GRAPPIN Review

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Humans have been climbing since the dawn of time. If we see something high we want to know what’s at the top, intrigued by how the world will look from the summit. Some places are easy to ascend like huge skyscrapers across the world where all you need to do is get in a lift. Other places require expertise, equipment, and a lot of lady luck. 

GRAPPIN is a game all about climbing and exploring. You’re not slowly climbing up sides of cliffs though, instead gliding through the air with the aid of a grapple hook. Let’s climb. 

GRAPPIN review 1
Get GRAPPIN!

In this game, you awake in an underground cave after being told to wake up by a mysterious voice. You move through the cave, learning to move and jump. You then are rewarded with a special piece of equipment called The Grip. This is a special tool, like a grappling hook, to help you progress upwards on your journey. You then appear in a beautiful mountain area, which could almost be The Rockies in America or Switzerland, and then the voice-over tells you to get to the top. That’s the main bit of narrative and more will be revealed as you move forward, but it’s in the gameplay and climbing where the fun is at in GRAPPIN.  

In first person, GRAPPIN places you into a series of different environments where your goal is to get to a certain checkpoint high in the air. You can move along the ground as normal and jump as well. But with the grip you can fix yourself against a wall, with them dotted around the landscape, as you look to grapple towards it. As you go further into the game you get more skills to make progress easier, like the ability to grapple further into the distance. 

Each level has several relics for you to find, dotted around in hard-to-reach areas. Getting these will unlock levels, helping your pathway forward. The thing is, as you progress through this game, the question you’ll ask yourself is whether or not you have the patience, all as the levels get harder and the checkpointing becomes tougher. I had moments when I had to redo things a good few times.

GRAPPIN review 2
Lava World!

And whilst the platforming and movement through mid-air is good, there are times where the physics don’t feel quite right, leaving a feeling of cheesing it instead of using skill. 

The visuals are nicely done though, and GRAPPIN is definitely a pleasant place to spend some time in, looking down at the world below. It’s also nice that animals wander, and at points it all feels a bit like RiME in its design. I liked the different environments you encounter as well, with just enough variety building the running time. And whilst I had to deal with a few glitches here and there, for the most part, there is nothing to worry about, nor spoil the enjoyment. 

The soundtrack is a luxuriant, smooth score that aids perfectly in your traversal efforts. I must say, the voiceover is godly and commanding as well. 

GRAPPIN review 3
Keep on climbing

There seems to be a trend for climbing games, all on the back of Jusant and the newly announced Cairn. GRAPPIN has a much more arcadey, free-flowing feel to it, but the visuals are to be liked, as is the fact that there are different areas and lots of secrets to find.

It does get much more tricky as the game goes on, some of the checkpointing is quite unforgiving at times and the physics occasionally feel off, but power through GRAPPIN and you’ll find a decent view from the top.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Climbing fun
  • Nice visuals
  • Calming soundtrack
Cons:
  • Some checkpointing
  • Does get hard
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, POLYLABO
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PC
  • Release date and price - 6 June 2024 | £10.74
Gareth Brierley
Gareth Brierleyhttp://www.garethbrierley.co.uk
I am an actor and a writer. I act quite a bit on stage, a little bit on tv and never on tuesdays. I have had some of my writing published and have written for TV and stage. I have been playing games since they begun and don't seem to be getting any better.
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Climbing fun</li> <li>Nice visuals</li> <li>Calming soundtrack</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Some checkpointing</li> <li>Does get hard</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, POLYLABO</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PC <li>Release date and price - 6 June 2024 | £10.74</li> </ul>GRAPPIN Review
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