Adapting anything from one type of platform to another is a tricky process. A number of titles have made the leap into virtual reality (VR) after first appearing in 2D formats. Indian development studio Zatun is attempting to expand on its successful Sniper 3D Rust title, which game out on iOS and android by creating Sniper Rust VR.
The premise of Sniper Rust VR is that the player takes the role of a sniper (as you would expect) trying to put down an armed militia uprising that is taking place in various countries.
Despite this initial set-up, there is surprisingly little information or story to support this idea. This results in a number of logical holes that occur to you as you play, suh as questioning how exactly a militia group are operating across international borders with the kind of material support they apparently have.
The gameplay is objective-based, at the start of each level you are given a series of tasks to complete, mostly targets to kill or blow up. The controls are decent, and fairly easy to pick up, though it feels a little awkward to be wielding a sniper rifle with two Touch controllers.
The graphics are not very impressive. Though the developers promised ‘photo realistic environments… they really aren’t. There’s an over-reliance on bloom for the background, presumably to hide its shortcomings, and the assets used don’t seem to always integrate or match very well. Environments are messy and generic and not very interesting.
The sound design is also generic, with repetitive enemy cries and gunfire sound. The music is likewise generic and often doesn’t fit the environments it plays over.
The sniper training area is quite nice, and does a good job of teaching you the basics of the controls and gameplay. That you have the option to use smooth locomotion using the thumbstick is also good. Though some additional lefty options would also be nice, as doing things backwards for those of us of a southpaw persuasion is intensely awkward.
Gameplay quickly becomes repetitive. The development team promised adaptive AI that would change tactics depending on your behaviours, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. You find a decent sniper nest, take out as many bad guys as you can, if enemies get too close, move to another location. Wash, rinse repeat.
With the paper-thin story setup and almost complete and total lack of characterisation, there is no real reason to get attached. While the ‘heroic mime’ archetype can work if you have an interesting cast of support characters, the lack of them in Sniper Rust VR is a point against it.
Sniper Rust VR is trying quite hard to be the Sniper Elite 4 of VR, but sadly lack the setting, storyline, characters and polish needed to be in that league. A lot more work needs to be done before it can be considered as a recommended title, especially in terms of graphics and the great, gaping plot holes. What works in a casual mobile title does not always translate well into PC, especially in VR.