Preview: Wanted Killer VR
Eighties cartoon-styled FPS adventure comes to VR to show everyone how it's done.
There’s a lot of discussion in virtual reality (VR) fan circles about movement and locomotion. Some users outright avoid teleport movement mechanics altogether, while others say they are necessary to include to reach a wide audience. Developer Playsnac have created a title that might make even die-hard teleport avoiders give the mechanic a try.
Wanted Killer VR is a tactical first-person shooter that mostly revolves around a ‘tactical teleportation’ mechanic. This mean that you can set up where you are going to teleport to, and then a pink line will appear and you will drop into slow motion, allowing you to take out enemy troops as you travel towards your destination point, where time will automatically resume its usual pace.
Normal instant teleport is also available, and there is an option for smooth locomotion as well, but using these does feel like you are effectively avoiding the main unique selling point of Wanted Killer VR. Smooth locomotion in particular almost feels like cheating with how much easier it becomes when using it.
You are automatically equipped with a pair of pistols, which can be replaced or upgraded as you progress. In practice, however, guns which you pinch from enemy troops tend to be more effective, especially when you can grab an assault rifle, use it until it runs out of ammo, then steal another one.
The graphics are good, the environments are nicely detailed for the most part and the assets fit well together. There are only about five maps in the current Early Access version, so expect to see the same locations fairly regularly. The enemies are apparently supposed to rag-doll on death, but the animation is very stiff and often makes them look like shop manikins. So that could probably use some tweaking.
The overall aesthetic feels quite 1980s, with pink neon all over the place and a graphical style reminiscent of Borderlands or an 80s anime. It works quite well for the most part and gives it a fairly unique feel.
The sound is fine, if not particularly standout. It works as background, and the sound effects and sounds balance work quite well for the most part. The spatial audio could use some tweaks, since at times the audio effects came from the wrong direction, which was a little off-putting.
The enemy AI could likewise use improvement, as they are not particularly clever and mostly seem to be cannon fodder. Some more challenging opponents might be interesting.
Though the 80s stylings and Steam store page suggest some sort of storyline, there is little actual story currently available in the Early Access version, and this is the sort of title that could only benefit from a suitably over-the-top action-adventure story to match its cartoon style.
There is clearly still plenty of work that needs to go into Wanted Killer VR, with the promise of more maps, characters and missions, though there is a definite solid basis for a brilliant VR videogame in here.
The development team need to play to the strengths of what they have in Wanted Killer VR and add the kind of content and polish that will raise Wanted Killer VR into something that could be exceptional.