Who doesn’t like a good gaming surprise? Without a doubt, my favorite part of covering games is those few rare times that at first glance, a game doesn’t stand out as anything special until you play it and are blown away. The moment when I think, “How the heck could I not have been aware of this game before?” The latest game to land on this list is Drifter’s Gunheart. If you’ve developed a bad attitude over the multitude of short, yet boring VR shooters then prepare to have that attitude adjusted.
So what makes Gunheart so different? For starters, it feels like a complete game, not VR complete (aka maybe an hour or 2), but what you’ve come to expect from regular games. There aren’t too many games built from the ground up for virtual reality that can say that. To give you an idea, there are 9 story missions, 20 side missions, weekly missions, and PvP challenges. That’s quite a bit of content already and it’s still only in Early Access. All told it adds up to quite a few hours of content and if you do want to run missions again, they are re-mixed so they don’t feel exactly the same each time through.
What is Gunheart all about? Players control robotic bounty hunters trying to make some scratch in a bug-infested frontier known as Planet Fortune. This setting gives off a serious vibe of both Halo and Borderlands. From the flashy over-the-top look of the mission hub to the wide variety of weapons and countless mods for them, you get those Borderlands sensations. All the while the bug enemies and planetary setting add that dash of Halo. It’s a pretty enticing combination on its own.
“There’s so much good going for this game that you’d be a fool not to play it.”
Now, this isn’t strictly a single player affair either. The missions can be done in co-op as well, either with friends or random strangers if you’d like. But if solitary gaming is your thing, it’s possible to set your missions to “friends only” and just conveniently forget to invite any of them, oops. If that’s not enough for you there is always PvP. So yes, there are plenty of options available.
Those options aren’t limited to types of gameplay either. Drifter has given a wide range of locomotion options to accommodate nearly any preference. Like to teleport? Which do you prefer, blink or dash? Free movement more your style? Would you like that with comfort blinders on or off? Have a Vive but a friend has a Rift? Not to worry, crossplay is there for you.
Is it starting to make sense why this is such an appealing game yet? Not only is there plenty of content to be had, but nearly every option a VR gamer could ask for in terms of movement is present. That’s not to say everything is 100% solid gold, however; as it’s still Early Access after all. Some items or modifications might need some polish or finishing, but that’s to be expected. The same goes with the graphics, though overall they are truly astonishing. It’s a great visual look and style. There are a few pieces that have the old UE 4 super polished to the point of nearly looking like glass under certain lighting conditions. But again, nothing to get worked up over at this point since it is still a work in progress.
If you’ve been searching for that VR game that feels every bit as full as a regular game, then search no further as Gunheart is what you are looking for. It’s also an incredibly easy-on-the-body experience as well. Some VR games seem to really drain your energy and can make 15 minutes feel like you’ve been playing for an hour. Gunheart is that polar opposite that you could spend hours on without even realizing it. There’s so much good going for this game that you’d be a fool not to play it. I’ve yet to encounter another VR game that’s had this amount of content, options, and variety to it. And just think, it’s still only in Early Access!
*** HTC Vive code provided by the publisher ***