Arizona Sunshine VR
Arizona Sunshine was one of the first two games I purchased for my Oculus Quest 2 which I purchased a couple of months ago now. A co-worker was telling me about his Oculus Quest 2 and how great it was and how fun this Arizona Sunshine game was. It sounded need, but I wasn't all that convinced, plus the 400 + dollar price tag (CAD) was a bit off putting to try out a new tech which might just be overhyped gimmick.
I had used an Oculus Go previously, when last winter my mom brought one home and me and my wife were there for the holidays , and she said she bought it because it was on sale and looked fun. We all had a try, had some laughs and pretty much forgot about it.
A couple of months ago after hearing my co-worker go on about his quest 2 and AZ, I booted up the Oculus Go and messed around to see if it was any good. I ended up enjoying some small games it had. The Go only has one controller with a trigger and a thumb pad. There was a beat saber like game where you have a hammer and switch colours of your hammer with the trigger to hit the appropriate colour of blocks that come your way.
The point I'm trying to get to, is that I enjoyed it enough to decide to spend the cash on the Oculus Quest 2. Since I had a nice discount coupon for an online order at Best Buy and I had just gotten my yearly bonus from my previous job. Also since it was a significant purchase I asked my wife if she would be OK with me spending $400 on a toy.... She said it was fine with her so I made the order.
This is turning into an Oculus review, but that will be a different review, so its time to get on with the review of the game, which I finished last night.
Arizona Sunshine was my first VR game (I'm not counting the demos on the Oculus Go or Beat Saber)
I had no idea what to expect as it was loading up. (You can buy it on Steam or on the Oculus Quest itself, i bought mine on the Quest)
So when the game loads up you start in a trailer with a bunch of tapes on the table and a spot to insert them with a screen on the far wall. There is also a purple gun on the table beside the tape deck. These tapes are the different game features such as settings, campaign, horde mode , credits and even the DLC packs have their own tape.
you can pick up a take by pointing your had at it and clicking the trigger button to grab it. Then you insert it into the tape deck by moving to the deck and clicking the trigger again. It was very neat to reach for things and pick them up with a click.
Then with a tape inserted, the screen will show a menu and you then pick up the gun and shoot at the options you want to select.
There is an option for having a reticle for aiming or to not have one. I opted for not having one and I loved playing without one. Nothing felt more badass than popping headshots one after another aiming down the sights or just quickly aiming and shooting and hitting your target.
Though many times I would shoot , miss by a bit and have to re-adjust which felt very real.
Many times I would steady my right arm with my left, and then when the magazine was empty I would just quickly swap and steady my left with the right hand to fire my second gun. When you get used to the gunplay in the game it gets very smooth.
To reload your gun, you will press the lower button on the face of the controller which ejects the clip, then you tap your hand to your chest where all your ammo is kept. You do the same for any gun in your left hand as well. Ammo you pick up you grab and touch your chest and it will go into your ammo stash.
Same with grenades. When you look down you will see your ammo count, your grenades and the weapons on your holsters (One on each side) You can carry 4 guns at a time. One in each hand and one on each of your hips. There is a section where you go through a mine and need a flashlight so that leaves you with 3 guns and a flashlight.
There are about 10 guns in the game and all of them were fun to use, including the sniper rifles later in the game which you cant take with you, instead you find them in a sniper nest, you can pick them up and take out targets at a distance, then leave the gun behind and continue on.
A bit of a disappointment was the fact that there is no gun recoil when you shoot.
As for movement through the game, there are 3 different ways, The first method which I used for most of the game was teleporting. You use your thumbstick on either hand to pick a spot to teleport to and you will go there. From whatever spot you're in you can take a few steps anywhere , you can look in any direction(depending on your play area) and crouch if you want.
The other option is for smooth movement. Which means you move like in any other video game, using the thumbstick to move forward and back in the direction you are looking or the direction your hand is pointing (changeable in the options)
This method is what I wanted to use, but it quickly made me dizzy and sick. It also caused me to almost fall over a few times as the sensation of shooting forward while not actually moving was destabilizing at best, and nauseating at worst.
The third option is one I couldn't try out as it needs an extra accessory. Its called Cyber Shoes. (look it up) From what I have seen , you have something on your feet, and you sit in a chair and move your feet to make your character walk.... I don't know much else about it.
The graphics in the game are enjoyable but slightly cartoonish (which is perfectly fine) and there is a but of fog after a certain draw distance but the views can be really nice. The zombies that come after you look fine and there is enough variety of them to not get too stale too fast.
Some will have helmets and body armour so aiming for the head wont kill some of them. IN those cases you take out the legs and pump their bodies full of lead until they die.
The first part of the game was very neat. There were objects to pick up and look at. Car doors to open to check the seats for ammo. Car trunks to open, buildings to go into with desk drawers to open for ammo. There is food in the fridge to eat and random cans and items to pick up and throw with no real use.
There are masks all over the place in this game that you can pick up and put on. Some cool looking ones too and I wore the Jason looking hockey mask from when I got it to the very end of the game. These are just for co-op mode fun from what I can tell as in single player they serve no purpose.
The gameplay has you making your way through Arizona in search of... well anyone else. You're alone the entire time following a radio broadcast in hopes of meeting up with other people. Along the way you have to find some keys, and levers and find some C4 , but for the most part you're shooting zombies . Sometimes there are a few that you dispatch quite easily out in the open and move on, other times you are in a tight spot and a horde of them are rushing towards you and you have to take them all out before you can move on.
These are the times you need to have your reloading skills down, and know how to use your grenades. A couple times I would throw a grenade without first pulling the pin. Waiting for the boom, but it never came.
Speaking of grenades, I dont know if it was just me but I couldn't thrown them very far and sometimes they fell so close to me I had to turn and run so I wouldn't die or take damage from it.
The character you play talks to himself, and to the zombies so you get some personality to the character you play. He makes quips, shouts emphatically as he gets headshots and mows zombies down. Laments about being alone, questioning what hes doing and why hes bothering.
Had this been another FPS for steam or consoles, it would be pretty mediocre in all honesty. What makes this game much more, is the VR aspect where you are actually inside the game. You will see a tank 10 feet away from you and its fully 3D and looks like you're sharing the space with the tank. Its not on a screen, its right in front of you. The zombies aren't flat they are your height and can swarm you from all sides and look like they have weight to them
You can move your hands around and see all the angles and all sides of the guns or other objects you have in them at the time. You can even toss things in the air and catch them again. You can look around a wall and see whats there without moving your feet.
You can crouch down to see under tables or to open drawers that are lower to the ground.
The game also has 3 DLC packs which are more campaigns, though some are shorter than others and I think all are shorter than the campaign which you can probably beat in 6 hours.
Is Arizona sunshine worth picking up if you have a VR set? Definitely. Its a great game to start with to ease you into VR.
Is Arizona Sunshine a reason to spend 400 + on a VR headset? No, not just for one game, but there are many , many great games today for VR that make getting a set worth while. There are online multiplayer games , there are ping pong games, Myst is in VR, Half Life Alyx, Doom 3 is coming to VR very soon, Tetris in VR, The Climb, Vader immortal, Watching 3D movies and so much more. VR is just taking off and is only going to get better.