Grood – Review
Follow Genre: 2.5D Side scrolling shoot 'em up
Developer: Claudio Catalano, CC_ARTS, Drageus Games S.A.
Publisher: Drageus Games, Drageus Games S.A., Claudio Catalano, CC_ARTS
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch,
Tested on: Switch

Grood – Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: Intense and fun
Bad: Challenging to the point of putting off some players
User Score
8.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Grood is a 2.5D Side-scrolling shoot ’em up, with strong arcade and heavy metal themes. Developed by Claudio Catalano, CC_ARTS and Drageus Games S.A., and published by Drageus Games, Drageus Games S.A., Claudio Catalano and CC_ARTS for an initial release in 2018, the game was recently released for Switch on October 23rd. With a blend of classic arcade mechanics and modern low poly artwork, this high octane game is fast-paced and challenging. Can you defeat everything the game throws at you?

Story

The story of Grood is simple, yet solid. A classic tale of insane, apocalyptic scale robotic invasions and the underdog fighter craft, destined to fight off their endless waves through a world of environments. From harshest deserts to populous cities, you will face and destroy the evil horde that stands (or flies) before you.

It is a delightfully straightforward ordeal, with very few bells and whistles tagged on, and only a single screen of text between you and Armageddon. CC_ARTS, the proclaimed one-man studio of Claudio Catalano, spent 2 years working on this project. It very much seems like a passion project that brought us this fun-fuelled rampage.

Graphics

The graphics are simplistic and pleasing, but still incredibly well done. A highly polished use of modern low poly artwork design, rough-edged spheres, cubic pixel sparks and metal slug style uniform explosions all blend together well. The end result is a very clean feel to the design.

What makes it stand out, however, is the clever use of options for background weather and lighting mixing. Every playthrough is a different mix of the day/night cycle, weather effects of rain, sun, lightning, wind and at some moments what appears to be a firestorm. The random blending of these gives a huge range of depth and feel, for increased replayability. The only complaint is that the gameplay is so fast, we couldn’t fully appreciate a lot of these features. One feature we couldn’t help but notice however, was the damage indicator. While the thuds and shakes from the near constant vibrations made us feel every impact, the splitting glass image when near instant death had particular effect, as well as making the game all the more challenging. It wasn’t until our fifth attempt we even realised the health indicators on the side of the ship…

Sound

One of our favourite aspects of this game was definitely the soundtrack, a factor that is clearly agreed on by many, as it is now available as a separate purchase on Steam. This is what really adds to the high octane adrenaline vibes of the game: unrelenting heavy metal. The hard and fast rhythms gives the same feelings as playing Doom, which is one of strength and the need to move faster and hit harder. It becomes incredibly empowering.

Gameplay

Grood is a side scrolling 2.5D shoot ’em up that strives to push the player hard to go further and reach the highest score they can, much like an arcade game by placing you on a scoreboard against all other players. The gameplay itself is very well designed, if not punishingly hard. Just to be clear on this, there are three difficulties to choose from: HARD, HARD, or HARD. Quite literally. The player can find this out very quickly, as it is possible to be destroyed in around 10 seconds from the start. With the quick introductory premise, you are immediately piloting, and not in a “move up and down fast enough and you’ll hit everything” kind of way. Tactics are required, which boils down to watching where your vehicle is, what’s coming up, and what is about to hit you. All of this is happening very, very fast. The way you move tilts your aim, the missile trajectory from enemies is near impossible to guess, and laser grids, kamikaze drones and a host of other enemies bombard you constantly. In the end, you just have to be faster.

This is likely where some people would be put off as they would find the constant failure just before the next stage frustrating. Then again, fans of Cuphead, Doom, Souls, this is right up your street. You know just around the corner is your next ability and upgrade; the slow time boost, the shotgun, the Gatling gun upgrade, the lasers, all giving you a small edge on what is being thrown at you. Persist and survive, and you know you will be rewarded.

Alongside all this, Grood also comes with online functions, an arcade scoreboard to see where you rank, and for just a little extra insanity, a co-op mode!

Conclusion

This indie side scrolling bullet hell is a fantastic addition to the gaming market, particularly the Switch handheld console. It’s perfect for a quick blast on the bus, a few minutes of time to kill in a waiting room, or an hour with no other plans. Dive in and get ready for the rush, and the inevitable destruction of both you and your enemies. If you are apprehensive about the grind and potential rage quit, this might not be the game for you, but for the masochists among us who love the challenge and the metal that accompanies it, at its low price, including the soundtrack, this game is too good a deal to pass up.

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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Grood - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Jayderlee


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