What You Need to Know About Punishing: Gray Raven as Launch Day Nears - IGN (2024)

Already a proven overseas sensation for Android & iOS, Punishing: Gray Raven is making its English debut across North America, Europe, Australia and South-East Asia today. Featuring deep action combat, stunning visuals and a deep narrative, developers Kuro Game have delivered a massive game that will grow in time through episodic updates.

Punishing: Gray Raven brings cyberpunk action-RPG depth and style to mobile. Here’s how:

Combo-heavy action

Inspired by the likes of Bayonetta and Devil May Cry, this isn’t a mindless button-masher. There’s Matrix-style slow motion dodging, aerial juggle combos, and (if you’ve got the reflexes) some characters can even enter a Metal Gear Rising-esque parry stance if they dare to meet every attack head-on.

Adaptable Graphics

An indelible artistic style and super fluid animations make Punishing: Gray Raven a futuristic adventure that translates smartly on most platforms. While you’ll need a newish phone or tablet to get the most out of it, scalable graphics settings mean it’ll play well and maintain its distinctive look on most hardware.

A dark tale and peculiar perspectives

The official manga series on the PGR website weaves a substantive story thread that serves as the foundation of this game. Presented largely in a visual novel format, players unravel the secrets that drove mankind from the face of the earth. Further insight can be found in cinematic sequences and hidden, optional chapters which let you play as the villains and see the world from their perspective. Maybe they’re not so villainous after all…

Fight alongside friends

While primarily a single-player experience, players hunting for rare items can go online and team-up with one or two friends to tackle the toughest boss battles. Every main character has signature moves and passive skills you can practice in training missions. Keep on your toes, protect and lead, or follow your friends depending on your experience level Share the wins and loot together!

It’s not all fighting

Even cyborg super-soldiers need some R&R. Between battles players can recover, farm useful materials, build and decorate their own Dorm, and even populate it with adorable mini versions of their squad members. Mentoring has its rewards in this game and treating the mini-folk well may even yield some neat surprises.

Gacha without the grind

Punishing: Gray Raven lets players pay to draw new characters at random to add to your squad, but the Chinese and Japanese versions have garnered praise for how almost every item can be acquired in-game without paying real money. This version maintains that proud tradition, though if there’s a specific character, outfit or weapon you really, really want, in-game purchases are available.

Match-3 puzzling in the heat of battle

Special moves work differently in PGR—as you hit enemies with basic attacks, you accumulate a bar of colored orbs on your HUD, with each color corresponding to one of your character’s special moves. Tap one orb for a basic attack, tap a chain of two for a stronger version, and three in a row for a super-powered variant. Deciding which orbs to use to create chains for bigger hits is a game-within-a game that’s challenging (but rewarding) to pull off while dodging, parrying and countering in battle.

Console-style gaming action calls for full console controls

Boasting full controller remapping, native Xbox gamepad controls, and even support for Bluetooth keyboards, PGR is truly platform agnostic. This feature is especially useful when playing the game emulated on PC, which a significant number of PGR players do.

Involved party buildin’ and battlin’

PGR uses a tag-team combat system which lets you switch between the three members of your active squad instantly, and chain lethal combo attacks among heroes. Learning and mastering these nuances can have a big impact even in the heat of battle. After fighting, you can level-up your crew by enhancing their abilities and stats, while determining which combination of heroes is best suited for your next mission.

The sound of the future

If you’re playing Punishing: Gray Raven on a mobile device, plug in your headphones! This title is imbued with a powerful electronica-heavy soundtrack courtesy of Vanguard Sound Studio and their stable of artists. It’s not all pulse-pounding battle themes either, as soulful vocal tracks contribute to the game’s beautifully bleak environment as well.

Nier-er than you might think

Punishing: Gray Raven is a post-apocalyptic epic about a seemingly endless post-human war for a ruined Earth. If this sounds a bit like Nier: Automata, then you may rejoice in knowing this match made in robot heaven has already happened in the Chinese version of the game—an official crossover with Yoko Taro’s action-RPG masterpiece is tentatively scheduled for a later update in the English version. The complete YorHa squad—2B, 9S and A2 will be fully playable, with all their iconic abilities intact!

Punishing: Gray Raven launches on Google Play and the App Store today. Download and play it now.

What You Need to Know About Punishing: Gray Raven as Launch Day Nears - IGN (2024)
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