Stylish third-person shooting meets close-range martial arts in Gungrave G.O.R.E, available on PS4 & PS5, and Xbox TODAY! Grab it here.
Gungrave G.O.R.E. is finally here.
While it’s a revival of a series that I’ve admittedly had little to do with, it’s definitely one that found a very specific and dedicated audience when it first released on the PlayStation 2, simply as Gungrave. It’s basically Devil May Cry without swords.
Two years after the original game, a sequel with more playable characters subtitled Overdose released to much greater fanfare and better critical reception. Despite being popular enough to spin off into an animated series, the franchise went quiet for almost fifteen years.
In 2017, a new team revived the brand with a new game called Gungrave VR. The experience served only as the beginning of the revival, as five years later a brand-new game, called Gungrave G.O.R.E. would release and continue on from the events of Gungrave VR.
It’s safe to say that the Korean-led studio Iggymob are dedicated to bringing back Gungrave in a bigger way than ever anticipated, but while Gungrave G.O.R.E. has many clear inspirations, it’s very much does things by its own rules. Here’s why.
THE GAME WILL HAVE YOU JET-SETTING ACROSS ASIA
Gungrave G.O.R.E. sees the protagonist and his merry band of mercenaries doing their best to thwart the plans of the Raven Clan from distributing SEED, a drug that destroys one’s soul, all over the world. The brunt of Gungrave G.O.R.E. takes place across Southeast Asia, but each of these locations have a dark futuristic twist to them.
Players can expect to play across six chapters that each take place in real world locations, each of which housing their own branch of the Raven Clan. Expect to visit Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore during your time in Gungrave G.O.R.E. Additionally, you’ll also visit Scumland, a mysterious island that serves as a home base for the Raven Clan and a refinery in which SEED is produced.
GRAVE ISN’T THE ONLY PLAYABLE CHARACTER ON YOUR FIRST RUN
While he’s officially known as Beyond The Grave, our protagonist Grave is nicknamed both the Gunslinger of Resurrection as well as the Grim Reaper. An anti-hero of sorts, Grave fights in battle with his dual pistols named Cerberus and his heavy coffin called the death hauler. His combat style is more akin to what you’d expect from Dante in the Devil May Cry series, focusing more on guns and distance than anyone else in any other action game you’ve played.
New to Gungrave G.O.R.E. is a companion to Grave who calls herself Quartz. Her full name is Cheni Angel, and she’s fellow seed hunter who has been affected by a freak mutation that causes her body to crystalise. She’s also playable in Gungrave G.O.R.E., and she has the same control setup as Grave except she is more concerned with melee attacks. A skilled martial artist, Quartz does better damage with her attacks up close while her distance attacks are designed more to stun.
THERE’S A TROUPE OF VILLAINS TO HUNT DOWN, INCLUDING A FAMILIAR FACE
There’s no denying that Gungrave G.O.R.E. harkens back to an age of gaming where plot didn’t matter as much, but it’s all for nothing if you don’t have a merry troupe of villains to do battle with. Introducing you to the leaders of the Raven Clan at the beginning of the game, Grave will have to travel the world to take them down, one by one, country by country.
Featuring some designs from Ikumi Nakamura, best known for her work on The Evil Within and Ghostwire Tokyo, Grave can expect to take down four major villains in his journey. Yensen is the leader of the Hong Kong branch, and arms himself (literally) with an additional four arms and swords to do battle.
Big Wushen leads the Malaysian branch and manages her time effectively enough to be both a showgirl and a witch. Turonty is an old man who, of course, wields a cane, and runs the Singaporean branch. Finally, Ganpo leads them all with ties to characters from Gungrave: Overdose, the second game in the franchise.
Finally, without mentioning spoilers, hardcore fans of the series will be pleased to know that Zell Condorbrave, the mercenary captain who appeared in Gungrave: Overdose, will also make an appearance in Gungrave G.O.R.E.
THE COMBAT COMBINES A CRAZY COMBINATION OF ABSURD ABILITIES
Like I mentioned earlier, Gungrave G.O.R.E. is best described as Devil May Cry without the swords and only guns. As such, a lot of the combat is designed around Cerberus, Grave’s own set of pistols. They fire unlimited ammo, and each pull of the trigger fires four times, but it’s what you can do with the guns and Grave’s signature coffin that really separates him from other action game heroes.
For one, Grave basically stores an entire rocket launcher in the coffin he so grimly carries around. He can use his coffin to deflect shots back at enemies or even launch rockets to not only deal heavy damage, but also heal himself similar to glory kills from the newer Doom games. On top of this is all kinds of finishers, though the simplest and yet most enjoyable is fittingly called R.I.P., and sees Grave finishing off enemies with the kind of slow motion precision you’d only ever see in John Woo films.
YOU CAN JUMP IN REGARDLESS OF IF YOU’RE A NEW OR RETURNING FAN
I’ve alluded to this before, but Gungrave G.O.R.E. is a sequel to a bunch of games released over a decade ago. There was even an animated television series too. But developer Iggymob has made sure that even though this is a sequel, newcomers can still jump in and enjoy what Gungrave G.O.R.E. has to offer. You can jump in regardless of your experience with the series.
The story itself is easy enough to follow – I’ve alluded to the fact that this game harkens back to that age of gaming where stories were simpler. But if you’re keen to brush up on your Gungrave history, there is a video that catches people up on what’s transpired in the world of Gungrave. Obviously, such a video is also perfect for any existing fan who wants to brush up on anything they’ve forgotten. But as pictured above, some of the unlockable costumes are bound to tickle the pickle of long term fans of the franchise.
Gungrave G.O.R.E. launches on November 22nd, 2022 for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.
It is available at launch for both Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass for PC.