Virtual reality has yet to become the way forward in gaming. With a lack of real substantial properties to use this incredible technology, it’s in danger of becoming yet another fad. There are loads of smaller games to keep the headset firmly on your head, but only for a short while, and VR modes on conventional non-VR titles don’t make the cut. The more affordable yet technically weak platform, PlayStation VR, stole my heart on its release. It didn’t win any awards for graphics, but the headset did the job perfectly, albeit tethering you to its parent console.
It’s no stranger to shooting games, utilising the PlayStation Move controllers that work really well mostly, we’ve seen some pretty cool titles, with the London Heist game from PlayStation VR Worlds being a clear-cut highlight. Well, developers Vertigo Games brings over their PC VR zombie shooter, Arizona Sunshine, to the PSVR with relative success. As most PSVR games require you to sit down whilst playing, Arizona Sunshine is best played on your feet as zombies are going to be coming at you from all angles.
Arizona Sunshine is a light-hearted zombie game (if there is such a thing) filled with some quirky dialogue and slapstick humour. You, an unnamed guy, find yourself waking in a cave with a dead zombie at your feet, and it’s not long before you find a radio with a weak signal which is key to surviving the overrun Arizona locale en route to salvation. It’s enough of a reason to carry the game forward, but it’s an overall fairly weak plot; however, being a VR game, Arizona Sunshine is all about the immersion and gameplay.
After you find your first weapon, namely a handgun, you’re free to move around and shoot any zombie you see. Moving around is done in probably the best way in a VR adventure game here, the ‘teleport method’. You point with your Move controller and hold in the large button on it to select a place using an on-screen target, then release said button to quickly switch to that location, and you’re then free to look around you. It works best this way as it remedies the dreaded VR sickness most people suffer from actually moving in the game. You can press the trigger button on your empty hand to pick up items such as ammunition and shoot when holding a gun. It works like a charm and feels right, granting free movement, which is a must in VR.
Shooting zombies is so much fun here. Although they come at you in an unnatural, robotic way, blowing them apart is deeply satisfying, especially when watching their heads explode with a well placed headshot a la Rick Grimes. There is no aim assist here though, your real life marksman skills play a vital role if you want to reserve ammunition and continually go for the noggin. Many times I found myself closing one eye to aim at a zombie in the distance. It’s extremely fun. Run out of ammo though and you have no option but to run, and you can’t punch them like some virtual Muhammad Ali….sad.
Arizona Sunshine is one of the better looking PSVR titles. Brightly coloured and nicely detailed, the world feels rich and brazen with character. On PS4 Pro, the draw distance is pulled back allowing for a bigger feeling world. I often paused to look around taking in the views before resuming my zombie slaughter. You can do that here, and it feels great, but nailing the undead feels even better. Environments range from ravines and cliffs to zombie-infested towns and underground mines, each bringing with it it’s own personality and ambience. Arizona Sunshine is an innovation in terms of exploration. An interactive world strewn with the walking dead that begs to be explored, whether you’re searching cars on a bridge or houses in an abandoned town.
Developer: Vertigo Games
Publisher: Vertigo Games
Platforms: PS4, PC
Release Date: 27th June 2017