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Gorn emerges from the early access arena soaked in blood

Gladiatorial VR slugfest Gorn has finally left early access after a full two years of tweaking and tuning. While perhaps not as technically impressive as newer virtual reality hack n’ slashers, Free Lives’ brawler has been a favourite for the space-goggle crowd since its debut. Out yesterday, the 1.0 patch adds a final boss to the story mode. Now, big-headed Emperor Alimta will face you once you’ve nobbled all of his champions. Below, a launch trailer, and a reminder that if hyperviolence isn’t your jam, there’s a mode that turns all the gladiators into pinatas full of delicious sweets.

The launch update for Gorn feels incremental, but important. With the final boss in place, the game now has an actual ending, outside of endurance survival challenges. Also added this patch is a cannon weapon, for when you absolutely must make someone explode RIGHT NOW, and a few new giant-sized enemies. Tech wise, they’ve upgraded to the latest version of Unity and added support for Valve’s fancy finger-tracking Index controllers, so you can raise a middle finger to the Emperor. Or get a really good grip when you want to beat a man to death with another man’s arm.

While obviously being a big dumb exercise in cartoon gore, Free Lives clearly had fun with some of the stuff in Gorn. Can’t understand a word in the trailer above? That’s because they came up with their own fictional language (both spoken and written) for the game. Turns out that as well as being fun to listen to, those guttural pseudo-latin syllables make for fun rap. They even produced a whole small album here (although there’s only partial English translations), and the trailer-turned-music-video below. I’m not quite sure what KIROIM ES BEKI means, but it’s fun to say.

Gorn is out now on Steam and Humble for £11.24/€15/$15 and supports Index, Vive and Rift VR setups. Windows Mixed Reality isn’t listed, but has partial compatibility. The launch patch notes are here, and the game is published by Devolver Digital.

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Dominic Tarason

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