Top Critic Average
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Graven - Official PC Launch Trailer
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Critic Reviews for Graven
It feels like there were some very specific ideas the creators of Graven wanted to communicate. But while those ideas sometimes weave together with the game’s dark fantasy, old-school shooter style to form some immaculate vibes, that’s about as deep as it gets. The game seems confused about whether or not it wants to be an awesome action game, a thoughtful explorative puzzler, or some kind of mutant Soulslike gimmick. It sputters across the finish line not really achieving anything but a cool look, undermined constantly by boredom. It’s a shame, because Graven has a hell of a vibe. But there’s simply too much bonkin’ and not enough bangin’.
Time-machine nostalgia and a pixel-perfect retro vibe can only carry Graven so far. Combat, exploration, and level design have to ferry the player to the end. Unfortunately, Graven has enough issues in these areas that its very promising premise isn’t quite fulfilled. Players who grew up with mid-90s shooters will appreciate what Graven has to offer, at least for a while. Ultimately, it might make them appreciate how far we’ve come.
Graven feels like it's a game with a identity crisis. Along with being a boomer shooter, it also feels like it's trying to be an RPG, a dungeon crawler, and an immersive sim. Sadly, none of these ideas really feel like they come together well enough, and even the core combat feels incredibly unsatisfying owing to a lack of hit reactions from enemies. This is a shame, considering how interesting its world actually ends up being.