GunGrave VR is based on a PS2 title of the same name. The original was a less than average shooter for its time with little going in its favor outside of its character designs and anime art style. It developed a cult following large enough to warrant a sequel. Over a decade and a half later, there’s a VR version of the title that doesn’t leverage the medium in any meaningful way and generally suffers from the same issues that plagued the PS2 original.
On a fundamental level, GunGrave is your standard third-person shooter with some modifications made to controls to improve VR comfort. The camera rotates in increments, as seen in other VR titles such as Resident Evil VII. Free aim is performed via the headset gaze with the crosshair locked at the center of the screen. It gets the job done as far as VR comfort is concerned, although the fast-paced nature of the gameplay can still lead to some dizziness at times. There’s also a close range melee attack for dealing with nearby enemies, as well as a dodge roll that allows you to escape tight situations. It’s also possible to slow down time for a limited period, and also aim in the first person.
The game features a total of five levels, and it’s possible to run through the story mode in an hour or so. You’ll be battling waves of enemies and progressing to the next area in monotonous fashion for a large portion of the game. When not doing the aforementioned, you’ll find yourself in on-rails segments that have you shoot away at incoming enemies as well as their projectiles.
Despite featuring some varying scenarios that put you on a train and even in a snowmobile, these sections generally lack the thrill and excitement found in other on-rails games. VR as a medium does little to enhance the experience in this case. Towards the end of each level is a boss fight. Bosses are generally bullet sponges that exhibit little to no reaction to your weapon fire. As a result, these encounters aren’t very enjoyable, much like the rest of the game.
The game’s visuals come off as extremely dated and unappealing. Character models and environments sport less detail than one would expect from a game in 2018, even for a PSVR title. Sound effects are satisfying and get the job done, though the music is entirely forgettable. It’s pretty clear that GunGrave VR is a low budget title built from asset work found in the original PS2 game.
On the whole, it’s tough to recommend GunGrave VR to anyone outside of GunGrave purists, and even then there isn’t enough content here to justify its asking price. It doesn’t help that what little of the game is it is largely monotonous and a chore to play through. The GunGrave IP certainly has potential with its stylish aesthetic and character design, but it hasn’t been realized here. The lack of a meaningful reason to play the game in VR hurts it even further.
GunGrave VR Review (PSVR)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: The acclaimed GUNGRAVE series is reborn on PlayStation®VR!
Final Score - 4/10
GunGrave VR is tough to recommend to anyone outside of GunGrave purists, and even then there isn’t enough content here to justify its asking price, and what's there is largely a chore to play through.