Gord Review – A Bland New Adventure

Turns out boredom is the greatest challenge you'll have to overcome in Gord.

Gord Review
  • Story And Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance


Gord’s ambition is as vast as the dark fantasy world it portrays, but unfortunately, its execution falls short of the mark.

  • Developer: Covenant.dev
  • Publisher: Team17
  • Release Date: August 17, 2023
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5
  • Tested On: PC


  • Dark Tone
  • Unique Setting


  • Shallow Combat
  • Lackluster Storytelling
  • Inconsequential RPG elements
  • Limited Resource Management
  • Lack Of Build Variety
  • Visual Clarity Issues

Gord promises a world of perpetual darkness, untamed wilds, and grim survival. With a fusion of real-time strategy, colony simulation, and roleplaying elements, it offers a unique blend of gameplay that beckons players to navigate treacherous lands and make tough choices.

In a world where the sun has faded and monsters lurk in the shadows, can this game’s ambitious mix of genres create a captivating experience, or will it succumb to the same darkness it seeks to portray?

Let’s delve into the depths of Gord to uncover its secrets and discover whether it shines as brightly as the stars in the night sky, or fades into obscurity like a forgotten legend.

Story And Setting

Gord Review Story and Setting
Story and Setting. (Image by eXputer)

In the realm of dark fantasy, where shadows lurk around every corner and monsters emerge from the depths of night, Gord seeks to carve its own place. Developed by Covenant.dev and published by Team17, the game sets itself in a world shrouded in endless darkness, a land where survival is a struggle against both the elements and the horrors that inhabit the wilds.

While the premise holds the promise of intrigue, its execution leaves much to be desired. The backdrop of Gord is a world devoid of sunlight, where a kingdom from the south seeks to conquer the untamed northern territories.

As a representative of the southern king, players are tasked with establishing outposts, known as gords, within the treacherous lands inhabited by a hostile environment and sinister creatures. It’s a premise that sets the stage for tension and desperation, where the residents of these isolated gords must strive to survive amidst darkness and impending external invasion. 

However, while the premise sounds promising, the storytelling fails to fully capitalize on its potential. The narrative unfolds through a combination of cutscenes, dialogue exchanges, and the Chronicle, a text-heavy journal that attempts to infuse the story with a sense of grandeur but ends up feeling more like a chore to wade through than a source of captivating world-building.

While the premise holds the promise of intrigue, its execution leaves much to be desired.

It often comes across as forced exposition rather than a natural part of the storytelling process. The writing, also, fails to evoke emotional investment or intrigue, leaving players detached from the world and its characters. These flaws are further manifested due to the one-dimensional and unengaging characters.

Interactions among them lack emotional resonance, leaving players disconnected from the plight of the residents they are meant to guide. Gord also attempts to incorporate narrative-driven elements through scenarios and encounters with the enigmatic “Horrors”, which are mysterious and powerful entities that serve as a recurring element within its dark fantasy setting.

These beings, though formidable and ominous, often manifest as enigmatic figures that make demands of the player character, forcing them to make difficult choices.

Ardavan. (Image by eXputer)

They typically present the player with two options: fulfill their demands, which are morally complex, or reject them and prepare for impending doom. For example, a Horror might demand a sacrifice or the retrieval of a specific item.

Although the choices initially imply that there would be dire consequences for choosing one or the other, turns out they are as shallow as the mechanics surrounding it, and the supposed moral dilemmas are reduced to formulaic tasks.

The story unfolds through cutscenes and dialogue exchanges, but the writing fails to evoke emotional investment or intrigue, leaving players detached from the world and its characters.


Gord Review Gameplay
Gameplay. (Captured by eXputer)

Gord thrusts players into a dark and desolate world, where they are tasked with leading a struggling settlement through the treacherous terrain of the untamed northern territories. It intertwines elements of real-time strategy, colony simulation, and role-playing, promising a unique gameplay experience.

However, despite its ambitious blend of genres, the gameplay falls short of delivering a truly immersive and engaging experience. The potential for immersion and strategic depth remains unrealized, leaving players with a sense of missed opportunity.

At its core, this is a game of Survival, Strategy, and Management. The objective is to manage resources, construct buildings, and guide settlers through the challenges of living in a world plunged into eternal night. Resource management is a cornerstone of its gameplay, with players juggling a variety of resources to keep their gords thriving.

From food and wood to gold and faith, these resources dictate the growth and survival of the settlement. However, the depth of resource management is limited, with a lack of complexity in gathering, storage, and utilization. As scenarios progress, the repetitive nature of resource collection becomes evident, resulting in a gameplay loop that offers little in the way of strategic depth or innovation.

The colony simulation aspect involves resource management and building structures within the confines of a palisade. Space is limited, and players must strategically decide which buildings to construct and where.

