Publisher: XSEED, Marvelous
Platform: PS4, PC(Steam)
Price: $24,99 + $9,99 USD ($29,99 for Bundle)
Release Date: December 11th, 2018
Virtual Reality Compatibility:: HTC, Oculus, PSVR
Gungrave is a classic third-person shooter on the PS2. With an upcoming sequel slated to come out on PS4, the original games were ported to PSVR in late 2018. There is also Gungrave VR U.N. which is a stand-alone extension, both games being purchasable together for cheaper on both platforms.
Gungrave was the sort of game that was famous not for its gameplay but rather for the people that worked on it. Designers Yasuhiro Nightow and Kosuke Fujoshima, known for their work on Trigun and Sakura Taisen respectively, designed Gungrave’s distinct characters and machines.
All captures were taken using a base model PS4 Slim and a Model 1 PSVR(ZVR1) and the built-in screenshot function. Everything looks much better in-game and inside the helmet.
There are dozens of shooting gallery games available for VR headsets. Those are usually low quality titles that deservedly fly under the radar. Gungrave arrives on PSVR to offer a higher level of quality to fans of shooting games. Although the game itself is mediocre by modern standards, the gameplay translates very smoothly to VR.
There isn’t any depth to the controls. You move around, aim with the headset’s gaze and shoot while occasionally blocking and evading. It might sound simple but please do remember that the hardest games are often times the most mechanically simple. Very early into Gungrave I found myself unable to coast through levels as easily as I did during the first levels.
My first impression when playing was extremely positive. Everything looked clear, the controls were tight and having a third person perspective in VR was a fresh experience. As you’d expect from a game with a famous cast of designers, it certainly doesn’t lack when it comes in terms of originally and polish.
Gungrave VR got shoved aside together with most of the low-effort shooting galleries by most users. It was an interesting VR port but it lacked any real promotion. The gameplay itself was alright but the game itself is very dated. Even though it was difficult to beat I felt no real satisfaction towards it.
Gungrave was an interesting VR port experiment but ultimately failed to stand out. There are many games out there whose fanbases are waiting for a VR port, Gungrave just wasn’t the right one.