Gungrave - PlayStation VR Review

Fill your enemy with lead

Game Info:

  • System: PSVR
  • Publisher: XSEED Games, Marvelous
  • Developer: IGGYMOB
  • Release Date: December 11, 2018

Who it Caters to

GUNGRAVE-VR-game-300x379 Gungrave - PlayStation VR Review
We love anime-based games here at Honey’s Anime. Watching an anime is fun and exciting but getting to live that experience behind a controller is an immersive treat that isn’t given as often as we’d like. Thankfully, developer IGGYMOB alongside publishers XSEED Games and Marvelous have teamed up to release a classic anime series—that aired in the early 2000s—in a PSVR title. Known as Gungrave VR, players will wield an arsenal of guns and strange weapons to unleash a devastating bullet rain on the enemies before them. If your interest is piqued—and we know it is—you can continue reading below to see our full review of Gungrave VR and see what’s in store for you as a player.

What to Expect

GUNGRAVE-VR-game-300x379 Gungrave - PlayStation VR Review
Gungrave VR is a third person action shooter where players assume the role of legendary dead assassin Grave. Players will need to use Grave’s arsenal of guns and his powerful coffin to eliminate baddies left and right. Gungrave VR at times will switch from two perspectives a third person focus and a first person on the rail shooter. With a style similar to the anime and tons of action, Gungrave VR is an arcade experience for your PSVR. Get ready for some bullet mayhem!


GUNGRAVE-VR-game-300x379 Gungrave - PlayStation VR Review
In Gungrave VR, players assume the role of Grave, a man who walks with his coffin around his back and is ready to fill the enemy with lead. Grave is tasked by Mika and her organization to stop a lethal drug named SEED that has reemerged causing mayhem in South City. The undead killer quickly rearms himself and enters the new battle ready to kill anyone who stands in his way. Can you defeat the new enemy and rid the world of SEED once and for all? Enter Gungrave VR where your guns will allow you to have a fighting chance in the new war that has begun!


GUNGRAVE-VR-game-300x379 Gungrave - PlayStation VR Review
Back in 2003, Studio Madhouse released an interesting action series known as Gungrave. With intense gun fights and a wickedly cool main character—Grave—it wasn’t hard to see why Gungrave spawned not only an anime series that lasted 26 episodes but also two video games for the PS2. The games came out nearly 15 years ago which made us believe that Gungrave was all but put to rest. However, developer IGGYMOB released a rather interesting new Gungrave title in the form of a VR experience for the PSVR. How does this new title play on the PlayStation’s VR system? Let us find out in our review of Gungrave VR!

The main premise of Gungrave VR is rather interesting. Players assume the role of Beyond the Grave—or just better known as Grave—but not in the literal sense. In a rather unique way, the player is almost like a guardian to Grave as Gungrave VR is a third person perspective, at least initially. Though as the game progresses, players end up also playing through a first-person perspective that is similar to old school on the rail shooters. Thus, Gungrave VR is almost like two gameplay genres in one title. Yet, the question remains…do both genres work or do they ultimately fail?

First, let us look at the third person gameplay Gungrave VR tends to focus on. As Grave, the player is able to wield dual handguns that spit out bullets and also are equipped with a large coffin that can turn into a machine gun and be used as a melee weapon. Gungrave VR works quite well during these segments with controls being split into two, the player’s head movement acts as the camera to point out where Grave can shoot and the controller acts as the main medium of how to unleash hell on the enemy. It’s a simple set up that makes for a rather easy but fun bullet parade with our only gripe being that dodging tends to not work well enough to rely on it. Cooling down your guns and blasting enemies with them is fluid but when you try to avoid damage, you’re going to notice that the dodging mechanic almost requires a perfect reflex from the player to actually avoid damage. Whether this is our own skill level or Gungrave VR’s set up is to be determined by each gamer but it was a bit of an annoyance during boss fights and or sequences where bullets were flying at us.

The second element of Gungrave VR is the first person on the rails experience. While special attacks in third person tend to put players into a first-person viewpoint—which is just you looking at the enemy and the game unleashes bullets at that spot—there are sequences where third person doesn’t exist at all. These first-person segments tend to be really cool and we honestly have little to complain about. The intensity experienced during the third person sections is ramped up and Gungrave VR feels more like an actual VR game. We do actually wish the whole of Gungrave VR was first person as the battles felt more immersive than being behind Grave’s enormous back. However, the two perspectives you take while playing Gungrave VR make the overall experience feel less repetitive and neither style feels particularly weak.

Lastly, our gameplay segment ends with us discussing the graphics and music for Gungrave VR. In terms of sound, Gungrave VR is a real treat. Players can either listen to dialogue in Japanese or English and neither option is bad by any means. The music also is quite wicked making each level a real blast to enjoy. We sometimes would feel almost like we were in the middle of a giant shootout because the epic OST would get our hearts racing. Visually, Gungrave VR also looks pretty darn awesome with its anime-like cel shading that makes environments pop with nice colors. The environments change quite a bit too so you don’t get that déjà vu effect you tend to experience with most VR games.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

GUNGRAVE-VR-game-300x379 Gungrave - PlayStation VR Review
Honestly folks, we didn’t know what to expect with Gungrave VR initially. We worried that the huge hiatus between games would make Gungrave VR feel like a placeholder to keep the series alive but in the end, Gungrave VR works quite well. The two styles of gameplay—first and third perspective—each have their strengths and minor weaknesses but neither is less enjoyable than the other. This ultimately makes Gungrave VR a solid VR title for the PSVR and warrants a recommendation to download it without delay. The price might be a bit steep for a PSVR game but Gungrave VR delivers enough to warrant the price tag in our honest opinions.

Honey's Pros:

  • Two gameplay experience play out quite well and give Gungrave VR diversity
  • Strong anime-like visual
  • Great OST and voice work (English and Japanese)
  • Action feels intense leaving players a nice immersive VR experience

Honey's Cons:

  • The story feels a bit shallow
  • Dodging doesn’t work well in our opinions

Honey's Final Verdict:

GUNGRAVE-VR-game-300x379 Gungrave - PlayStation VR Review
Gungrave VR is fast, visceral and full of VR arcade action to warrant a download for any owner of the PSVR. Even if you’re new to Gungrave’s lore and have never played the previous games or watched the anime series, Gungrave VR is still a ton of fun and we can’t recommend it enough. Are you thinking of downloading or buying Gungrave VR? Comment below so we can hear your thoughts! For more game reviews and other anime related articles, be sure to stick around to our hive here at Honey’s Anime.

GUNGRAVE-VR-game-300x379 Gungrave - PlayStation VR Review


Author: Aaron

Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!

Previous Articles

Top 5 Anime by Aaron