It’s fair to say that VRFocus likes the odd first-person shooter (FPS) or two as it seems like every other virtual reality (VR) preview or review revolves around the genre. Whilst that’s not necessarily a bad thing it does mean there are far more mediocre titles being launched than awesome standout videogames like Raw Data or Robo Recall. One of the latest to land on Early Access for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift is Guns’n’Stories: Bulletproof VR from MiroWin, a comedy/wild west wave shooter with an addictive charm.
So what’s on offer? Well for this initial release MiroWin has three levels available with a sizeable boss fight at the end. You can play any of them straight from the off but that would be missing part of the storyline that’s so interwoven into the levels. You see it’s a grandfather talking about his past as a bounty hunter to his grandson, and naturally as he tells his tales they become more and more embellished which in turn changes how the videogame is played and what weapons you have at your disposal.
To begin with you have one pistol to hand, then two. As the stages progress the grandfathers story becomes an even taller tale and you then get some machine guns – awesome looking ones at that – and by the end you’re suddenly equipped with this massive gun that has a combined machine gun and grenade launcher. It’s a novel approach to introducing gameplay elements, keeping you immersed in the action and the story at the same time.
The actual battles in Guns’n’Stories: Bulletproof VR are great fun – you almost forget you’re playing a wave shooter – with enemies coming in two basic forms, ranged and melee. The melee characters will try and rush you, with a few decent headshots dispatching them fairly quickly. What’s nice about the enemies that use guns is that they also use cover – way too many wave shooters just go for the horde attack approach – so you can at least have a partial gun battle even if they are AI opponents. Shooting their hats off before getting that headshot is a novel touch but Guns’n’Stories: Bulletproof VR has something else to add, shooting enemies bullets. Yes you can dodge out the way, or even knock them away with the gun, but shooting them out the air – if you’re really lucky towards another hostile – is a simple yet very satisfying mechanic.
And these cartoon style physics are present throughout. When enemies are killed they’ll flail around like ragdolls, the guns have infinite ammo so there’s no reloading – the machine guns do have a clip but it’s automatic. It’s comedic without being too overly absurd.
Mention wave shooters to a VR player and they’ll probably roll their eyes. Titles in this genre need to have something special about them to even be worthwhile. The Secret Locations Blasters of the Universe had it and Guns’n’Stories: Bulletproof VR looks like it might as well. So long as MiroWin adds plenty of content during early access then Guns’n’Stories: Bulletproof VR could very well be a hit.