If you look over VRFocus’ past reviews and previews you’ll notice one common denominator, there’s quite a few wave shooters in there. Long term virtual reality (VR) enthusiasts will know that developers have a penchant for creating first-person shooters (FPS) that are stationary and wave-based. The reason for this is simple, the genre works well in VR, especially as an introduction for new players. The downside is that there are so many even well put together videogames need to offer more, so titles like High Noon VR by Russian studio Octobox Interactive just don’t offer enough.
What the developer offers with High Noon VR is a stationary shooter based in the American Wild West, where you play a sheriff looking to clean up an isolated town of its criminals. And the only way to do this is with an old fashioned shootout across various points scattered around the place.
From the get go it’s easy to tell High Noon VR is a fairly basic shooter, you can dual wield a selection of weapons from basic pistols that look fairly reminiscent of the era, all the way up to a portable minigun. These can only be unlocked as you make your way through the eight stage campaign, accruing funds along the way to make weapon purchases or upgrade them. There’s a reasonable selection, but once you’ve tried and upgraded them all that’s where the customisation ends.
As for the gameplay, it’s a case of standing there and being quicker than the enemies, spotting them and getting a few well-placed headshots. Most of the stages don’t actually provide you with any sort of cover, and you’ve got such a large health bar that only the latter stages should provide any sort of challenge.
So High Noon VR hasn’t been the best wave shooter so far but that’s not to say it’s bad. The actual gunplay itself is spot on, with weapons that feel powerful and accurate, helping give that illusion that you’re a proper gunslinger. What’s also refreshing to see is some half intelligent AI opponents in this single-player only experience. Quite often wave shooters tend to be a stampede, with opponents barrelling towards you until you become overrun. That’s not the case here, some will try to get closer, while others will keep their distance on a balcony. The one’s that do have a run around tend to follow a set path which can lead them behind cover, helping mix things up somewhat.
As mentioned in the first paragraph, High Noon VR is one of those VR experiences that doesn’t do anything particularly wrong, the visuals are good and the main shooting aspect works perfectly well. But it’s in a very crowded genre that features some awesome videogames with unique selling points, such as Raw Data, Blasters of the Universe, DOOM VFR, Space Pirate Trainer and many, many more. It’s fairly cheap, so if you love cowboy style shoot-em-ups then give it a go, otherwise there are much better examples of this genre out there.