GORN – Visceral Reality

GORN! What is best in life?

To crush your enemies, unlock new weapons and to hear the laughter of the crowd.

That is good. That is good.

GORN – Visceral Reality is an Early Access title on Steam that is currently enjoying a LOT of positive attention.  At the time of writing the game is still sitting on the ‘Best Sellers’ and ‘What is being experienced’ lists under the Virtual Reality section of Steam.  The forums are extremely active and filled with enthusiasm.  It’s time for me to find out why –

FAIR WARNING: The game (and therefore this video) contain some pretty graphic cartoon violence.  Having said that, it’s also hilarious. 

Okay, so that explains a lot.

GORN – Visceral Reality places you in the fighting arena of barbaric gladiators.  Using a variety of weapons ranging from your fists to stones, flails, warhammers, spears, bows and more you will defeat waves of enemies.  Heck, you can even rip off an enemys appendage and clobber them to death with it!

Visually the game uses a cartoonish, cel-shaded look; despite that visuals are pretty slick and smooth.  The enemy models are fully destructible from what I saw with varying degrees of flesh and appendages being removable with either weapons or by hand.

Audio is for the most part clangs, crashes, thuds and laughter, all suitable for the game.  Currently there is no musical score, although remember the game is in Early Access so that may change.  Some Basil Poledouris sure would add a lot of atmosphere and I did actually have the ol’ Conan The Barbarian soundtrack playing in some of my subsequent playthroughs of the game.

GORN – Visceral Reality is a heck of a lot of fun to play, although you’re going to want to be relatively fit for any extended playthroughs.  For myself I managed to play in 20-30 minute chunks with a good rest between each session.  The 1:1 motion tracking makes the game much more accurate and enjoyable than those early Nintendo Wii games.  The weapon (or shield) in your hand will move exactly where you want it to go when you want it to go there.  While for the most part I simply pointed the sharp end at enemies and wiggled it about, later opponents will require more thought, strategy and agility on your part.

BE WARNED that the game requires a play area of at least 2m x 2m and you’ll want to make sure that it’s very clear of obstacles.  In just my short playthrough video above I managed to bash my hand controller into the cupboard, leaving a dent.  Thankfully nothing broke but I can definitely see how easy it would be to hit things.  The forums are filled with such reports.  Some horrific (broken hand controllers or injuries), others hilarious.

Currently the game is single player only with no plans for co-op or versus play, which is a pity as I’d love to team up with a friend for some carnage.  One of the developers in the Steam forums, ‘Raithza’, is on the record as saying – “If GORN makes a million sales maybe”, which most people took on board as a challenge.  Despite the game being an awful lot of fun that’s still a big challenge though.

At the time of publishing GORN – Visceral Reality is enjoying 429 positive reviews on Steam and only 13 negative. Of those negative reviews the biggest complaint appears to be the difficulty later in the game.  As I mentioned earlier though, picking the right weapon for the job and a healthy dollop of agility is going to help you there.

As an old school gamer who spent countless hours playing the classic Barbarian (or Death Sword) back in the day with friends this is a dream come true for me and I’m really keen to see how the game grows and evolves as it leaves Early Access.

GORN – Visceral Reality is currently available on Steam as an Early Access title for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift – http://store.steampowered.com/app/578620/GORN/

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