Review: Voxel Shot VR
Even cute square zombies don't guarantee success.
Everyone likes shooting stuff in videogames, right? And zombies have become a massive phenomenon because everyone seems to enjoy seeing or blowing their heads off. So mixing the two together should be a safe bet for videogame success. Well that’s not always true, zombies are so prevalent in videogames that for one to be good it needs to be very good at everything, while hopefully offering something unique and engrossing. Well Degica Games has has created Voxel Shot VR, a voxel themed first-person shooter (FPS) with – you guessed it – zombies. And while it is charming, it doesn’t quite hit its target.
First and foremost this is a waveshooter (most experienced virtual reality (VR) players will likely stop reading at this point), so you’ll find yourself fixed to one position with enemies coming at you from most directions depending on the level. In terms of levels there are only four, plus an additional Endless mode and training area. These four locations are City (easy), Desert (medium), Base (hard) and Airport (hard), offering different weapons and enemies so you can mix up tactics somewhat.
The weapons on offer are your standard affair, pistols, sub-machine guns, assault rifles, shotguns, rocket launchers, sniper rifle, a minigun and grenades. For some reason only the pistol and sniper rifle are reloadable, the other weapons have to be thrown away when emptied – but they do respawn on crates located around you. So while this mechanic does mean you get to mix your weapon choices, if you start to get overrun then it tends to become a ‘dead-mans click’ scenario as you then look for another weapon.
And some are only available on specific missions. The minigun for example can only be found on the Base level, while the sniper rifle is just for the Airport (see the image below). This is because Degica Games has added certain elements to each area for those particular guns. In the City you’ll find yourself in middle of a street mowing down waves of undead with normal weapons, while in the Desert you’re in the back of a truck with a tank to deal with so you’re provided a rocket launcher. While the levels do show some variety they tend to be over way to quickly, usually just as you’re getting into your stride.
Again, trying to add that mixture of difficulty, each level has standard shambling zombies, then as you progress these turn into giant boss zombies, or there are helicopters and tanks to watch out for. It’s all just a bit rudimentary FPS 101 gameplay, it all works nice enough but you might play for 30-40 minutes and then be done with it. Sure there are scores and a global leaderboard but that’s not nearly enough to keep players coming back.
Voxel Shot VR feels like it’s playing on its novel, quirky characteristics. It can be fun to begin with – and younger players will certainly like it – but for HTC Vive gamers who’re used to titles like Raw Data, Space Pirate Trainer, Island 359, Serious Sam, Zombie Training Simulator and many more, Voxel Shot VR just doesn’t offer enough.