GORN VR Review : Brutal Fitness Fun!

GORN is a thrilling and chaotic virtual reality (VR) video game that delivers an exhilarating gladiator experience unlike any other. Developed by Free Lives and published by Devolver Digital, this action-packed title embraces the absurd and gruesome side of gaming, providing players with hours of hilarious, adrenaline-fueled fun. Today, my GORN VR review will cover my experience with this game, the good and bad things about this ludicrously violent gladiator simulator, and why it may be worth getting a Quest 2 VR headset.

My first look at GORN was from watching a video of my favorite fitness YouTubers trying out VR games. Ever since 2020, I’ve been starting to take better care of my personal health by eating a little better and exercising more. After all, working in a cubicle for 6 years is not going to do your body wonders, especially if you eat junk food! Around that time, I started to learn about weightlifting, and a simple search for a tutorial on the Arnold Press led me to the BUFF Dudes.

These two brothers have been teaching people about food and fitness since 2012, all the while providing a lot of entertainment that makes you want to level up your own body. More recently, they tried out VR games, and GORN was one that really stood out for me. While they only showed a few minutes of gameplay, it was enough to get me interested. Big shoutout to the BUFF Dudes for getting me into fitness and I’d suggest checking them out!

But anyways, I digress… You’re probably here to know more about this game, so let’s get started!

Gameplay and Combat Mechanics

At its core, GORN is all about over the top visceral combat. The game, thru the power of VR, puts you into a big battle arena with a variety of weapons, and you fight others to the death. It is truly an immersive experience that lets you use whatever means to fight and gives you the creative freedom to do whatever violent things your mind could think of. Using motion controllers, you can punch, swing, and smash your way through the battles, making every fight feel very much hands-on.

The physics-based combat system is one of the game’s most impressive aspects, yet also the most goofy. The physics engine has the fighters waddle around as if they’ve never learned how to walk before, and flail their arms around as if they’re trying to pull off their best Bruce Lee moves with a numbchuck. Each weapon you use has weight and momentum, so you’ll need to put some thought into your swings to deal devastating blows.

GORN obviously has a dismemberment feature; where you can disassemble your enemies limb by limb, and even use their limbs as weapons if you’re feeling gruesome. The sense of impact as your weapon connects with an enemy’s body or armor is incredibly satisfying, and you’ll see lots of bloody carnage if you really want to. While gory and over-the-top, it adds an extra layer of hilarity and satisfaction to the combat.

Weapon Variety

GORN takes inspiration from gladiatorial arenas and throws realism out the window. You’ll find an assortment of ludicrous and exaggerated weapons, ranging from giant hammers and swords to crab hands and Wolverine claws. Each weapon has its unique properties and playstyle, giving you the freedom to experiment and find the tools that suit your combat preferences. Personally, I like to dual wield swords and axes for slashing and smashing.

Enemies are Numerous

Throughout the game, you’ll face off against a quirky assortment of enemy gladiators. These foes come in different shapes and sizes, from half naked cavemen to fully tatted out berserkers. Some enemies might be heavily armored, requiring you to find weak points or use blunt weapons to break their armor, while others might be nimble and evasive, demanding precision strikes.

The arenas themselves are equally varied, ranging from classic Roman-style coliseums to more fantastical and surreal environments. These arenas often include interactive elements, such as destructible pillars and traps, allowing you to creatively dispatch your opponents using the surroundings to your advantage.

Graphics and Sound

While GORN doesn’t boast the most realistic graphics in the VR gaming world, it makes up for it with a charming and stylistic approach. The exaggerated character designs, comical animations, and vibrant color palette all contribute to the game’s whimsical and comedic atmosphere. However, the visuals may not appeal to everyone, especially those looking for photorealistic graphics.

