PAX EAST 2023 | "Gori: Cuddly Carnage"
The elevator pitch for Gori: Cuddly Carnage is simple: a cat rides a bloodthirsty hoverboard. Okay, that doesn’t sound entirely simple, and it’s not entirely just about that. Combining aspects of Jet Set Radio and Devil May Cry, Angry Demon Studio’s upcoming violent adventure game is one that’ll make players either laugh themselves stupid or really confuse them. After playing the PAX East demo at the Wired Productions booth, I felt somewhere between the middle.
After my spaceship is damaged, Gori and his hoverboard land on Earth, which has since become pretty much human-less. The reason: a popular unicorn toy went rogue and killed them all. And these unicorns still want blood, and you’re the closest breathing thing in the vicinity. Using your board skills, you can lay waste to the deadly unicorns, as well as reach high areas and perform some killer tricks.
When focused on the hoverboard elements, Gori: Cuddly Carnage showcases a a very fun side. While nowhere near the same level as a classic Tony Hawk game, performing rails and combos has a very satisfying feel to it. Sliding off of billboards, which help to power up your hoverboard’s “other” skills, also has a cool and slick vibe that brings to mind Mirror’s Edge and Ghostrunner. However, when it’s time for the combat part, the game can be a little hit-or-miss.
Killing evil unicorns is fun, no doubt, as Gori goes to town decapitating and dismembering every horned bastard nearby. But there are times where the waves of unicorns can go on for a bit too long. As a result, the shock value can become diluted, especially when it reaches a point where you think there might be a glitch in the game. (Thankfully, one of the team members at Wired Productions told me that some of these parts will be retooled in the main game.)
A boss battle involving a dismembered laser-shooting hand was the real highlight of the demo. Complete chaos happens, as unicorns shoot and attack you while you take on this strange enemy. It did take me awhile to figure out how to beat that zombie hand, but once the solution came to me, the fight managed to be a lot more fun. Here’s hoping that future boss battles deliver on the same level of mayhem.
When it comes to its comedy, it’ll depend on how you feel about [adult swim] and its programming. Sometimes a joke works, and it gets a laugh out of me. However, a few lines felt a little forced, almost becoming nonsensical in the scheme of things. These jokes hit more than miss, but the ones who strike out do stick out more, unfortunately.
Nevertheless, there’s potential for Gori: Cuddly Carnage. The key elements are sharp, but it is clear that there’s still some ironing of the wrinkles to do. If it manages to fix the repetitive parts and throw in some more powerful zingers, then it has the chance to catch the eye of those who thought the game Stray could’ve used more psychotic unicorns. Come Summer 2023, I hope that Gori: Cuddly Carnage delivers a solid Ollie with a flawlessly bloody landing.