The year is 2023, and formulative 1970s anime UFO Robot Grendizer has just been revived as a modern action game. Developed by French studio Endroad, UFO Robot Grendizer: The Feast of the Wolves has a clear reverence for the source material, and although it's an undeniably rough product in terms of technical performance, fans of old-school anime may find a lot to like about this surprisingly varied release.
Primarily, you play as Duke Fleed, alien royalty who winds up on Earth after his home planet is devastated by an evil galactic empire. Our hero pilots the titular giant robot Grendizer in defence of our blue marble, fighting alongside humanity against the aforementioned invaders. The good news is that even if you're completely unfamiliar with Grendizer, the game presents its classic sci-fi story rather well.
The fully-voiced narrative plays out over a roughly eight-hour campaign, which sees you brawl across open levels as Grendizer, and blast your way through on-rails shooter segments as both the Grendizer's ship form and the TFO — a flying craft piloted by Earth's ace fighter, Koji.
The gameplay's pretty basic in all of its guises, but it is enjoyable. Even though Grendizer's melee combat boils down to straightforward combos, special moves, and dodge rolls, it all feels suitably punchy, and there's just enough enemy variety to stop things from growing too repetitive. There are big boss battles at the end of every story chapter, too, and they're genuinely entertaining encounters — highlights of the whole experience.
Unfortunately, at least at launch, The Feast of the Wolves is held back by performance issues and bugs. It's not terrible, but the frame rate consistently struggles to maintain its 60 frames-per-second target, resulting in a choppy release. What's more, there's noticeable environmental pop-in throughout, and Grendizer can sometimes get caught on terrain, interrupting certain combat actions. A real shame.
UFO Robot Grendizer: The Feast of the Wolves is a heartfelt tribute to the giant robot genre. It's clearly a lower budget title, and technical issues certainly sour the experience somewhat, but there's good, straightforward fun to be found if you're a fan of classic anime.