Accompanying the intense battles is a lot of very fitting sound effects that heightens the excitement during gameplay. The gruesome squelches and bone-crunching impacts immerse players further into the absurdity of the gladiatorial spectacle. They’ve even gone and made a fictional language the fighters all speak, often shouting out taunts and quips that you may not understand. That being said, the things they say can be a good tell for when they’ll strike.

Content and Replayability

GORN provides a solid variety of gameplay modes, ranging from the classic wave-based arena combat to inventive challenges and boss fights. Additionally, the game features an array of unlockable weapons and modifiers, encouraging players to experiment with different loadouts to discover their favorite carnage-inducing combinations.

One of the big reasons I got into this game was to see if I can find a way to incorporate a little more physical activity outside of going to the gym or walking outside. I have to admit, this game will give you a workout if you fight as if you are really there. One thing I like to do is use the Custom Mode to turn on god mode and then buff the stats on my foes so that I can endlessly fight wave after wave of fighters without stopping… except for the timer I set opn my phone to tell me when 10 or so minutes has passed.

The initial delight of dismembering foes and dominating the arena may start to wane after extended play sessions, but the game’s comedic approach and VR novelty factor ensure that GORN remains a go-to title for showing off the capabilities of virtual reality to friends and family.

The Good and Bad of this Game

Now that we’ve gone over everything you need to know about this game, I’d like to bring some crucial crtiticisms that need to be addressed. After all, any VR headset out there is expensive.


A Unique and Immersive VR Experience: GORN excels in providing an unparalleled virtual reality experience. The game’s physics-based combat system and intuitive motion controls allow players to feel like real gladiators, swinging weapons and engaging in hand-to-hand combat with a remarkable sense of presence.

Hilarious and Absurd Gameplay: GORN fully embraces its over-the-top and comical nature. The outrageous weapons, ridiculous physics, and exaggerated violence create a hilarious and entertaining atmosphere, making it a great choice for players seeking lighthearted fun.

Varied Weaponry and Playstyles: In this game, you make your own fun. The wide selection of unlockable weapons allows for lots of ways to experiment. From brute force with massive hammers to precision strikes with throwing knives, players can find their preferred combat approach and experiment with different loadouts.

Content and Replayability: GORN offers an abundance of content with various game modes, challenges, unlockables, and hidden arenas. The game’s replayability is further boosted by your own creativity, however.


Graphic and Gory Content: While the exaggerated violence and gore contribute to the game’s comedic value, it may not be suitable for all players, especially those who are sensitive to intense or graphic content.

Limited Realism: GORN prioritizes humor and absurdity over realism, which might be a drawback for players seeking more lifelike and serious combat experiences.

Learning Curve: The physics-based combat system and motion controls may have a learning curve for some players. Mastering the mechanics and perfecting your swings can take time, leading to initial frustration for those unfamiliar with VR gaming.

Repetitive Gameplay: Despite the varied content, some players may find that things can get a little boring, especially in the classic arena mode. While the humorous nature helps offset this to an extent, those seeking anything more than a gladiator battle game might find GORN lacking in this regard.

VR Hardware Requirement: GORN is a VR-exclusive game, which means players need compatible VR hardware to experience the game fully. This may be a barrier for gamers who do not own VR headsets or controllers. Furthermore, you will need to have ample room around you while playing, because as you can imagine. standing in a room flailing your arms around is an easy way to break something.

Final Thoughts on GORN

All in all, GORN is a wild and exhilarating VR experience that lets players unleash their inner gladiator in a game filled with absurdity and gore. While the graphics might not be cutting-edge, the gameplay, controls, and humorous elements more than make up for it.

If you’re a fan of over-the-top violence and can handle a generous serving of bloodshed with an extra side of laughter, GORN is a must-play VR game that will keep you entertained for hours on end. Just be prepared to work up a sweat as you hack, slash, and smash your way through the hilariously brutal world of GORN!

Thanks for reading! I hope this information helps, and if you are interested in more VR content, I may write more as time permits.

~ Ken

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