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Game Info:

GORSD
Developed By: Springloaded
Published By: Springloaded
Released: September 19, 2020
Available On: Windows, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Playstation 4
Genre: Action, Party
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ for Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood (PS4, XBO); Teen for Blood, Violence (NSW)
Number of Players: 1-4 shared screen
Price: $16.99

Thanks to Springloaded for sending us a review copy!

Are you a person man who is ready for the GORSD? I don’t know if that’s supposed to be an acronym, but what really matters is that this 2020 action-heavy party game is a twisted offering of “intense arena combat.”

The setup is simple and straightforward. You are spawned in an arena of up to four players in a maze of twisting, branching, looping corridors. As you move through the maze, you will paint the floor behind you in your player color (or your team's colors in team games). This is the core goal of the game – paint the map in your color. It’s a mechanic that will be immediately likened to Splatoon.

Each player has a single bullet that can be fired to kill the first player it crosses – but this bullet will ricochet and rebound through the halls according to which direction you fire it with. You can even end up on the receiving end of your shot if you don’t catch it properly. Killing enemies results in an explosion that will paint the floor in your color. Explosions from killing each other also grow larger as the game continues. As players die, they are respawned, quickly at first, but repeated deaths will gradually increase the respawn timer. Matches of GORSD start in a frenzy as players hurl bullets all over the place and repeatedly kill each other. As the explosions grow in size, and respawn timers up the ante of every death, the pace gradually slows down to meticulously measured maneuvering between players looking to line up a perfect shot. It’s a simple and well-explored method to push a game to its close, and it works.

GORSD
Highlights:

Strong Points: Simple mechanics; hectic pacing that changes organically over a match
Weak Points: Too chaotic for players that want a skill-heavy game
Moral Warnings: Blood sport; a bloody messy explosion; fictional gods with real-world inspiration

There are a variety of game modes to change up the dynamics. The Standard mode requires you to cover the entire map in your color, and games tend to go longer. Domination asks you to control more of the map over time, and pushes players to be aggressive. Hunter has each team taking turns to paint as much of the map as possible before they die, like a game of cat and mouse. Death Match and Kill Count forgo the painting mechanics and simply task players with killing each other to either become the last man standing or to reach the kill count first. Adventure also has a Timed Puzzle mode where your goal is to paint the entire map within the time limit.

GORSD does come with a single-player Adventure mode. You play as a newborn octopus infused with the light of the gods, so that you may fight in the temple arenas for their amusement. The arenas start off simple enough, and the game smoothly eases you in, gradually upping the intensity. After your fourth failure, you will be downgraded to a mere worm in an explosion of blood as you shed the rest of your body; this is a purely cosmetic change to display your shameful performance before the gods, but it also unlocks an Easy difficulty. For the most part, I managed to worm my way through the levels on Normal difficulty.

By the end of the Adventure however, matches were so chaotic and the action so difficult to predict that my skill began to matter less while luck started to dominate my chances of winning. This would be fine in the multiplayer since GORSD advertises itself as a Party game, but having this in a single-player mode was frustrating. I ended up switching to Easy for the second pair of bosses, and for the final gauntlet run. I’m sure a speedrunner-tier player could blitz through it all, but I suspect that it would be via exploiting the AI in a manner similar to high level Pac-Man players.

The player sprites are quite adorable, which is a stark contrast to the gods of the Adventure mode. The five gods in the game look friendly, but simultaneously impossible to understand. I have to congratulate Springloaded on their design here: true to their design intent, whenever the gods spoke, I felt a little disturbed, and very much uncomfortable. Players leave a wake as they paint the floor behind them, and explosions are a brilliant display of pixelated pyromancy. The graphics and sounds are clear and straight to the point; there’s never any confusion about what’s what, and the air of disinterest by the gods is mirrored in the soundtrack.

GORSD
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 74%
Gameplay – 14/20
Graphics – 7/10
Sound – 7/10
Stability – 5/5
Controls – 4/5

Morality Score - 84%
Violence – 5/10
Language – 10/10
Sexual Content – 10/10
Occult/Supernatural – 7/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical – 10/10

The game was perfectly stable and the controls were tight and responsive, but I wish there were a more in-depth tutorial for bullet pathing. For the most part, the turns taken by your bullets is predictable, but there were many weird bullet paths that I would have liked to be able to break down and examine. This generally wouldn’t matter with the action being as hectic as it is, so it's not a problem that game lacks such a tutorial, but it would be especially helpful for the Timed Puzzle levels. Speaking of which, the Timed Puzzles threw me straight into the action. Normally, puzzles of this sort have the sense to pause the game and allow the player to analyse the puzzle before making any moves, but GORSD didn’t allow me that grace period.

I had a quick look at the multiplayer on my own, but it’s the same as the single player. Make sure you bring enough controllers for the party! Springloaded also provided a review key for the Library of GORSD DLC, but there’s not much to say here. It’s exactly what it says on the tin. Simply walk rightwards to be taken on a guided tour of the developer’s thoughts, a peek at some cut content, and a jukebox.

The morality of this game might be likened to a blood sport. You’ve got plenty of killing, but deaths are quick and the corpses simply explode. When you are shamed for failing in Adventure mode, your octopus body will explode violently, caking the room in blood; the worm form that springs forth leaves behind bloody footsteps as it bounces across the floor. One of the rooms in Adventure mode is made of flesh, as it is set inside an unknown creature. The gods in Adventure mode seem intended to evoke the blood sacrifices of Aztec superstitions.

GORSD only took me about five hours to run through; it was an afternoon well spent. With its simple mechanics and chaotic pacing, it’s well suited to be a party game. It’s never going to be as universally approachable as Mario Party, but if your group is looking for a more frantic party game to spend the afternoon on, consider getting GORSD when it next goes on sale.

About the Author

Elvin Ong

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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