When you hear music, what do you really hear? Is it the words, maybe you are hearing the instruments, or maybe it’s the part that really gets you into the song? Rhythm and music have always been a part of each other. But what happens when you add a new element to the mix? But does developer Jaw Drop Games and publisher Raw Fury Will it add to the atmosphere or distract you from it? Let’s find out with Gun Jam VR for the Quest 2/Pro.
Gun Jam VR is a rhythm FPS where the player must shoot to the beat to survive. It features a unique beat-pattern shooting mechanic and firefights synced to the original soundtrack in a vibrant world. Prepare to obliterate enemies whilst blasting to the beat that welcomes you to the city of Mubel where the omnipresent ‘Beat’ means everything music is used as a means of control all in Virtual Reality. So before going into the game trying to think you can shoot at whatever at any time, there are a few things you should be aware of. First, you can sit or stand. If you sit, make sure you have some room. If you stand, know where your boundaries are as you will be moving, dodging, ducking, and shooting. Second, make sure everything is charged. You don’t want to be in that final stage only to die because you forgot to check. Third, I am not going to spoil anything for anyone, so I am only going to show footage from the first stage. And finally, try and have some fun. With all that said, let’s continue…
When you first start Gun Jam VR, you are put into the hub. But this is not a normal hub. This is the moving and grooving disco lights from the floor and speakers throwing out the bass from the walls type of hub. To your left, you have your Settings, to the right you have Leaderboards, Accolades, and Stats. In the middle, you have a warning that reminds you that there will be physical activity, best-played standing, and make sure you have a clear and safe space at all times. You really don’t want to injure yourself, people, pets, electronics, etc. So thank you for the warning, I acknowledge it, and let’s goooooo.
Once you have acknowledged the warning you are then presented with two options. Do you want to play Arcade or do you want Free Play? In Arcade Mode, you play through every level of the game, but the weapons are restricted. As you progress, new enemies will enter that you will try and shoot as well as try and reach a certain Par Score and Time. If you complete a level in Arcade Mode, it will unlock that level in Free Play. In Free Play, all weapons are there for you to select from, but you can apply different modifiers to help you try to achieve the highest score.
Once you have decided on the mode it’s time to play. This is not your typical shooter. In fact, you cannot just simply shoot at the enemies, you have to shoot them to the rhythm of the song that is being played. This threw me off at the beginning because I as well as others is just used to shooting. But to have to shoot on rhythm adds another level of challenge that as you keep progressing, things become a lot more challenging. Just look at the bottom bar as you can tell when you can shoot your weapon. But once you start to find your groove, it’s just allowing yourself to get into the rhythm of it all, plus sweat. Yes, you will sweat as you start to get into those final levels of each stage.
As of play, there are four stages that each have a variety of levels. The stages range from Sonic Prison (which is what is being shown), City Streets, GunJam Arena, and Noise Maze. Just so you know, Noise Maze has only two levels to play and you will want to make sure you stretch. In fact, have some Gatorade, some towels, and turn on the fan even in Winter), and all I can say is good luck. As you progress, you start earning those Accolades the Modifiers that you can use. Playing in Arcade Mode, you also have the option to select your weapons. If you want the same weapon that will shoot this line of a laser, go for it. You want the weapon that will follow the enemies (my favorite) and a weapon that shoots grenades, it’s all up to you. You just need to find what works best and go for it.
Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. The graphics are colorful and really enjoyed how each stage had its own theme, look, and feel. I will say there were times when trying to read the leaderboards or my Accolades was a little hard to see. With the sound, of course, this is about the music, so to add fuel to the fire, you need some music to help you keep going. There is a mix of Meta, EDM, and TrapHop and all sound really good and do a very good job of keeping the motivation going.
There are a few things that I would love to see added. First, difficulty levels. If this is the first game that someone comes in once they have their Quest 2/Pro, it is either going to push that new player away due to the discouragement or it is going to keep them playing. Plus, if there was a separate leaderboard for different levels, that just adds to the motivation. Second, unlocking other stages. Unless your Par Score and Time are not met (which is very well possible you will not know what they are), you cannot move on to the next stage even if you completed all the levels within that stage in both Arcade Mode and Free Play. Opening up the stages just allows players to play the other levels and add to their score. But I also understand that the game wants to make you work for it. Third, more stages. As I mentioned before, there are only four stages. If not more stages, then maybe add a way for players to create their own levels with the different selections of music. And finally, other platforms. Right now, the game is out for Quest 2/Pro. Hopefully, there are plans to bring the game to Steam VR and PlayStation VR2. Imagine the haptics and eye-tracking that could be implemented on PlayStation VR2.
Gun Jam VR adds to the genre a new level of play. Yes, it may take some getting used to, but once you do, you will be moving and shooting to the rhythm in no time. They say that music calms the savage beast, but when the music is part of you and you are part of the music, the thing that’s been laying dormant inside can finally be unleashed. In life, music helps us with every part of our life. We have our favorite song when we are sad, mad, or even happy. But it’s those moments in our life that help defines us that can never be taken away. And couldn’t we all use a few more defined moments in our lives?
Gun Jam VR is out now for the Quest 2/Pro. A review code was provided.
To learn more about Jaw Drop Games, please visit the site, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, follow them on Instagram, and subscribe to their YouTube channel. To learn more about Raw Fury, please visit the site, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and subscribe to their YouTube channel.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I need to do a little more stretching and climb some leaderboards.