Building Structures.
Building Structures. (Image Credits: eXputer)

Unfortunately, this aspect of gameplay is rather shallow and repetitive, with a lack of building variety and limited resource options. As scenarios unfold, players are required to repeat similar build orders, leading to a sense of monotony.

Despite its ambitious blend of genres, the gameplay falls short of delivering a truly immersive and engaging experience.

Players are also supposed to emphasize the individuality of settlers, with each character possessing unique traits, skills, and personalities. Yet, this promise falls flat as settlers often feel like interchangeable units. While certain traits and skills offer minor bonuses or penalties, the impact on gameplay is minimal.

This lack of depth in character development makes it challenging to form a strong emotional connection with the settlers, negating the potential for players to care deeply about their fates.

Combat, a pivotal component in any dark fantasy world, is present in Gord but is disappointingly shallow. Players can send settlers out to fend off monsters, each with its own set of abilities and weaknesses. Yet, battles lack tactical complexity, and the combat system leans more toward mindless repetition than engaging strategy.

As the settlement grows, the combat encounters become a mere chore, further detracting from the overall gameplay experience.

Visuals And Performance

Gord Review Visuals
Visuals. (Credits: eXputer)

In this somber and unrelenting world, the visual design seeks to mirror the darkness that shrouds its environment. While the game’s visual aesthetic contributes to its grim atmosphere, it also poses certain challenges that impact both immersion and overall enjoyment.

From the moment players enter the world, it’s clear that the visual direction is committed to portraying a desolate and haunting environment. The subdued color palette dominated by earthy tones, deep blacks, and muted greys effectively conveys the darkness that engulfs the land.

This design choice aligns with the game’s narrative premise of a sunless world, adding a layer of authenticity to the experience. But, this approach also introduces challenges when it comes to visual clarity and differentiation.

The atmosphere is moody, successfully conveying the eerie and perilous nature of the setting. Settlements and characters are meticulously designed to reflect the grim tone, with decaying buildings, flickering torches, and intricate details that hint at the inhabitants’ struggle for survival.

The character models and monster designs are imaginative, contributing to the otherworldly atmosphere that pervades Gord.

The lack of natural light and the heavy reliance on shadows and gloom can sometimes hinder the player’s ability to clearly perceive their surroundings.

However, the commitment to visual darkness also has its drawbacks. The lack of natural light and the heavy reliance on shadows and gloom can sometimes hinder the player’s ability to clearly perceive their surroundings. While the intention is to evoke tension and uncertainty, it occasionally leads to frustration when critical elements or objects are difficult to distinguish.

The world is shrouded in darkness
The world is shrouded in darkness. (Image captured by eXputer)

The landscape changes as players progress through different scenarios and environments. From the dense woods to murky swamps, each area carries its unique visual identity. This novelty is shortlived as the repetition of certain elements, such as the limited variety of buildings and structures, can make settlements feel somewhat homogenous. This lack of diversity diminishes the sense of discovery and exploration that typically accompanies changes in scenery.

Performance-wise, Gord presents a mixed bag. The game generally maintains a smooth frame rate, ensuring that players can navigate the settlement and engage in encounters without significant disruptions. But, there are instances where the performance dips during larger battles or when multiple characters are on screen.

These moments of lag detract from the immersion and can disrupt the flow of gameplay, especially during critical moments.

The interface design contributes to the visual experience, but it also poses challenges. The UI is functional but can be cluttered, leading to difficulties in identifying vital information quickly. Character information panels, while attempting to offer depth and detail, occupy too much screen space and lack intuitive navigation options.

This impacts the overall user experience and can lead to frustration, particularly when trying to manage resources, settlers, and buildings simultaneously.


Gord Review Verdict
Verdict. (Image by eXputer)

Gord’s ambition is as vast as the dark fantasy world it portrays, but unfortunately, its execution falls short of the mark. While its premise of survival in a dark and monster-infested land is intriguing, its gameplay lacks the depth and engagement needed to truly immerse players.

Its mishmash of real-time strategy, colony simulation, and roleplaying elements fails to harmonize into a cohesive experience, leaving players to grapple with tedious micromanagement and shallow mechanics. The visuals capture the gloomy atmosphere, but the interface and cluttered design detract from the overall experience.

In the end, Gord struggles to rise above its own murky depths, leaving players with a sense of missed potential and unfulfilled promises.

This has been our Gord Review. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles. 

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Asad Ahmad is a Games Reviewer on eXputer who’s combined his passion for writing and gaming into a sweet blend of content for his audience to enjoy. He started off his gaming journey in the RTS genre but settled on RPGs like Skyrim as his go-to games. Asad has a substantial amount of writing experience in reviewing and writing for games, which is backed up by his extensive gaming library on Steam. Experience: 2+ Years || Mainly covers Game Reviews || Education: Bachelors in Electrical Engineering.

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