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An unbelievably abysmal shooter riddled with some of the worst game design known to man. I'm genuinely baffled that something like this was released in the year 2022. Gungrave G.O.R.E promises the player a stylish character action spectacle filled with bullets and anime but that's all mostly a facade. Instead, what you get is an unreasonably long, soulless husk of a third-person shooter designed to give the player carpal tunnel syndrome and a migraine. See, rather than allowing the player to hold the right trigger to shoot, the game forces you to manually tap it for no less than the whole duration of the game. ...and somehow that's still among the least of G.O.R.E's issues which should let you know just how rotten this game is. At some point I realized I was actually compelled to finish this trainwreck: I was fuelled by sheer morbid curiosity to see just how bad a video game can be. I wish I hadn't.
Gungrave G.O.R.E has a scoring system like any other action game. The game wants you to keep up a combo by constantly shooting at something, whether it's enemies or breakable objects, and earning "beats" but not only is the time window between hits needlessly strict, worse yet, the system is incredibly inconsistent. The same objects that are destructible in another level are simply a static part of the environment in another. That or they are misplaced way off the intended route resulting in abrupt stops to your combos. The enemies though? Don't worry, the enemies will come after you. Wave after wave, knockback attack after another, with no cooldowns on their rocket launchers. I was in constant disbelief at the absurdity of the combat encounters and it kept getting worse stage after stage. While Gungrave G.O.R.E is not janky in the technical sense it is an absolute mess in terms of design. The enemies' AI has not been balanced at all and the nonstop attacks leave the player little to no room for error in most situations, especially in the latter half of the game. And no, not in a difficult but rewarding way but an "a hundred Silver Knight Archers locked on to you" way.
One of the game's worst offenses is teasing multiple playable characters throughout the story (and apparently way before the game's release as well) just to let you play as the two other characters for only three stages out of the thirty-one total. Embarrassing. The rest of the game is all Grave which might've not been such a bummer if Grave wasn't so sluggish to control. You can upgrade Grave's stats between levels - which is to say that you can make the experience of playing this trash fire a tiny bit less miserable - but make no mistake, even with fully upgraded health, shields and damage you will still falter from a couple of rockets while the enemies are merely tickled by your bullets. All of this on the intended (?) normal difficulty. The enemies are not only incredibly overpowered but their spawn placements have to be the worst I have ever seen in a video game. It must have been the developers' intention to irritate the player as much as humanly possible, I simply do not see any other reason for them. A special shoutout to the platforming sections as well, I think I popped a blood vessel or two during one of those.
The list of pros I begrudgingly gathered for Gungrave G.O.R.E is not too extensive as you may have guessed but it is not void either. A couple of the music tracks were fun (despite bad sound mixing), there is some variety to the boss fights in the game and the few CG cutscenes (four to be exact) there are are actually cool. Everything else in this is varying degrees of dogshit. Gungrave G.O.R.E wishes it was a C-grade PlatinumGames release. Go watch the anime based on the original game rather than enduring through this. Or play Shadows of the Damned or some other bullshit action-shooter instead. Just don't play Gungrave G.O.R.E, please. For your own sake. Should've stayed in the grave, Gungrave.
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