Arizona Sunshine is one of the better VR titles I’ve played; the game actually feels like it’s had proper time invested into developing it, it’s got a really great combat and shooting system, and an enjoyable lead character… Yet I never see it crop up when I’m looking at ‘what to buy for your VR system’…
Following suit of the best VR game I’ve played, Resi 7, Arizona Sunshine is also a zombie game… However this a very different type of zombie title as it’s not that scary; there are a couple of little scares if you get caught, but I’ve never found myself scared to enter a room or frozen in fear. It’s more of a fun FPS game that uses zombies as enemies. At times it definitely gave me Walking Dead vibes; early, good Walking Dead that is.
The first thing that makes this game stand out is that it has an exciting lead character who gives your lifeless body some sort of voice and personality as you walk around the different levels, all of which have been designed to be exciting; you’ll find him quipping and making jokes, making the experience more enjoyable, and more realistic. It also makes sure that the dying world around you doesn’t feel too lifeless. Sometimes the jokes don’t land, or the dialogue can be a bit cheap, but most of the time it works – Overall it feels like the humour is a way of coping with the dread; for example he calls all of the zombies Fred so he’ll shout out ‘Fred what are you doing in there’; another element I like in particular about this is that it’s not a wave shooter, which many of these VR shooting games are. The levels are designed for exploration and have a couple of different options for routes, such as needing to find a key to get in a door; it really works and adds a level of interactivity that I really like, as I think VR gaming really needs to grasp that ‘exploration of a new world’ vibe.
The aim of the game is to find other survivors in this completely empty (Except zombies) world – I feel that it’s pretty similar to The Walking Dead in the vibe it creates, in that it can be really quiet one minute as you’re searching through cars for ammo and materials, then all of a sudden you can get swarmed. If you make a mistake you’re dead as the zombies are relentless in a group – You’re encouraged to open abandoned cars to search for ammo or supplies, searching my way through the first group of empty cars on a bridge really gave me those apocalypse vibes; quite often when searching for things you need something will go wrong and set a swarm of zombies on your ass.
A lot of the ‘swarm’ areas have explosive barrels and they’ll come from various locations around the map to try and surround you – Again, because you’re not locked in one place, you can move around to try and avoid attacks and take them on using your noggin! I particularly like the aiming system in this game, I still can’t get over the fact that you can literally close one eye to aim your gun through the sights for the perfect headshot. There’s a really satisfying feeling when you’re perched above a group of zombies aiming down, taking them out with headshots and slowly planning your attack.
The HUD is essentially your tool belt; you look down to check your watch to pause or quit the game, and you have your grenades stored here. You can also hold 2 guns on your belt and 2 in your hands – Guns start at simple pistols and work up to things like Uzi’s – I’ve yet to encounter anything that isn’t a 1 handed weapon, however; all of the weapons are really fun to use and varied as you have quick fire pistols, powerful revolvers and fast firing SMG’s (And don’t forget the grenades). I love the gunplay as you need to be quick and precise and ensure you’re constantly reloading.
As the game progresses and the levels go from an open desert area with scattered abondoned buildings to a dark abandoned mine where it’s extremely dark, and your only way to see is via a torch that doesn’t cover a massive area. It’s a little hairier in here as you can’t see what’s coming, but you can always hear those noisy zombies! So it’s still got a fun vibe, definitely no terrifying surprises. Not yet anyway!
I think that Arizona Sunshine is a solid VR shooter and I’m glad to have a VR game that feels like a full length game, finally.
I give Arizona Sunshine a: