By Josh Speer / June 19th, 2018
I admit I knew almost nothing about Gungrave VR going into my demo. All I knew was that I could handle VR without any nausea and that it involved lots and lots of shooting. After doing some research, I discovered it’s actually a massive overhaul of a game originally released by Red Entertainment for the PS2 in the 2000s. And this isn’t just a simple port, XSEED is making sure Gungrave VR gets all the modern bells and whistles. There is voice acting, in both English and Japanese, as well as text in a variety of other languages. All the designs for characters in the game have been updated and made flashier than ever. And perhaps most interesting of all, this iteration of the game features both free moving 3rd person views as well as stationary and mobile first person. Despite being capable at VR, I am glad I picked stationary first person, since they will overwhelm you with hordes of foes in the game.
Early on, I was struck by how Gungrave VR was trying to be stylish and hardcore. This is NOT an easy game, and despite starting out doing well, the game quickly adapts and will have you contending with more and more foes all at the same time. This really reminded me of some classic arcade shooters, for both good and ill. I could easily see putting dozens of quarters into a machine like this, and it made me glad this was being released on both PS4 and PC.
I will say, despite the fresh coat of paint, it’s evident in retrospect that this title was originally from the early 2000s. A lot of games that came out then were trying to outdo all the others with flash and sizzle. That said, the mechanics of the game work pretty darn well. I never had to scream out for the controls as I played, and only really lost because I didn’t react fast enough (that and a giant mecha scorpion will do it). Having said that, I feel they could have toned down the number of enemies hurling themselves at me at the same time, especially the sturdier ones.
When it works, Gungrave VR is a joy, and you’ll feel very powerful blasting aliens, machines and gun toting mercenaries out of your way. While I doubt this is a very long game, and am pretty sure it’s light on plot, it’s certain to be a wild ride while it lasts. If you’re a fan of the burgeoning VR industry and want to play a game that illustrates what it’s capable of, Gungrave VR is at least worth a look. There’s a visceral joy to it, and the feedback from the controllers makes you really feel like a badass. If nothing else, your friends will get a blast out of watching you fire bullets rapidly and scream as foes try and make short work of you. Here’s hoping XSEED’s latest VR venture is met with success when it releases on both PC and PlayStation 4 in Fall 2018.
E3 2018FPSgungrave vroprainfallrail shooterRed EntertainmentXSEED