GORSD is a super weird, unsettling single bullet shooter that is essentially Splatoon meets Pac-Man. The bizarre and creepy art style is purposely off putting and I found the gameplay to be some of the most frustrating I have ever played. However, even though this game might not be for me, I am still glad I played it.
Grid Of Ridiculous Sudden Death, or GORSD, puts the player in the body of an octopus thing, initially hatching from this womb-eye monster creature. From a 2D sprite-based overhead view, the player walks to each stage from this map screen. Finishing stages light torches and unlock paths to more stages, eventually leading to boss battles and more advanced mazes. It is your standard style of progression but everything is presented within this odd environment. Die too many times and the player will transform into this disgusting worm, leaving little blood splotches with every squishy footstep. Everything about this game is gross and can make any player a little queasy.
The actual gameplay is also very bizarre. Traveling along set tracks, the goal is to fill the entire screen with your color like in Splatoon. At the same time, enemies are trying to fill the screen with their color. To stop them, the player is armed with a single bullet. With each kill, the enemy takes a little longer to respawn, allowing the player more time to 100% the screen. Each battle ultimately becomes a lesson in attrition because the AI will also sneakily do something at the last second to thwart the player.
The most unique aspect of this arena maze shooter is the ability, or lack thereof, to control the direction of the bullet. Apparently, the player is supposed to be able to control the direction of each shot, allowing for control around corners and bends. Unfortunately, with my experience, this is not the case and the bullet only goes forward, turning around corners at random. Making matters worse, it is super easy to shoot yourself just as much as enemies to snipe you from around a corner. To remedy this, the player has the ability to catch your own bullet by holding the shoulder button. Keep in mind, holding this catch button doesn’t fill the screen with your ink so the player needs to essentially time each pixel perfect catch. This is extremely difficult and becomes rage quit maddening after shooting yourself by accident for the 18th time in a row. Further, the color of your bullet is the same as your enemy’s so you never really know if that one fast moving bullet is yours to catch, or is it the uncatchable bullet from your opponent.
Besides the standard “fill the screen with your ink” mode, there are other modes in both single and multiplayer. There is a standard death match, bullets can be used to paint the screen, and even a Hunter mode where you have to destroy your enemy as he races to fill the screen with as much ink before death. There is no shortage of options and there are dozens of maps available.
The entire presentation is going for a very unsettling south eastern Chinese vibe and it totally nails it. Even though it is disturbing, it is loaded with personality. As artistic as the visuals are, there is one major complaint – the sweeping techno background layers. The backgrounds found in most stages are composed of these fast moving shapes and colors and it actually makes the gameplay screen difficult to see let alone concentrate. If you enjoy getting seizures, be sure to at least check out a live stream.
Even though I hate GORSD, I still am glad I got to spend time with it. I personally find the bullet system too difficult to master but I understand how this title can entice and hook some players. The visuals also continue to give me fever dream nightmares days after rage quitting against that one impossible boss because I can’t control my bullet to turn the corner in the one direction that is needed. I hate this game but oddly still recommend it.
Don’t Forget About: Heiankyo Alien
Not As Good As: the Pac-Man Championship Edition games