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Preview: Gunjack

When CCP Games introduced the world to its first fully playable virtual reality (VR) release it was via the Samsung Gear VR mobile head-mounted display (HMD). Gunjack showed what the HMD could do, being a standout title that owners needed to have on their wish lists. Can the same be said for the Oculus Rift version?

First off Gunjack on the Oculus Rift is Gunjack on the Gear VR: they are essentially the same videogame. Owners of the mobile version will instantly recognise the intro sequence before the main menu comes into play. But while aesthetically it does look the same, the additional graphical polish makes it all pop. You’ll want to re-watch the intro and the other sequences again and again as everything feels more solid and enhanced.

Gunjack - Oculus Rift

Although the Oculus Rift is the first time that players will be treated to high-end VR, Gunjack won’t necessarily be first title they try on their shiny new HMD as the bundled videogames will get that privilege, such as sister release EVE Valkyrie, but the sights and sounds CCP Games has put into Gunjack still make it a show piece.

After being introduced to the storyline by the grizzled voice of your commander you’re straight into the action. Sat inside the swivel gun turret as it ascends into position; looking out across the vista of the planet below on the first level, you get to see the graphical prowess of the PC-based Oculus Rift. Rich and detailed as the first wave of enemy fighters come flying in, the is so much more impressive on the Oculus Rift.

Gunjack - Oculus Rift 1

During combat it’s easy to pick out the sequences of fighters as they tend to mirror themselves, from left to right, above and below. In terms of gameplay, nothing really has changed from the Gear VR version: as the levels progress all the enemies are the same, flight patterns, upgrades are unchanged. There doesn’t seem to be any more enemies or power-ups on-screen than the previous version which is a shame, aside from the improved graphics CCP Games has just made a straight port from Gunjack’s mobile sibling.

With that in mind its unlikely anyone who has previously purchased Gunjack on Gear VR will want to buy a second copy for their Oculus Rift just for a better looking version, as EVE: Valkyrie is coming bundled with pre-orders. This new edition is for those who have yet to experience the space-based shooting gallery, and for them it could be a worthy addition to their collection.