Gori: Cuddly Carnage Preview (PC) – Devil Meow Cry

If Stray had a run-in with Dante from Devil May Cry, after a strange, confusing interaction, you’d likely end up with Gori: Cuddly Carnage. An action hack-and-slasher, Gori’s first impression is simultaneously loaded with cuteness and depraved violence. It’s a dual-cannon of oxymoronic hilarity and developer Angry Demon Studio leans into the ridiculousness of it with gleeful aplomb.

I’ve played the first three levels of Gori: Cuddly Carnage for this preview and I can safely say it’s one of wackiest, absurd and comical games you’ll likely play in 2024. As Gori, an adorable ginger-furred cat of savage talents, you venture across the planets to reunite with your owner. Along for the (metaphorical and literal) ride are your wisecracking hoverboard, F.R.A.N.K and the amusingly depressed operating system, CHI-P.

So far, their interactions have had me chuckling along to the mayhem. Gori naturally speaks in meows, which akin to the Stewie-Brian dynamic only F.R.A.N.K can decipher. Speaking of, F.R.A.N.K is outrageous, spewing swears and calamity galore. It’s entertaining and irreverent, which for the couple hours I’ve played, works for the slapstick nature Gori is gunning for.

Cuddly Claws

How well the humour and story itself hold up across a longer campaign, we’ll have to wait and see. The early signs are that the developers understand what clicks when combining offensively slapstick with the bright, colourful cuteness the style alludes to. It’s a bit like Conker’s Bad Fur Day, a comparison I’ve been lapping up throughout.

Whether you invest in the story or not, it’s difficult not to be caught up in the swirling blades of Gori: Cuddly Carnage’s gameplay. Swelling across the levels you progress through are groups of demonic, possessed, downright bloodthirsty unicorns. How do you carve a path through the personification of (usually) bright and good? With your hoverboard’s twin-blades and a giant hammer, obviously.

Gori’s arsenal of attacking options was already impressive just from the first three missions I played. You have basic attacks for your blades, hammer and grenade launcher. However, using fuel and holding down R2 (I played using a PS5 controller), you can supercharge each version of an attack. Combine this with a shield that allows parrying, aerial slams and hypercharged traversal mechanics, combat takes on a dizzying pace.

In a nutshell, it’s sick. Bouncing from a cataclysm inducing hammer slam to a swirling vortex of death is just sensational fun. It helps that Gori: Cuddly Carnage rewards your creative destruction with swimming pools worth of blood and gore. If a unicorn is your favourite creature, you’re going to be pretty traumatised playing this, that’s for certain.

Gori: Cuddly Carnage

Fur To Die For

By the third mission, Gori was ramping up the enemy variety impressively, and the boss fights were a canvas of degenerate creativity. Even on normal, some of the arenas were as chaotic as most our feline friends having zoomies. If Gori: Cuddly Carnage can keep up the pace of enemy types and boss encounters, this could be a seriously depth-filled action title.

One concern for me is that a couple of the arenas and sections of level design can feel too tight. Gori excels when you have the space to mix between the slick traversal and intense combat. In the preview missions, especially on the third, the areas could be too constricted. The camera got caught up, one enemy type can stun-lock Gori and it can be hard to keep track of off-screen assaults.

This isn’t something that occurs in every stage, nor did it really detract from my fun with the game, but Gori: Cuddly Carnage is at its best when this cat is able to stretch its legs. Between the missions, the variety of cosmetic options for Gori and the upgrade trees felt satisfying and weighty. Everything is unlocked through in-game money, accrued through exploration and your performance in battle.

Akin to Devil May Cry, you’re assessed from D to PPP rank. The more stylish and varied your kills without getting hit, the higher your score and multiplier. Hitting PPP rank here is just as innately beautiful and satisfying as it is in the very best of the genre, so rest assured your eye for spectacular dismemberment will be rewarded. It seems sad to even have to say it, but all the cosmetics being unlockable through gameplay was a wonderful change of pace, too.

My rainbow-furred Gori slayed both unicorns and style.

Gori: Cuddly Carnage

Gori-ous Carnage

Emerging from the rivers of unicorn blood and drenched in the immensely entertaining carnage of Gori was a delight. Despite only playing for about two and half hours, it’s clear that Angry Demon Studio have struck savage gold with Gori: Cuddly Carnage. From the eccentric, outlandish humour to the utter decimation of everything cuddly and cute, Gori is thoroughly pleasing to play.

Top of the range hack-and-slash action games like Devil May Cry come around rather infrequently. So if, like me, you’ve been champing at the bit to learn combos and unleash stylish mayhem, this will be the perfect meal to tide you over. There’s the odd stumble with the level design and clash with constrictive areas that conflict with the suite of refined mechanics, but thankfully this was rare.

It probably goes without saying, but I’m itching to get back into Gori: Cuddly Carnage, master its systems and wreak destruction upon those poor, evil unicorns. Gori: Cuddly Carnage will be releasing on August 29th, a date you should have earmarked if the first three missions are any barometer to go by.

Gori: Cuddly Carnage will be available August 29th on PC (preview platform), PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X and Nintendo Switch.

Developer: Angry Demon Studio
Publisher: Wired Productions

Disclaimer: In order to complete this preview, we were provided with a promotional preview build of the game.

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