Somehow Gungrave Returned!
The odds are good that you’ve forgotten about Gungrave, if you ever even knew what it was in the first place. It had fallen out of my memory almost entirely until I saw that this third entry in the now twenty-years-dormant game franchise was launching this week.
Gungrave was a PS2 game about a dude who gets supernatural powers through a convoluted series of events, and then shoots a bunch of enemies and also sometimes hits them with a big weird coffin slung over his shoulder. Both the original game and its sequel were firmly in the 8-ish-hour action game wheelhouse that made up so much of the PS2’s library. You ran through stages exploding stuff, saw some story that didn’t make a ton of sense, fought a boss, and moved on.
Then, you traded it in at GameStop and got on with your life.
Gungrave G.O.R.E is an Unreal Engine-powered sequel to those old games, available now on Xbox, PC, and PlayStation (official site here). You can get the Xbox and PC versions through a game pass subscription, which is how I tried them, or pay fifty dollars. I wasn’t asked by the publisher to play this, and I don’t use nasty affiliate links or take sponsorships.
I’ve played the first three levels and two boss encounters so far across both Xbox Series S and PC. The PC version of this game has ray tracing for some reason (!) thanks to its inclusion in the default Unreal Engine toolset, for enhanced lighting and reflections — but the game moves so fast that you won’t really miss anything by not seeing it.
When I was 22, this probably would have been one of my favorite games of the year. It’s a feast of ridiculous and stupid action. It’s a melange of constant shooting and occasional melee attacks, with a grappling hook that’s mostly used for finishing moves instead of any meaningful traversal. The first three stages all consist of running and shootdodging down linear hallways, with plenty of red barrels and dozens of enemies to fight.