Skip to main content

Gungrave G.O.R.E director wants to bring PS2 simplicity back to modern gaming

At first glance, Gungrave G.O.R.E may look like a game out of time. It has the energy of a PlayStation 2 character action game, but its launching on modern consoles including Xbox Series X/S and PS5. The character action game, which revives a long-dormant PlayStation franchise, pays tribute to some of the genre’s greats — stylish hack-and-slash titles like Devil May Cry 3, God Hand, the original God of War titles, and Viewtiful Joe. Like those games, Gungrave G.O.R.E has one simple goal: letting players feel like an over-the-top badass.

Gungrave G.O.R.E - Overview Trailer | PS5 & PS4 Games

That’s no accident, as the developers behind the game specifically set out to create something that could feel like a modern PS2 game. To make that work, theywould have to take a close look at what made that style of game unique and what had to be updated for our modern sensibilities.

Bringing a cult classic to a modern world

If you’ve never heard of Gungrave before, that’s because the series has been dormant for nearly 20 years. Originally launching as a PS2 exclusive back in the early 2000s, Gungrave has since been hailed as a forgotten cult classic of the time. With its first game since 2004, Gungrave G.O.R.E. director Kay Kim looked to recapture that classic PS2 magic for modern audiences.

“The cult classic type of appeal started for us way back with the character design,” Kim tells Digital Trends. “Following that, we got a lot of ideas and inspiration from the original PlayStation 2 game. However, a long time has passed since PS2, so we had to add some new things for modern audiences.”

Grave shooting his guns at enemies in Gungrave GORE.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Gungrave G.O.R.E isn’t a simple rerelease of a PS2 title for new hardware; it’s a total relaunch of a series that was nearly lost to time. With that in mind, the developers needed to walk a careful line when bridging the gap between 2004 and 2022. Its a challenge that the Devil May Cry series faced between its fourth and fifth installments, as the developers were faced with growing the series’ gameplay without tossing out what made it unique. That’s exactly what Gungrave G.O.R.E.‘s team would need to pull off. The title adds new systems and ideas like additional weapons and melee attacks, an experience system, and a new character. It’s also set in the largest world in the series yet.

To make it work, the team would need to look to the modern gaming landscape for inspiration, examining trends like open-world structure and Soulslike action. Kim says the idea of bringing back the series was always in the back of his mind, but it became more of a priority as he realized he wanted to give players a different type of fun. He describes G.O.R.E.‘s unique approach as “something fast and fun. A cool yet not-too-complicated action game.”

It seems very simple, but we wanted to make a “fun game.”

Other inspirations came from totally different industries. The Christian Bale-starring film Equilibrium was a major inspiration thanks to its sword-wielding hero with infinite ammo. More modern movies, including superhero titles from both DC and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, guided that direction too.

“When we designed this, the American-style hero was still the current trend.” Kim said.” Those heroes always worry about peace and saving Earth, but we thought back to the Asian-style hero. Speechless, doesn’t care about peace on Earth, he only cares about one little girl — and that made us feel nostalgic. That’s why we decided to revive Gungrave.”

Grave moving through a metal building.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Simplicity, fun, nostalgia, and “cool factor” were key for the team if it wanted to call back to that PS2 era. Kim mentions how so many games nowadays feature components like in-depth and complex stories, tasks that need to be completed on top of core quests, farming, researching for information, and more.

“It’s a lot,” Kim says. “We simply wanted to make a game that has a cool character with a strong weapon that sets out to destroy his enemies in a visually cool way. It seems very simple, but we wanted to make a ‘fun game,’ and I believe that will rekindle many gaming memories from the past.”

Like Devil May Cry 5Bayonetta 3, and The Wonderful 101Gungrave G.O.R.E aims to bring simple, classic action back to modern gamers. While the latest entry has grown to feel more modern, its big goal is to maintain that core gameplay philosophy. Kim thanks the fans who have stuck with the series and assures them that Gungrave is stronger than ever all these years later. He even hints at a possible sequel with more destruction than ever should the title do well enough. Whether or not that happens will be a matter of whether more players have that craving for good, old-fashioned carnage.

Gungrave G.O.R.E. is out now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

Editors' Recommendations

DeAngelo Epps
De'Angelo Epps is a gaming writer passionate about the culture, communities, and industry surrounding gaming. His work ranges…
How to unlock the Hermit’s Cave in Lies of P
Pinocchio in Lies of P.

