If you could go on an adventure that could bring you all the riches you can imagine, would you go? What if that adventure had uncertainties from the possible to the unimaginable, would you still go? One would need to weigh the pros vs the cons to see if would all be worth it. It’s easy to think about what we would do just by thinking vs what we would do if the opportunity presented itself. So does developer VRKiwi bring the digging adventure fun? Let’s find out with Cave Digger 2: Dig Harder for the PlayStation VR.
Cave Digger 2: Dig Harder is an action-adventure game where you get to explore old mines, nautical caves, and ruins of ancient civilization inspired by western, dieselpunk, and Lovecraftian themes in either single-player or co-op with up to four players all in Virtual Reality. So before you go digging around trying to gain all the riches and fame that you can, there are a few things that you should know. First, make sure you have some space around you. Since you will be digging and banging, you want to make sure that you do not hit anything or anyone. Second, since the game uses the Move controllers, make sure you keep those wrist straps on (you probably won’t) and make sure they are charged. You don’t want to go deeper into the caves, hear something of the unknown, and just as you are about to defend yourself, your controllers run out of power. Third, you can play standing or sitting. Play in a way that is comfortable for you. And finally, have fun. With that said…let’s continue…
In Cave Digger 2: Dig Harder, you play as an “uninsured” Prospector per your contract, where, well, your camp is pretty much an abandoned one. Your goal is simple, gain as much riches as you can so that you can build up your camp, upgrade your weapons, and gain access to different locations to expand the frontier exploration empire. But of course, one can not simply mine without tools. The first of your trusty tools, believe it or not, are your gloves. These gloves have more than the purpose of making sure you don’t get any blisters, as they can help light torches as well as hold different items to help you with your adventure. You do start out with a pick axe which is very easy to use and the tracking works pretty well when I was using it in all different directions.
Any loot or relics you discover from mining, you simply need to put over your shoulder into your backpack. Keep in mind, your backpack only is capable of holding a certain amount of items. As you move through each level of the mine, when you have your limit or maybe you are just on that final bar of life, hopefully, you have found the exit shaft through your digging or you will need to retrace your steps back to the entrance shaft to go back up to your camp so that you can deposit what you find into the machine, grab the handle, and then crank so you can get paid. Your glove will show not only your health but the amount of money that you have.
The money that you earn can be used to purchase different items in the shop. The first item you will want to purchase is the revolver. There are enemies in the cave and sometimes just swinging your pick axe may not be as satisfactory as shooting not only the enemies but those hard-to-reach places that may just leave you some riches that you are searching for. Items can be different tools. When you don’t have enough funds to purchase other tools or upgrades, it’s back to the mine to get what you can. Just keep in mind, the mine that you enter, may not be the same mine as things do change, so expect the unexpected.
In your camp, you can purchase things like your cabin, grab loot posters, access different parts of the map, and a lever that once pulled will randomly give you some indication of what might be in the mines underground. Monsters will vary from Adult Plasma Shrimp to…well, I don’t want to spoil anything for you. So good luck in those mines. I will say, the more money you earn, you might want to upgrade to bigger tools such as the shovel for mining different parts of the cave floors to even the pan (for loot of course). Upgrading your tools to the newer version will help you in the long run and just maybe come in handy when you have some enemies of different sizes, such as the Wondering Chameleons, coming to see why you are disturbing their homes. Other things you can see when pressing the X button, are the Library that helps tell the story in a comic book-style fashion, any Errands that you need to run, etc.
When you have had enough of the single-player style, you can jump into some Multiplayer action where you and up to three others work together, communicate, and ultimately gain some amazing loot. A little hint…if you are needing some funds, join a multiplayer session and all that is collected is given to each player so that can carry over when you want to go back to the single-player aspect. When I joined a multiplayer, it was only for a few minutes at first to get a feel and I joined right as the other two players received a lot of loot and it when I left, those funds were there. So it’s a quick way to gain some money for anything you might have been wanting to upgrade. But going back into multiplayer, I did have a lot of fun and the players I did meet sure were happy to offer any help to anyone that joined. It’s all about working together and it showed.
Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. Exploring the different locations had their own independent feel and look. Going down to each section of the caves and seeing how the lighting was used and given off the illusion that some caves were much bigger and deeper than they appeared to be to lighting the torches to give the room just the right amount of light as I was digging away. The colors of the different pieces of loot to the safes where you have to move the letters to try and answer the clues were very easy to read even if the lighting in the part of the area is not as bright. The sound was very fitting for the Old West-style setting from the narration to the music being played to the tools being used to even the loot that was being collected. It really did add to the atmosphere of the immersion.
There are a few things that I would love to see. For one, more parts of the camp to expand on. There is just a handful to unlock, which is good, but at times, I just wanted to add more to let anyone know that this was my camp. Second, even more creatures. There are some creatures in here that when I first saw them, I was all looking at the detail until they decided on other things like attacking, that each new creature just made me think of additional creatures and possibilities that would be awesome to come across. And then finally, PlayStation VR2. I am not sure at this time if there are plan to bring Cave Digger 2: Dig Harder to the upcoming PlayStation VR2, but I can only imagine the details of the visuals and haptics that can be used, plus, the thumbsticks for the ease of movement.
Cave Digger 2: Dig Harder improves from the first game in every way. From the single-player story with multiple endings to multiplayer co-op fun. It doesn’t take away what made it special but adds to the experience. Sometimes in life, we focus on how can we have that next big thing no matter the cost. But if we take the time and focus on what we do have in life, we may just have the experience worth digging for right in front of us.
Cave Digger 2: Dig Harder is out now for the Quest/2 via Oculus App Lab on the Oculus Store, PlayStation VR, Steam VR, and Viveport. A review code was provided.
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In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have more endings to dig for.