Gord has some smart ideas but none hold interest for very long

Some games, I just really don’t know what to make of them, whether I’ve played for an hour or one hundred.

Gord is one of those games. On the one hand, there’s some great cutscenes in here that, while not on Diablo 4 levels, are definitely a cut above the standards you find in resource and strategy builders.

On the other is this sort of bland, repetitive and limited builder that has some clever ideas but none of them end up working in quite the way you hope.

The presentation, half the time, feels equivalent to an Excel spreadsheet, the text and interface looks so shrunken on the big screen, and it borders this weird line of being too simplified at times and too complex at others.

Honestly, even writing this I’m wondering how to phrase or articulate my thoughts. I certainly didn’t hate Gord, but I also didn’t really care about it at the same time.

Put it this way, with Team 17 releasing three big games in August, this, quite literally, is the one people will probably end up overlooking or forgetting about completely.

And that’s fine, not all games will be a hit. Plus, it’s not as if the game is terrible. There’s some really smart ideas in here like characters having individual optional quests you can tackle and a sanity meter which you have to manage between keeping your folks occupied, well fed and watered.

I also have to commend the game’s translation to console. This feels like a PC game through and through, but it does control quite well on Xbox, pressing in the A button to highlight all your units, a quick flick of the D-Pad and bumpers can build just about anything your heart desires, and your characters often go off independently to perform their duties.

It also looks quite nice once you get past its dark, dreary, dull landscapes. The fresh blue waters you go fishing in are delightful, and the way trees blow in the winds is actually pretty satisfying. Also, another shout out for those cutscenes, they’re pretty great.

But as you’ve probably no doubt already heard, this game has a horrendous inventory layout and trade is a laborious task of opening and closing seperate character sheets that are just cluttered and overly busy.

Which actually perfectly describes the general UI and layout of the game. Nothing is easy to visualise, interpret or take from, and because the game is basically dark all the time and as mentioned the text often looks small and shrunken – thank goodness I didn’t play this on Switch – it all just sort of blurs into one.

The unusual horrors that plague this landscape do wake you up a bit from your droning reverie, though. Particularly the child sacrifices – yes, really – that become something of an unwelcome necessity if you want your God and people within it to survive. They die in a pretty horrific way, too, which actually feels a little bit jarring from the rest of content even though we’re dealing with this very dark fantastical world.

However, Gord just never really gets going, nor good. Maybe that’s just a personal preference – you know, like all reviews – and it’s possible others can find a really fun game here to work through and explore. Sadly, it just passed me by a little bit and considering the premium price tag it’s going for, it does make for a really hard sell considering the market we’re in right now.


Gord has some surprises under its hood, notably cutscenes, a few mechanics and setting, but none of them stand out enough to hold your interest for very long and the rest weighs the game down pretty considerably, especially with the weak story and overly cluttered, shrunken UI. There’s just much better options out there that you won’t bounce off and ultimately, will feel more satisfied playing. 


+ Well ported control scheme to console pad
+ Cutscene aesthetics are good, even if the story is not
+ Some cool ideas, like optional quests, sanity meter and sacrifices


– UI is so messy and cluttered it’s hard to derive information
– Inventory system is a mess
– Gets repetitive pretty quickly
– All feels rather dull

Gord is out now on PC, PlayStation and Xbox 

Code Kindly Provided by Team 17 for review purposes

Played on Xbox Series X

About the author

Sam Diglett

Sam grew up with a PS2, spending hours howling at the moon in Okami and giving students wedgies in Bully. Fortunately, she also likes Pokemon because otherwise life could have been quite annoying for her.
Skip to toolbar