It’s time to take flight in Shooty Skies Overdrive, a brand new VR wave shooter for Oculus Quest and PC VR from the group behind the profitable cellular recreation Crossy Highway. Taking components and inspiration from conventional and VR video games alike, does this new bullet hell title fly increased than the competitors? Right here’s our overview.
Shooty Skies Overdrive is the primary VR recreation from Crossy Highway co-creator Matt Hill and Mighty Video games, following a string of profitable video games on Android and iOS platforms like Crossy Highway and the unique non-VR Shooty Skies.
The title is predominantly a wave shooter, which means that ranges encompass enemies spawning in teams that get progressively larger and tougher to cope with. You’ll be capturing continuous to clear enemies whereas additionally dodging projectiles despatched flying in the direction of you. There’s no lives right here – one hit and also you’re useless. That being stated, there are a few checkpoints in every stage, however in the event you finish your session or return to the principle menu, you’ll lose your checkpoint progress.
Locked and Loaded
When it comes to mechanics, it really works rather a lot like Xortex from Valve’s mini-game assortment, The Lab. Your dominant hand turns into a small aircraft, occupied by a cute pilot, that may you progress round in 6DoF to dodge bullets, shoot enemies, or cost up homing missiles. Your non-dominant hand can decide up power-ups, which make it easier to out if you’re getting overwhelmed. The facility-ups are a combination of genuinely useful (the bullet vacuum) to much less useful however very amusing (a trumpet that may shoot projectiles at enemies when performed). There’s a load of various, wacky choices, together with a yo-yo, an extendable shark head, a protect, a chainsaw, and lots of extra.
It doesn’t matter what power-ups you may have or how a lot strain you’re feeling to complete an enemy off, a very powerful factor to maintain in your thoughts always is simply avoiding bullets. You’ll want to maneuver your aircraft to keep away from bullets always — if you are able to do that with out getting distracted, you’ll be capable of clear ranges. In some methods, all the things within the recreation apart from transferring your aircraft is only a distraction ready to shift your focus, leading to you unknowingly being hit and having to restart the extent.
The marketing campaign is barely 5 ranges lengthy, accessible to play by means of in three difficulties – Chill, Regular, and Overdrive. You begin with solely the primary stage accessible, and unlock the remainder progressively. Every stage has a distinct theme, all of that are memorable and extremely properly executed. There’s a playful visible fashion operating by means of every theme, and the voxel fashions lend a graphical consistency to the sport despite the fact that all the degrees characteristic drastically totally different themes.
Visuals apart, every stage has related enemy sorts and performs out similarly. There’s three checkpoints in every (one in all which falls at first of the extent’s boss), save for the final stage, which is structured in a different way. Whereas some new enemy and bullet sorts do seem, there’s not numerous variation to considerably shake issues up throughout the marketing campaign.
Replayability and Unlockables
As you play by means of the marketing campaign, you’ll unlock totally different pilots and ships. Whereas these don’t provide any modifications to the gunplay, every pilot impacts the accessible choice and spawn charges of power-ups. For instance, one pilot would possibly solely provide 4 power-ups as a substitute of 5, however with a better probability of spawning one merchandise particularly. Some pilots are solely accessible on choose ranges, which implies that the objects find yourself being tailor-made to the degrees’ aesthetics in some instances. Utilizing the chainsaw power-up within the hell-themed stage felt very applicable.
Problem, Size, Depth
The core gameplay is strong and the visuals are on level. The one space the place Shooty Skies Overdrive arguably falters is on the intersection of problem, size, and depth.
When it comes to problem, I used to be capable of end your entire marketing campaign on regular in about an hour. On the finish, I felt I had mastered the essential gameplay for the problem in a short time. The enemy sorts don’t change a lot, and the degrees provide no format modifications and few gameplay variations — it’s a system you get accustomed too rapidly.
Overdrive difficultly is a distinct story — the enemies transfer quicker, there are extra bullets and extra issues spawn in your peripheral imaginative and prescient. Whereas the Overdrive ranges provide problem, they don’t really feel impossibly exhausting and the sport is designed in a approach that each one game-overs really feel like your personal fault, and never the fault of an unfair or low-cost mechanic. That being stated, Overdrive mode could also be tougher, however when you’ve crushed it, there’s nowhere else to go — and whereas I’m nonetheless working by means of ranges on that problem myself, it doesn’t really feel unachievable.
So whereas there’s a problem to be discovered for individuals who need it, it’s restricted in scope and replayability. With solely a 5 stage marketing campaign, Overdrive problem looks like a problem, however positively an achievable one.
There’s nothing individually mistaken with problem, size or depth of the sport alone. However when thought of in relation to one another, it begins to appear like Shooty Skies Overdrive’s marketing campaign barely misses the mark. The gameplay itself is enjoyable, however the marketing campaign is brief and with out important variation to capitalize on the wonderful core mechanics on provide. Even on Overdrive problem, the sport doesn’t seem to be one you can maintain coming again to over time.
There are extra pilots to unlock by means of in-game challenges (which encourage you to succeed in a sure milestone or play a sure approach to obtain a objective), however most of them might be unlocked simply simply by taking part in the sport. Even then, they don’t seem to be the correct of incentive to maintain gamers coming again for extra. What’s actually lacking is totally different recreation modes or modifiers, akin to related VR arcade-style video games like Beat Saber or Pistol Whip. Matt Corridor did inform me that an arcade/high-score mode is coming in a 1.1 replace, so that might handle a few of these points, however because it stands it feels just like the marketing campaign may have been a bit longer, extra assorted, or supplemented with extra modes at launch.
Efficiency and Consolation
The sport was envisioned with the Quest in thoughts from the start of growth, which makes numerous sense given the studio’s mobile-focused background. The sport runs extremely properly on Oculus Quest. It’s fairly an achievement given the quantity of bullet hell chaos that may occupy your environment in a single second.
When it comes to consolation, there’s no synthetic motion — it’s a roomscale expertise the place you’ll be dodging and adjusting your place to keep away from bullets. Mixed with the wonderful efficiency, most customers ought to discover Shooty Skies Overdrive pretty low on the potential nausea scale.
Shooty Skies Overdrive Evaluation – Closing Verdict
When it comes to aesthetics, efficiency and gameplay mechanics, the group at Mighty Video games have completely nailed Shooty Skies Overdrive and developed a powerful basis. However the marketing campaign (which is at present the one approach to play the sport) feels restricted in scope irrespective of which problem you play on, and maybe misses alternatives to take these robust video games foundations to a brand new stage.
As with all recreation, you mileage right here would possibly range relying in your style preferences. In case you love wave shooter, bullet hell chaos, then Shooty Skies Overdrive takes these ideas and applies them to roomscale VR in an thrilling approach. Nonetheless, the marketing campaign fails to raise these ideas to one thing extra substantial, and a few gamers would possibly end wanting extra. There’s numerous potential for enchancment as time goes on — updates with extra recreation modes and new content material may actually assist. However for now, Shooty Skies Overdrive affords a serviceable and amusing marketing campaign that will get the job carried out with what it has to work with.
Shooty Skies Overdrive is obtainable from right now on the Oculus Rift on Dwelling and Oculus Quest headsets. It should even be accessible subsequent month for different PC VR headsets through Steam. This overview was carried out utilizing the Oculus Quest model of the sport. For extra on how we arrived at this verdict, see the UploadVR Evaluation Scale under and take a look at our overview pointers.
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