Over the Christmas holidays, I needed a new VR game to fill my time. Yes, I’ve played Beat Saber tonnes, along with Audica and a few others. I needed a new member to add to my VR game night roster. So, after hearing about this little gem, I viewed the trailers. Instantly, I knew I needed Pistol Whip. It had all the hallmarks of what I was looking for. Guns? Check. Beat Saber-esque music levels? Check. Lots of customisation? Check. Fitness workout as well as an enjoyable gaming session? Check. It’s got everything you’ll need. Developed by Cloudhead Games LTD, the game was released 7th November 2019. It’s playable on all the major VR headsets, such as Oculus, Oculus Quest, HTC Vive, and Steam Index. Currently retailing at £19.49, it has a healthy selection of levels to play through. So, without further delay, let’s dive in, shall we?
Pistol Whip, John Wick Style
So, to give you a quick description of the gameplay in Pistol Whip that I can relay to you in one sentence, it would be the following: Take Beat Saber crossed over with Audica and all blended into a John Wick film. This is the result. And what a result it is. Never have I played a VR title that was as intuitive as this. It makes the game seem more realistic as the level design is unique in its style and execution. The levels roll out in front of you whilst you’re dodging and weaving bullets. Pillars and obstacles need to be avoided, and your whole body is needed to move. Enemies are all around you, from up high to down low. Nowhere is safe. The only thing you can rely on is your gun and your wits.
It is almost like you are John Wick who has taken the little red pill to see into the Matrix. It’s the best comparison I can make. I’m sure that this comparison has been made by many other reviewers on the web. You’re holding your favoured weapon of choice and are let loose on the levels. Each gun has a limited ammo clip, and reloading is very much like the Time Crisis games of old. By swinging your gun up (or down, depending on which modifier you set, but I’ll get to that soon), you will reload and be ready to jump right back into the fray.
Timing Is Everything
Each shot feels like a masterpiece of death with expert precision. Whilst you’re spraying these faceless enemies one by one, your score and multipliers rack up, earning you more points, and headshots give you the most points. Strategically placed shots can sometimes get you higher scores. The music is woven into this medley of chaos as the beats are in tune with the enemies. They appear on key changes and tempo shifts, and the pace at which all this is delivered is on point. Every song/level has its own unique flavour/style that is easily distinguishable from the other. Even after playing the levels multiple times, it doesn’t get boring. It has the one more go factor, that “if I just get that shot in this certain way, I’ll be able to get more points for that higher multiplier” drive behind it. It works. I wanted to see how much I could do. Trick shots were an inevitability.
Another Addition to the VR Party List
VR is fun to play. After having reviewed a number of these types of games, I’ve amassed quite a collection. There’s just something about having friends over taking turns playing the game, getting to enjoy the experience as a collective. With this game debuting the past week or so, it went down a treat, so much so that we planned to have another night of gaming. This title is on the list because it got everyone up and laughing. It’s a physically demanding game with challenges for those willing to try. For example, there are modifiers that enable you to make the game harder or easier, depending on your preferences.
Some examples of this are being able to use two guns and no fail modifiers for those wanting to have more than just one gun at a time and want to make it a bit easier. It’s all up to you. Your choices, your rules. The guns can also be tweaked for individuality, which is ideal for friends who all like their own stamp on a gun design.
Normally, I would do a pros and cons section, but I honestly couldn’t find any major faults with this game. There were minor issues, but nothing major enough to see them as real negatives. The only issues worth mentioning that I could think of was that I would like to see more songs/levels added to this game and also to have the ability to maybe make some custom stages like other rhythm games have implemented. Only time will tell though if these changes will be made at a later date.
All in all, an essential purchase for anyone who owns a VR headset.
Developer: Cloudhead Games ltd
Publisher: Cloudhead Games ltd
Release Date: 7th November 2019
Do you agree with our review of Pistol Whip VR? What are your thoughts? Tell us in the comments below or on our social media pages.