Gripper

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2023
First Published: March 11, 2023
SDHQ BUILD SCORE: 

Review

Gripper was provided to us by Heart Core for review. Thank you!

Welcome to Gripper, a story-driven action game where you will be destroying your enemies and ripping out their hearts! After coming back home to find your parents in trouble, you and your trusty Kat-Kit will go toe to toe against bosses to find and save them. With your bike, you will dodge, slide, and jump around while figuring out each boss's mechanics to take them down using your trusty grappling hook to take bosses apart or fling objects at them. From there, you will head back to your home/base and use upgrade points to make yourself stronger, getting new consumables like landmines and giving yourself more health. Will you be victorious and crush your enemies so you can save your family?

If you ever imagined what Furi would be like on a motorcycle, that is Gripper. Like Furi, the game will primarily put you through boss after boss with a small intro segment of you driving through obstacles to get to the boss. And, once the boss is beaten, you have the option to go back and complete challenges against them to get more upgrade points to make yourself more powerful. All of this is happening with a fantastic aesthetic that really pops on the Deck screen.

I will mention that the game is a little bit hard and at some points feel really unfair. I am aware that this is the kind of game its supposed to be, but there were a couple times I felt like I got cheated out of a win. There were a few times I had gotten the first boss to a sliver of health, but then a random minion explosion next to me chained 3 other explosions and took the last half of my health. It was also a little hard to grab items with the grappling hook while moving at times, but aiming and flinging with the right joystick while driving was much better.

Even with all of this, I walked away having a good time. It really fits that hard boss-rush itch that Furi scratched and I am happy it does! And I am happy to say the Steam Deck performance is quite good as well.

Post-Preview Thoughts

After playing through Gripper more, I am happy to say that the great feelings I had from the preview only got better. The framerate seemed to hold better and I didn't experience any other drops. Future bosses after the first two held up swimmingly and I am so glad. This will be a great experience on your Steam Deck and a great game to play if you feel like going through a boss-rush game like Furi, this is where I would go.

Gripper - Steam Deck Performance

When I initially tried Gripper during the last Next Fest as a demo, I had trouble getting it to run at 40 FPS without making the game look terrible. It was a shame too since the visual style can be brought down a good chunk before it starts looking bad. So when I first booted up the preview copy I received, I was surprised that performance had been significantly improved.

Without changing any settings, which meant keeping the game to "Epic" quality, I was able to run at at 40 FPS with little to no issue. While 40 feels quite smooth, I knew I wanted to try pushing hire due to the nature of the game, and luckily, this is possible pretty easily! With a refresh rate and framerate cap of 50, I was able to keep settings on high, with foliage, draw distance, and anti-aliasing quality set to medium, and resolution scale around 80%, Gripper was able to maintain 50 FPS while sticking underneath a 14W drain.

From there, I went to crank up the settings and get a quality build made. For this, I used a mix of Epic and High settings, along with a 100% render resolution. This gave me a nice stable 40 FPS and slightly higher battery life than the recommended build. I did have to push TDP to 10 due to some small dips at anything lower, but the battery tends to average similarly regardless.

Then we have the framerate build. I honestly thought this would be harder to hit, but basing it off the recommended settings, I didn't need to change much for a stable 60 FPS. It does drain a little bit harder than the recommended, but has slightly better battery drain than the quality build. The build mixes medium and high settings to hit this one!

Honestly, it is hard to choose a recommended group of settings from these. They all work really well and have similar enough drains to not make a huge difference from each other. I feel the 50 FPS build is a good combination of everything, so it will stay as the recommended, but you can't go wrong with any of these.

Small Framerate Drops

I did notice 2 times where the framerate dropped, but it didn't impact the actual gameplay of the game. First, in the second boss, there was one quick moment where framerate dipped to 45 when the big truck charged me at a specific angle. This quickly shot back up and didn't impede my fight, and it only happened at a certain angle, but it did happen.

The other time was in a cutscene when I got back to home base. It seems like the home base is more resource heavy than the boss fights or the obstacle course leading up to it, so those cutscenes dropped down to around 39-42 FPS. This went back up to 50 when I was able to control the game again, but battery drain definitely remained closer to 14W during that time.

I am also happy to say I had no controller issues and the game had no visual bugs while supporting 1280x800 resolution.

Conclusion

Gripper is a beautiful and enjoyable boss rush that will definitely put you through the ringer. While it has some minor control issues and is quite difficult, I was left with an overall sense of accomplishment as I finally made it through the bosses, upgraded my abilities and health, and went right back in for more punishment. Apart from the dips and battery drain increase at the home base, Gripper runs really well on the Steam Deck and I am looking forward to continuing my descent into madness to hopefully beat this game!

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Gripper is an enjoyable boss-rush game that so far, even with some minor shortcomings, still comes up strong and runs really well on the Steam Deck!

Performance: 
VISUALS: 
Stability: 
Controls: 
Battery: 
Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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Community Rating

Let us know what level of playability you consider Gripper to be. Help our community determine the viability of playing this game on Steam Deck!
Steam Deck Compatibility
Current Price: 
$19.99
View in Steam Store
Proton DB Rating
Unknown

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Other Builds
Quality Build
SteamOS

Limit

40

Refresh Rate

40

HRS

NO

TDP Limit

10

Scaling Filter

Linear

GPU Clock

Disabled

Proton Version

No Forced Compatibility

Game Settings

Display Settings:

Resolution Scale: 100%

Anti-Aliasing: FXAA

DirectX: 11

 

Graphics Settings:

View Distance: Far

Anti-Aliasing Quality: Epic

Post Processing: High

Shadows Quality: High

Textures Streaming: Epic

Effects Quality: High

Foliage Density: Epic

Projected Battery Usage and Temperature

12W - 16W

67c - 73c

2.5 - 3 hours

Framerate Build
SteamOS

Limit

60

Refresh Rate

60

HRS

NO

TDP Limit

10

Scaling Filter

Linear

GPU Clock

Disabled

Proton Version

No Forced Compatibility

Game Settings

Display Settings:

Resolution Scale: About 80% (3 notches to the left)

Anti-Aliasing: FXAA

DirectX: 11

 

Graphics Settings:

View Distance: Far

Anti-Aliasing Quality: High

Post Processing: Medium

Shadows Quality: Medium

Textures Streaming: High

Effects Quality: High

Foliage Density: High

Projected Battery Usage and Temperature

12W - 15W

68c - 73c

~3 hours

related Settings

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