-My random thoughts on Gungrave Gore.
Short video review https://youtu.be/7K-mhfsObQQ
WTF is Even Happening?
Gungrave G.O.R.E might be the worst game I have played in 2022. That is a harsh statement but one that rang true for me during my time with the title. A 3rd-person action shooter from Developer Iggymob that was almost shockingly atrocious from start to finish, Gungrave goes out of its way to suck that its easy to assume your gaming system broken.
Let me quickly explain my experiences with poor games. I beat Drake of the 99 Dragons, played Alekhine's Gun, and spent more than my fair share in titles that most gamers would never play or think of buying. Ride to Hell Retribution is one title that haunts me in my dreams every night.
However, Gunrgrave G.O.R.E goes out there and tries to steal that spot away. Or maybe it isn't trying at all and just by the luck of timing and lack of anything remotely good it has failed rolled its way to the top spot.
Gungrave is supposed to draw a bit of a bridge between the original game, the Anime, and this game, sharing characters and story beats as well as explaining distinct elements within the story. Make no mistake, the game does all those things, but it does them in the most disjointed way possible. Like a drunk uncle teetering into a family reunion at 4 am telling dirty stories to everyone and then vomiting on the floor. It may be humorous from a distance, but no one wants to be close to it.
First, the game itself is a very basic 3rd person shooter. Take your character out, shoot some enemies, and hit them up close if you need to. You can even grapple enemies with a chain hook and pull them in close. Whenever you kill enemies, you get their DNA to use as currency back in your lab to buy and upgrade your skills and yourself between levels.
That is it. Not all games need to be heavy on the gameplay but come on!
Moving the main character around is like an unreal engine demonstration downloaded to show kids how to get a character to walk. The main character is stilted, slow, and animates horridly, and when he dodges, it's like the world's laziest sack of sentient potatoes decided unhurriedly to lie down.
Shooting guns at enemies, walls, targets, explosive barriers, and safety walkways isn't terrible. It has an auto-locking that will see your bullets flying all over the level in front of you, even occasionally hitting the guys you aim at but many times flying off canted to some unknown place never to do damage or even look like they were fired with purpose. You can also aim down the sights if you need to get one enemy more quickly than the rest, but even that is a generous description. Because of the mess of visual data, it's hard to even see where your attacks are going. It's all lost in the bullets just randomly traveling to spots means it's hard to even tell if you need to take aim or if you should just trot around, slamming the trigger. This is also with no aiming aids. That is just the way the gaming plays.
There is also a noticeable delay between hitting any button and seeing action on the screen. Your prompts are simply suggestions for the character to move, dive, turn or shoot and they are suggestions that seem to take him a long time to accomplish. It was about 4 hours into the game that I realized that the main character doesn't look like he belongs in the game at all. Not from a scale perspective but a movement one, an animation one, or even the effects of hits or being hit. Everything he does seems at odds with everything everyone else does in the game like his character model has been extracted where he was a 1:8th sized model injected into a 1:12 sized world and someone just dialed his speed down hoping it would confuse everyone.
One look at the character may have you think this offset design is for a reason. Grave has you taking on the reins of a massive, supposedly badass anti-hero. It is true that a combination of the tight tunnel-to-tunnel shooters with Virtua-Cop 2-styled enemies and haphazardly shooting through waves of bad guys in small locations may not require the most dexterous of lead characters.
However, identity is one of the biggest problems in Gungrave. It simply has no clue what it wants to be, leaving the gamer feeling like no one, Most of all, the main character gives a shit. Should I be doing this thing here, or that other thing? If all the enemies funnel down the center of the tunnel and there are no side tunnels, why not just sit back and plunk them to death?
When enemies get close, Gungrave has combos and unique attacks that you build up and gain throughout the game. However, just like everything else in the game, it's slow to ever accomplish anything and up-close attacks are nothing more than swinging in place with terrible animations and odd collision detection effects attached to its movements.
You can rebound enemies' missiles back at their original owners. However, and this isn't an exaggeration, the missiles move almost slower than the main character, regardless of difficulty. Playing feels like the age-old battle of a sloth versus your 90-year-old grandpa that no one would ever buy tickets to watch.
meet and match the speed you see on screen, which would generously be called slothlike. Also If the enemies didn't look printed off from the same low detailed 3d printer design bought for 5 bucks on a questionable website, it might mean something.
Remember back in the day when games had CGI trailers that would come out and companies would try to tell you it was the game in real-time? Well, this game's cutscenes seem here simply to fool you into thinking there is a game even slightly good enough that you may want to play it once they finished.
AUDIO You guessed it even this is poor. Bland sound effects and 3d audio layers are barely presented and instead just lay over the top of one another almost as bad as if it's all pumped out on a mono speaker from an old S-video TV. Enemies' weapons and special moves are all flattened out and don't even seem like anyone worked on mastering the audio at all.
Level design is also woeful with most of them nothing more than straight lines with little to no places to go outside of the main straight-on tunnel, walkway, path, or parking love. In most of the levels in the game, you don't even have other places to explore or go. Instead, just long alleys or walkways that have small branches with a single enemy standing there just waiting to be shot by you in an absentminded display of poor enemy spawning design.
Enemy bosses at the very least attempt to show you some unique gameplay but most fall to nothing more than rebounding back enemies' missiles, lazily dodging enemies' lasers, and then holding the trigger until you can level up a special attack and hopefully hit the part of the enemy the game forces you to take out academically.
The game feels like something you want, someone you hate to be forced to play.
On a 3080, the game saw frequent drops to 30fps, which includes a wicked bug that the main menu has. When you go to the menu for graphics, the game drops to around 5fps, making choosing and changing graphics almost impossible.
During gameplay, the title is constantly having fits and starts dropping performance randomly, even when very few things are moving on the screen.
I ran into a tremendous number of bugs in Gungrave including multiple times where my character froze refusing to walk, shoot, or attack, resulting in me having to either quit or let the enemies slowly kill me so I could restart. Twice the game let me buy skills to add to my ability bars and then never showed up in those bars but the money was gone.
I am sure they can patch some of this but the core design of the game seems woefully under-prepared for even the barest of moments against even the cheapest of competition within the gaming space right now.
Short video review https://youtu.be/7K-mhfsObQQ