VR : Arizona Sunshine
Many ‘Virtual Reality’ titles at the moment lack stories, levels, or some kind of progression. What you get is a concept of gameplay, something that feels like a demo.Arizona Sunshine is a solid early example of what an actual Virtual Reality game could be like.
Arizona Sunshine is a apocalyptic zombie FPS. Though with it being virtual reality is it really necessary to say FPS? It features a story campaign mode which doesn’t have much of a story. It’s just a string of levels you progress through. You don’t uncover why the world has fallen or meet other characters with history. It’s you, a gun, a bunch of zombies, and a chain of levels.
Tacked on is also a endless wave mode for up to four players. You don’t expect much from this mode but the area you can move around in is extremely restrictive. With four players it is extremely crowded.
Speaking of multiplayer the campaign can be done cooperatively with a single friend. If you want to player multiplayer then you are going to need friends because nobody wants to play with randoms. This was…very surprising. I thought the almost exclusive virtual reality club would bring members close together not further away!
Let’s talk core mechanics. It’s virtual reality. You aim with your hands and see with your head like most VR titles. It feels so damn epic to have that level of control. Every headshot gives you a slice of sense and accomplishment that EA could never deliver. Now there is a small hiccup in Arizona Sunshine which some gamers have pointed out.
The aim doesn’t always line up. A zombie will be two meters in front of you, completely motionless, and you won’t be able to confirm a headshot for that instant satisfying kill because the bullet wildly veers off course. You begin to question your actual ability to aim. As it turns out though there is a minor issue is with the games VR tracking. It’s hard to show but a lined up iron sight at 1 meter is not possible to miss. Yet it does!
There isn’t a lot of good to say about Arizona Sunshine except that it is a VR Zombie shooter game that feels great to play. So take the following criticisms with a pinch of salt. As simple guidelines for improvement. A “What to do next” list for the developers.
You can’t two hand grip a pistol. Something just feels weird about not being able to do this. You also can’t put the weapon in your off hand away. You can carry 4 weapons max. Two in your hands and two holstered to your sides. Not having this level of control feels slightly awkward as your natural instinct in VR is that you have lots of ‘handy’ interactions.
There are lots of objects and melee weapons to pick up but they are not useful at all. You can see axes around but swinging them at a zombie won’t register. It makes you wonder why they even added these tools around if they serve no practicality. Rubber ducks I can understand. Obviously you aren’t going to hurt a zombie with a rubber duck nonetheless you can still pick one up, give it a name and carry it about with you like a psycho.
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Your character is overly liberal with curse words. Almost any time there are zombies there are more swear words than zombies. The game should have taken a Duke Nukem or Serious Sam approach with their character. Sprinkle silly witty lines here and there. Arizona Sunshine is by no means intended as a spooky horror. It could have gotten away with humour.
The view distance for clutter appears to be short. As you move around the levels things keep popping in or out of view. The levels are also very linear. It gets as complicated as finding an object to open a door. After playing Resident Evil 2 recently it makes you think how Arizona Sunshine could have made use of VR control systems to add some simple puzzles that require your ability to have precise hand motion influence objects in the game.
So with all that said. Arizona Sunshine is actually pretty cool game and if you’re looking for something to shoot on your new virtual reality gear it’s pick this up. I would highly recommend this as one of your purchases.