Arcades can be a wonderful experience from playing your favorite games to the type of experience you can have. Even today one of my favorite experiences at arcades is going in, seeing that game you could sit where the sides and top had you closed in and you have a gun and you were taking on this ride. I have always thought it would be awesome to have that experience at home. Sure, we got a version of that experience over the years, but nothing like VR could allow you to have. So did Developer UserJoy and Publisher Winking Entertainment bring that experience home? Let’s find out with Drone Striker for the PlayStation VR.
Before we get into this, I want to talk about the control options here. Drone Striker gives you three different options of Aim controller, a Move controller or Dual Shock 4 controller. If you have the Aim Controller, I would highly recommend this option. More about this shortly.
But what exactly is Drone Striker about. Being an on-rail shooter that contains three different levels named Tunnels, Harbor, and City along with two levels of difficulty for each, normal and hard. It is your job to get rid of all the AI and help restore what has been taking from us. And we all know once the AI starts trying to take over and feel that we want what was always ours, we are now a threat to them and thus a battle is happening and you are the one that will lead us all to victory or die trying.
As you start, you are welcomed by Ava who tells you, Chris, that there are no other life signs except for you. So no pressure or anything. I mean you wouldn’t want to let Ava or yourself down, would you? I mean don’t be the one that lets the AI take over and rule the world when you know good and well that there are survivors elsewhere.
Then the story will get out on how you let everyone down when you had a chance and then you have to go in hiding because you ruined your family’s name and how you’re a menace to society while drinking something in some hood that you want to call home. But because you decided not to help we now have a new form of an apocalypse going on. So don’t be that person.
So with your weapon in hand, you are able to fire and shoot bombs that are limited. But you also have another weapon which you can use in your favor, rockets. When you aim at an enemy, areas will light up and once you pull that trigger, not only will your weapon fire, but the rockets will start to shoot towards the targeted enemies. This really comes in handy when you these enemy AI all over the place and you have to be able to get them before they get you…and they will get you. This can be a very strategic measure, but if you are quick, you can get some of those deadly shots without the rockets firing.
But like most things, when your health starts to deplete or your out of bombs, Drone Striker is here to help you out with power-ups along the way. What I appreciated about these power-ups was not only did they show up when I really needed them but the fact that I had to be on the lookout for them. They could be located high up, through an area as you pass by it. So when you add the enemies that you have to try and get rid of as they are firing back at you, you also need to be looking out for these power-ups which I thought just added to the fun I was truly having.
Speaking of enemies, there are plenty here. Some fly, some roll, some are on top of buildings, and many times they will be everywhere at once. So just think about it, there you are firing at this enemy that can be taken down pretty easy, but then you hear on your above left as one is flying over you, but then you have this one that is throwing flying circular saws along with missiles and bouncing bombs at the same time. But how User Joy was able to fine-tune the controls with the Aim controller was spot on. During all the action, I was able to just lay into the enemies and did not experience any drifting or lag or anything and when you play a game with a lot of enemies you do not want anything to break the immersion, and I am happy to say that it all worked very very nicely.
I also like how when an enemy was about to come, I could see an arrow that showed me where an enemy would be coming from. So thank you for that…thank you. I also appreciated how the bosses were implemented. Not once did I feel like there was a repeat or something was old was new again here. Each time I encountered a boss and how I needed to concentrate on the targets, that boss would summon more enemies and it was an all-out chaotic madness of a good time.
One thing you want when it comes to Virtual Reality is the smoothness of the immersion. Not once did I feel uneasy as the movement was exactly at the speed it needs to be. Sound-wise everything sounded crisp, explosions had that bang when it needed to, and your gunfire didn’t overshadow the other sounds and music that was going on.
Graphically speaking, everything was clear. Scores could be read as well as subtitles. Buildings, vehicles, fire to even lights were all nicely done which again is important when you have a lot of action that is going on. I also love that there are leaderboards. It just gives you additional goals to try and make to show that you are the best in the world. And if you need just some training, Drone Striker has you covered there as well.
There are some things that I wish there were more of. I would love to maybe have a different weapon like that could be upgraded the further you got in the game. Something with fire would be pretty cool. Another thing would be additional levels. Yes, there are three levels and yes, they are fun, I just was craving more when it was said and done. I would have loved to go to new areas. But who knows, maybe there might be a sequel in the works or maybe some DLC. This is just me saying what I would like and I don’t know of any future plans.
But what has happened here is something I have always known. One day we would be able to get those arcade experiences in our homes and be able to replicate them to a new level of experience, of immersion that would be leaps and bounds over anything we thought of. This is the power of Virtual Reality and this is what so many who thought after putting money in the machines and wishing that we could have that same experience, if not more, in our own homes. For those that dream of it, to those who create it, and to those that never stopped believing, thank you.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have to go and prove that I am the best in the world.