Gungrave G.O.R.E Review
Gungrave G.O.R.E is a third-person shooter that continues the story introduced in Gungrave (2002) and Gungrave: Overdose (2004), but players don’t need to be familiar with the previous games or the anime adaptation to immediately get a firm grasp on the story. The recently resurrected gunslinger Beyond the Grave (Grave for short) and his El-Al Canhel comrades are attempting to eradicate SEED, a mutagenic drug propagated by a group called the Raven Clan. When Mika, El-Al Canhel’s leader, becomes contaminated by a particularly potent SEED strain, El-Al Canhel’s objective shifts to include keeping Mika alive and searching for a cure.
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For better or for worse, Gungrave G.O.R.E’s narrative doesn’t extend far beyond this exposition. On one hand, it’s disappointing that a 12- to 15-hour game has a storyline that amounts to little more than fighting an evil drug cartel, supplemented by a handful of expendable cutscenes (which are often awkwardly translated/voiced in the English audio version). On the other hand, very few players will add Gungrave G.O.R.E to their library expecting—or desiring—any degree of nuance or subtlety from its worldbuilding, so many may not think of it as any real loss. They’re here to complete a clear-cut mission, which is emblazoned across the screen at the start of each level: “Kick their ass.”
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Although the story may lack depth, combat in Gungrave G.O.R.E isn’t quite as simplistic as it may initially appear. Grave is armed with a pair of handguns (collectively called Cerberus) used for distance and midrange attacks, and the coffin he keeps strapped to his back (Death Hauler) functions as a melee weapon and a means of deflecting projectiles. While some levels can be brute forced with nothing more than straightforward shooting, the most gratifying aspect of Gungrave G.O.R.E is chaining together various abilities in quick…