Gungrave GORE review: the worst of 2022

Sequel that has become Arles, Gungrave GORE is a game that is far too mind-numbing to become a benchmark in the stress relief category.

kick their ass » (« Kick their ass ”): each level of Gungrave GORE begins with this sentence, written roughly in the middle of the screen. It’s in very bad taste, but you can also see it as a way to motivate the few players who dare to get into Gungrave GORE. Because it is an understatement to say that the video game developed by Iggymob is a pure disaster, in the proposal (a badly disguised on-rails shooter) and in the execution. Prime Matter probably dreamed of resuscitating the saga born twenty years ago on PlayStation 2. It’s missed.

On the other hand, if Prime Matter’s goal was to deliver a PlayStation 2 game in 2022, then it’s been successful. Everything is dusty in Gungrave GORE, where we play Grave, a silent thug who came back from the dead to become a real killing machine. His goal is simple: rid the world of a mafia that has taken control of a powerful drug. This thin pitch is introduced by an encouraging cinematic. And then when it’s time to play, the drama begins.

Gungrave GORE // Source: Prime Matter
The most beautiful game in the universe // Source: Prime Matter

Gungrave GORE is a toughness test for the controller


Gungrave GORE is available from November 22 on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X and PC. It is also found in the Xbox Game Pass.

On the subtlety scale, Gungrave GORE is six feet underground. Neuneu as ever, the title connects the short levels (about ten minutes) while it seems that everything is endless. The hero, who lugs around a coffin on his back and takes on his Ozzy Osbourne look, has the agility and speed of a pachyderm. Fortunately, he doesn’t have to dodge or jump a lot in his adventure. Otherwise the gameplay would be even more grueling than it already is. With a staggering emptiness, the experience consists in pouring – without needing to aim – its loader on enemies who arrive from everywhere, and especially from nowhere. In terms of numbers, it’s deafening: I had to slay more than 5,000 enemies in less than ten hours. Even Rambo has to bow.

He confuses the exhilarating and the stultifying

On its own, pouring death with style and efficiency is a fairly common activity in the action genre. But still it is necessary that the gameplay is interesting to hold on the length. This is not at all the case in Gungrave GORE, which is based on flavorless shooting phases during which it is simply asked to bludgeon its trigger without thinking. We press it so much that we could fear the worst for the resistance of his controller (and his finger). The best, Gungrave GORE is a good test to make sure that your accessory can hold up over the long term (this is the case for the Scuf Reflex, which held up to the shock).

Therefore, we move forward Gungrave GORE without asking any questions, maybe praying for the best score before moving on to the next mission. We can make our hero evolve, by spending a few points in a laboratory rich in choices. Even in terms of progress, it is difficult to be convinced. We increased the damage of the main weapon up to level 4 (to shorten the confrontations as much as possible), without managing to detect a drastic change compared to before. From the first to the last minute, Gungrave GORE is in repetition. He confuses the exhilarating and the stultifying. Admittedly, the border is thin, but the game is always on the wrong side and offers absolutely nothing to motivate you to give it a chance.

Gungrave GORE // Source: Prime Matter
A staggering charisma // Source: Prime Matter

Strangely, the basic gameplay of Gungrave GORE sometimes rhymes with questionable management of the difficulty. Most of the time, we have the impression of being invincible, of being able to resist everything (we can even send the missiles back to the sender!). But sometimes you have to overcome challenges that surprise more than they galvanize. In terms of balance, we are not there at all. As a bonus, some of the choices of the developers are really strange (example: a vulgar fall is fatal, which ends up annoying). They weren’t very inspired either on the architecture of the sets, which boil down to very flat conflict zones, separated by corridors. As soon as it gets a little cramped, the camera acts up. Frustration constantly lurks, and some passages are hair-raising (special mention to the one where you have to go fast on the roof of a train).

On Form, Gungrave GORE don’t dream either. Besides the tasteless art direction, nothing is beautiful. Even with the display option set to quality (we don’t recommend it for fluidity reasons), the graphics are rough. Do not look too closely at the sets at the risk of wanting to make an appointment with the ophthalmologist. The rendering is cubic and not very detailed, while the visual effects are difficult to see – in the wake of the explosions that make pschitt. Finally, we hope you have your ears well hooked: the soundtrack worthy of the worst films of the 80s is really an acoustic suffering. Even on basic points, Gungrave GORE happens to be missed. That’s crazy.

It seems that the Gungrave saga enjoys a small popularity rating (thanks to Internet users, the first opus displays an average of 8.6 out of 10 on Metacritic) — in particular thanks to an adaptation in animated series. We hope that the fans still believe it a little and that they are much more forgiving than the average. Because it is very complicated to forgive all the excesses of Gungrave GORE. Like his late hero, perhaps the project should have been buried.

The verdict

The year 2022 had to also produce its worst game. And his name is Gungrave GORE Behind the desire to celebrate the 20th anniversary of a cult saga, for some, already forgotten, for others, there is above all a real ordeal. This third-person shooter really struggles to hide its countless weaknesses.

Gungrave GORE would almost look like a game from 2002, which can make it a successful homage by taking the experience to the second degree. Otherwise, everything is to be thrown away: the graphics, the gameplay, the rare ideas and the scenario. Thank you for participating in our flop of the year.

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