Most gamers have favourite videogames which they play on rotation depending on what they like, are good at, or just fancy at any given point. A puzzle title here, a horror experience there, that’s the great thing about the medium it covers the majority of wants. While virtual reality (VR) videogames have begun to leave the shadow of short tech demos, with longer more engaging and immersive experiences focused on character building, or a deep storyline, there’s something to be said for visceral, arcade action that you can just pickup and play. And that’s the segment Clear Ink Studios’ Galaxis Wars nicely resides in.
The best way of describing Galaxis Wars is by comparing it to vertical scrolling shoot-em-ups like Ikaruga. Rather than shooting down waves of enemies from the top of a screen you instead have them coming from all angles, having to destroy them as quickly as possible before your vision just gets over whelmed with enemies and laser fire, or you simply die.
What’s nice about Galaxis Wars is it’s easy to pickup and play – you essentially do just that – grabbing a small spaceship in front of you with whichever controller you prefer (the other becomes redundant), that controller then becomes that ship. You can then move it in any direction you wish whilst firing your guns to destroy the onslaught of incoming hostiles. And that is it in terms of gameplay. It may not sound like much but sometimes the most addictive and revered videogames didn’t need to make things over complicated, just a finely tuned mix of difficulty and quality gameplay mechanics. Now that’s not to say Galaxis Wars is on the same level as Ikaruga, but for VR gamers it doesn’t do a bad job.
Galaxis Wars has two gameplay modes, a campaign and an endless mode, and it’s all about scoring as many points as possible. The campaign has 100 levels/waves to get through and you’ll certainly not manage it on your first try. To aid you – and to give the title some extra depth – kills earn you energy which can then be used to upgrade your ship. Getting deeper into the campaign also provides access to a better class of ship. These upgrades come in two flavours, active and passive, but they all essentially do a similar job. Active abilities are more expensive and give you bombs, healing, temporal distortions, and more, all of which can be further enhanced. While the passive abilities improve damage percentage, armour, energy collection and other useful items. These can then be stacked to further improve their effectiveness.
All in all Clear Ink Studios has created a title that’s a great little time killer. It’s not going to set the VR world on fire with amazing visuals or unique gameplay, but it doesn’t need to. Most players will blast through a bunch of waves, gaining a few upgrades here and there, then challenging a mate to do better. If you’re looking for a solid little title that re-imagines those old vertical shooters, then give Galaxis Wars a look.