is, but most will likely not get drawn in much outside of some OTT cinematics. One area of improvement, if you can’t get enough Gungrave anyway, is in game length. The original would only stylishly take up a couple hours of your time, but this new release goes far beyond that in comparison as it can last around a dozen hours or so.
This is probably the main area that differs from the original duo with a ditching of the cel shaded style, but not really a surprise for someone who has the VR games. Granted its far more detailed this time and can surprise you on occasion with some flashy visuals, even throwing in some rudimentary ray tracing, but there is something to be said about the dark comic book style of before on PS2 that still looks great today.
The slow march through stages means you won’t need bazillions of FPS, but there’s plenty of options to tweak anyway. I pretty much left everything on high with DLSS & Raytracing enabled at 4K on my system (R7 3800X/32GB/2080 ti) and it was spitting out over a hundred FPS most of the time. The game isn’t without its issues though, funnily enough for a headline feature the raytracing will randomly disable itself sometimes at the start of stages. Not so funny is what appears to be shader stutter, the first section of a stage is a stutter fest before smoothing out as you go. Luckily nothing game breaking I guess.
Gungrave is a third person shooter in the classical sense, there’s no shenanigans like taking cover, instead you’re just marching forward dealing death as you bas h away at the trigger. The core Gungrave mechanics are there from previous games. Health, Shields, Coffin, Cerberus, Beats, Demolition shots, and even the bullet dance Keeping the beat up is key for point building and unlocking additional moves, you can keep it going without enemies by shooting destructible scenery. Executions are added too that can boost health or shield when done which keeps the bullets flowing as you get mobbed by enemies, they also give you Art points and help boost the stage score – score building is key in this type after all. There’s even a skill tree of sorts added so you can make Grave even more OP than usual.
If most of this sounds familiar to you then that’s because it will be to anyone that has sampled the series all those years ago. Sure there’s some additional stuff like wonky platforming sections thrown in, but for the most part you’ll be blasting like its 2002 again as waves of enemies constantly try to bring you down. Some aspects like the aforementioned executions seem inspired by Doom 2016 as they boost health, and that’s probably the idea, but the implementation is a little janky here and feels stiff, breaking the flow somewhat. That’s probably the main issue with this game, most of the new additions don’t feel seamlessly bolted onto the classic gameplay.
Gungrave GORE is a curious one in that your view of it can vary wildly depending on how aware you are of the original & Overdose. Nothing describes it better than a blast from the past to be honest, Ps2 gameplay and jank included, with some attempts to drag it into the modern age with a visual upgrade and the odd try at modernisation. Personally I can overlook enough as a fan of the series, even bought the VR games, but I’ve got a feeling it won’t quite resonate with the more modern gamer.
Puts the blast in blast from the past, so long as you’re loaded up on nostalgia.