Despite clearly taking a lot of inspiration from FromSoftware's seminal titles, specifically Bloodborne, Lies of P has a distinct lack of optional areas. In fact, playing through the game naturally to the end may lead you to believe there aren't any extra zones or locations off the main path at all. That isn't quite true, as there is one area called the Hermit's Cave that stands as the only secret area you can go out of your way to visit. This isn't a place you can just waltz into, though, and has a very cryptic set of steps you need to take in order to access. Here's how you can unlock the Hermit's Cave in Lies of P.

Read more
All costumes in Lies of P and how to get them
Pinocchio in Lies of P.

Not every Soulslike game has a character creator, but even when they do, it tends not to matter much when you will be covered up for the entirety of the game. Lies of P has you play as a set character, but you are free to dress up your puppet boy however you wish. The only hurdle is that you need to find and collect new costumes in order to wear them. Instead of having tons of individual components like pants, shirts, gloves, boots, and more, Lies of P sticks to simple outfits for your body and accessories that are all headwear such as masks, hats, and the like. These costumes are completely cosmetic, meaning they have no impact on your stats whatsoever, so you can feel free to wear your most outlandish outfits with no drawbacks. There are nearly 30 in all to fill your wardrobe with, so let's go on a shopping spree and go over all the costumes in Lies of P and how to get them.
Every costume in Lies of P

We will start with the outfits, of which there are 18 to find, in alphabetical order. Note that there will be two outfits and three accessories that are preorder exclusive. As of the time of this writing, there is no other option to obtain these outfits but we will update this post should that change in the future.

Read more
Play Xbox Game Pass’ weirdest game before it leaves on September 30
weird west leaving game pass september 2023 art

Earlier this year, Arkane Studios disappointed on Xbox Game Pass with Redfall, a game that dropped much of the studio’s immersive sim expertise for an underbaked multiplayer adventure. But what if I told you that the person who founded Arkane and helped create series like Dishonored had left the studio prior to Redfall and made an excellent immersive sim that is also available on Xbox Game Pass?
Well, that actually happened, and the game in question is Weird West.
In March 2022, former Arkane Studios founder Raphaël Colantonio released Weird West under the newly formed WolfEye Studios. While it swaps out a third-person perspective for an isometric one, Weird West is a joyfully odd supernatural Western game that manages to tap into the immersive sim design philosophy that made many of the games Colantonio worked on excellent.
Unfortunately, Weird West is leaving Xbox Game Pass on September 30, so we recommend you give it a shot before it’s gone.
Embracing the weird
Surprisingly, there aren’t a lot of games set in the Wild West, and even fewer that lean into creepy, supernatural elements like Weird West does. The game’s world is full of supernatural cults, magic, and creatures like pigmen, zombies, and werewolves. Its story is told across five distinct campaigns, starting with one about a retired bounty hunter whose child is killed and husband kidnapped, setting her off on an adventure to get them back.
The individual stories of all five of Weird West’s playable characters are emotionally captivating and quite distinct from each other. That’s very noticeable as soon as you jump over to the second story, which follows a human turned into a Pigman. Still, it’s a living and reactive world, so decisions made and characters killed in an earlier character’s journey do have an impact on subsequent characters’ adventures; you can even find and recruit characters that you previously played as.

It’s here where Weird West’s immersive sim roots start to shine, as a lot of emergent narrative moments with impact feel crafted by the player. This carries over into gameplay, which is done from an isometric perspective. Like Arkane’s best games, there are always multiple solutions to any objective, and going in with guns blazing isn’t always the best option. Instead, players are encouraged to stealth around, sweet-talk characters, and even use some magical abilities if the playable character can learn them as they progress through a character’s journey.
With these more dynamic elements, the isometric perspective, and the narrative focus, Weird West can feel like as much of a CRPG as an immersive sim at times. As such, it might be an enjoyable follow-up to Baldur’s Gate 3 for players finally coming off that lengthy RPG. At the very least, if you enjoy games that emphasize player freedom and also find novel ways to make it influence the game’s broader narrative, then you’ll enjoy Weird West.
The game had some technical issues and rough edges when it was first released, so it has flown under the radar. Most of those have all been smoothed over by now, though. Post-launch updates have fixed most of the major bugs and improved the character progression, aiming, and companion and stealth systems by adding more depth and UI clarity to them. Weird West is in the best state it has ever been in, but still feels as distinct and strange as ever.

Read more