When you think of acts of war, what are your instant thoughts? Anger, betrayal, or maybe it’s the protection of your home. Other thoughts could be family and if you will ever see them again. Or one might think about who will take care of the plants. Either way, they are all good thoughts to have when going into war. But what if the reason for that war was the betrayal of the ones you called family and then find out that those who betrayed you can fire back when they no longer think you are worthwhile? Yes, war can be a hard look at reality. But does developer Cactus VR Studios show us how to let our inner Cacti out and take back what is ours? Let’s find out with Cactus Cowboy: Plants At War for the PlayStation VR2.
Cactus Cowboy: Plants At War is a WW2-themed VR story shooter that brings your weapon combat skills to a new level while taking you on a marvelous adventure through the Cactus Cowboy World. So before going to war and damaging all your Cactus spines, there are a few things that you will want to be aware of. First, find your favorite place to sit. War can be hard on the body, so you might as well feel comfortable while fighting. Second, please make sure those Sense controllers are charged. You don’t want to be in the plant’s line of sight and be frozen because you forgot to charge them. And finally, just have some fun. With all that said…let’s continue…
When you first start the game, you will have some choices to make. Do you want to start a new game, mess with the options, view the credits, or dive into the extras? I would suggest that you go into the Options as you will be able to adjust your movement, your gun and holster, view the controller layout, and adjust the audio and haptics. The Guns and Holsters will allow you to adjust where you will have your holster so you can have easy access to your weapons. Once you are ready, it’s time to start and this is where it will be story time as your Grandfather comes into your room as you are playing Call of Cactus, which I agree, should be in VR.
The story is a pretty simple one. The Cacti and the Bugs used to live together on Cacti Island. Then the bug army decided to attack Cacti Island and you have been deployed by the Cacti Army to go into battle and try to reclaim Cacti Island back on the day known as C-Day. But before you can go to battle, you have to go through basic training just like any other Cacti who joined the Cacti Army would. You can of course skip the training and go with Major Stency, but there was just something about his eyes, that I decided that it was in my best interest to go through the training.
Now, of course, you could jump into basic training or you could go around and hear what everyone has to say. There are some valid tips to be had here.
Once you have completed basic training, it’s off to the mission known as C-Day…the day the Cacti take back Cacti Island from those no-good-for-nothing bugs. Keep in mind, that ammo is not unlimited. Different weapons will load differently which adds another fun mix to things. So you will want to make sure those shots count. Well, as much as possible anyways. If you find yourself getting into trouble, you can always try and go back to the last checkpoint and rethink your plan. It might not work, but at least you tried.
Dodging the bullets can be an easy task, however, when you are trying to concentrate on where the evil plants are, trying to reload your weapon, then running out of ammo only to forget you had another weapon on your holster, it all can become a little chaotic at times, but in a fun way. But when you can get those shots off, it does have a satisfactory feeling to it. Throughout the game there will be spots will you will come across Hilga who is the medic of sorts. The one thing to remember is that even once you are healed up if you go back into battle and need more health, all you have to do is remember where she is and you can keep getting unlimited heals.
Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. Graphically, the game works. The style and the colors used just adds to that war atmosphere. The game is not trying to go for ultra-realistic here, but I honestly don’t think it needs to. Seeing the bugs explode as you shoot them with square blood just made me laugh at times. Weapons and medals looked good and I couldn’t help but look at some of the tanks that were not moving as they look like they have been through enough of the war. With the sound, there was no issue of hearing things sound as loud as they could with the music becoming more intense as the battle was heating up and this really came through with the Pulse 3D Audio headset. Plus when you add the haptics of the controllers and headset, it really does add to the experience.
There are a few things that I would love to see. First, there were times when you would see objects on the ground that you actually had to reach down and pick up. I think it would be beneficial to add a function where you can press a button and be able to pick up the objects more easily. Second, there were times when ammo would be collected when I moved over them and other times I had to pick them up. So I hope this can be addressed with an update. Third, being able to be in the vehicles. There are no accessible vehicles to be in and I honestly think it would be a blast if we could drive tanks or fly airplanes. And finally, just more Cowboy Cactus to play.
Cactus Cowboy: Plants At War gives us the opportunity to let our inner Cacti come out and play. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and just wants you to have fun. Keep in mind that the game is made by just one developer and is free on the PlayStation Store. So there should be no reason not to enjoy your time trying to take back Cacti Island. At times, we sometimes take ourselves too seriously and forget what having fun is about. In a world full of battle, couldn’t we all take ourselves a little less seriously and allow for some fun in our lives?
Cowboy Cactus: Plants At War is out now for the Quest/2 via Oculus App Lab on the Oculus Store, PlayStation VR2, and Steam VR. A review code was provided.
To learn more about Cactus VR Studios, please visit their site, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and subscribe to the YouTube channel.
Also, check out the Cowboy Cactus: Plants At War interview and check out the video review:
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have more medals to find.