Gripper, from developer Heart Core, looks to be a fantastic futuristic game with a focus on reflexes and fast-paced vehicular combat. We spent some hands-on time with Gripper thanks to a new Steam demo and had a blast. The demo – which starts you off with a short cutscene and then a chase sequence – is a great introduction as players have to dodge holes, avoid pillars, and race through closing doors while avoiding an enemy in pursuit. It’s very reminiscent of some old-school video games which implemented similar sequences back in the day and, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
Once you’ve got through this initial challenge, you’ll face off against a boss enemy. However, something happens and you end up elsewhere, having to off against another boss-type enemy and learn to use your grappling hook to destroy it. It’s not the longest demo but it is exciting.
Gameplay in Gripper involves – unsurprisingly – gripping onto enemies and objects while dodging projectiles and environmental hazards. You’ll have access to equippable items and you’ll constantly gain experience points that you can use to upgrade your craft. Gripping onto an object allows you to either rip it out of the ground or pick it up and use it as a projectile. You can even grip onto smaller enemies and use them as weapons too.
The game’s premise is great and, while we did enjoy what we played, there’s a distinct lack of polish as of right now. Some of the translations in the English version we played seem a bit off and the difficulty level seems to be incredibly high from the get-go. It took us quite a while to get to grips (hah!) with pulling parts off the boss enemy and surviving a constant stream of explosions but, once we did, it was enjoyable. If the developers can refine the gameplay formula and maybe make the game a bit less punishing out tthe gate, they might have a hit title on their hands.
Graphically, Gripper looks flat-out gorgeous with extremely eye-catching visuals alongside a vibrant art style with cyber-futuristic themes going on. The soundtrack is also excellent with electro-synth music lending its vibe to the title. There is some voice acting too but, with this being a demo, we’re not sure if every character interaction will be voiced in the final release build or not.
So based on our time with the demo, Gripper is definitely a title you should keep your eye on though and if you like what you see, wishlist it on Steam to keep up with its development updates.
An Early Access demo preview code for Gripper was provided to gameblur by the publisher.