If you asked us to guess which PS2 game would get a sequel in the year 2022, there's no chance we'd have said Gungrave. The original launched back in 2002 and was the brainchild of mangaka Yasuhiro Nightow, best known for writing the critically acclaimed Trigun. The original Gungrave was a stylish, albeit incredibly basic, third-person shooter about a man named Grave. Armed with two pistols, unlimited ammo, and a giant coffin, he takes on a drug syndicate and the four bosses that run it.
After 20 years, a sequel, an anime series, and two VR titles comes Gungrave G.O.R.E.; a stylish, incredibly basic third-person shooter in which Grave takes on a drug syndicate and the four bosses that run it. Yes, for better or worse, this is Gungrave.
The main gameplay loop is walking down corridors and shooting everything in sight with your dual pistols. You'll be shooting constantly as you make your way through hordes of enemies, with the odd super move, grab, or basic melee combo to break things up. As pistols aren't automatic, neither is shooting. Expect to mash the R2 button like the sweatiest 15-year-old in a CoD lobby. If you don't do permanent damage to your hands, you're definitely damaging the trigger. This is especially annoying since the original game had a hold-to-fire toggle.
When the game takes a break from corridors, it offers up level design like the train level early on, which is frankly atrocious. The difficulty doesn't feel earned considering how clunky the game feels. This is bad enough during normal missions, but when you can fall off the side of a small platform for an instant game over, it's even worse. The game repeats this trick multiple times throughout.
If you're someone who heard "a new Gungrave" and got excited, this is a game for you. For what it's worth, it nails that. It genuinely feels like a lost PS2 game, and that's the kind of thing we love. Although, the original game had the benefit of only being around two hours long, while G.O.R.E. clocks in at about 12. However, we can't in good faith recommend someone to spend £45 on this, outside of those with an affinity for the series.