If there was an apocalypse and the world that you knew was now infested with zombies, how well do you think you could survive? Do you think that you would be better on foot or out on the road? Would the roads be any safer than on foot? Anything could happen on the outside at any time, but if there was any chance for safety, it might be a risk worth taking if would mean a chance for survival. But does developer TravoLab Replay show what it’s like on the open road in a zombie-infested apocalypse world? Let’s find out with Hell Road VR for PCVR.
Hell Road VR has an unknown event that caused the apocalypse where you receive a mysterious radio transmission asking for help. Risking your life with a weapon in hand while riding your bike on a road trip of challenges through a post-apocalyptic world against all kinds of zombies. So before you get on your bike and head out on that road and battle through your hopes and dreams, there are a few things that you will want to do first. First, find your favorite chair as this is a seating experience. Second, make sure your controllers are charged as you don’t want to be driving your bike only to have your controllers die and you become a meal on wheels. And finally, have some fun. With that said, let’s continue…
When you first start and being on the bike in the garage, it instantly gave me those arcade motorcycle games where you sit on the body of a bike feeling. It’s almost as if there was a way to get one of those arcade machines and have Hell Road VR on the screen would it then be the ultimate experience. But those machines can cost $$ and then you have to have room for it, so with your favorite chair, feel free to get creative. You will want to go into the options and select your controls. There are three bike control modes to select from. Body and Head, Handlebar, and Joystick. Body and Head. In the Body and Head, you will have to tilt your body left and right to turn, press grip on the left controller to brake, and press the trigger on the left controller to accelerate. Selecting Handlebar you will place your left hand on the handlebar and hold the trigger as you move the handlebar down to turn left and put the handlebar forward to turn right. I will be honest and found that even though you could lean and move your arm to help with the movement, that it would take more practice to get the hang of everything and some people may like that, but it just wasn’t for me. Again, it may be for you, but me personally, I just couldn’t get used to it and that’s fine, that is why there is the third option, Joystick. This is where you use the left thumbstick to move and it was a lot easier to move the bike. Once you have your favorite control scheme selected (which you can change at any time) you need to select your difficulty of Casual, Normal, and Hard. Once you have everything selected, it’s time to get on your bike and either attack anything in your way or try to outmaneuver them.
There are different weapons throughout the game, in fact, 8 of them. We have the 9mm pistol (unlimited ammo), SMG, Revolver, Crossbow, Spear, Grenade Launcher, Shotgun, and my personal favorite, the zombie shredder. But this being the zombie apocalypse, ammo can be scarce so be on the lookout for any ammo boxes on the road. To fire your weapon, press the trigger button grip button and reload using the grip button on the right controller. To select a different weapon use the left thumbstick to select it.
Don’t take too long to move around as you do only have a certain amount of time to reach the end of the level. Each of the levels will have where you will need to be on your guard as you will be a sitting duck as zombies, including zombie dogs, can come at you as you need to try to defend your location and again, keep a look on your ammo for each of the different weapons as they can become helpful here. But this is at the point where you have two hands-free and each one can have a weapon so choose wisely.
If you happen to survive, you will be able to see your stats of how well you did including the distance you traveled, the total time it took, the number of zombies and creatures you took out, and your score. You also have the chance to upgrade things such as your bike with speed, acceleration, and weapon durability, and weapons. You can also go back to the garage, where you can see leaderboards, choose the stage, difficulty level, and other things if you so desire.
I did forget to mention one thing. There are a couple of different modes to play. The Story and Survival Mode. The story mode is the majority of what I played as each level had different and unique environments to see. In survival mode, you try and survive as long as you can on an infinite level using procedural generation. Which is always good to test yourself out with. But also, the developers added a Halloween Mode. And this should be a mode that is always in the game because it’s a darker world and nothing says Halloween like zombies with pumpkin heads.
Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. When looking at the graphics, the main part of the bike that you can see is very detailed and I love how when levels are darker, that the lighting is used very well here. Seeing a reflection off the handlebars and the road as you are about to enter a tunnel, you can tell the team put some dedicated time here and I am glad they did. Reading things from the dashboard of the bike to on the road was clear and there was not anything that I could not read. Now did all the zombies have the most detailed look with their bodies and faces? Not always. Were there some different types of zombies that had their own look and identity? Yes. But I am not going to body shame any zombies. I am also driving trying to get from point a to point b and taking out whatever zombies may be in my way as they do make some good speed bumps, by the way, so not everything needs to be the most detailed as you are passing everything by. With the sound, the zombies did make some generic zombie sounds and again they don’t need to make too many different sounds as you are on a loud bike that sounds pretty good. It’s not too loud to distract you from the action. Each of the weapons did sound different, but nothing out of the ordinary. But I did enjoy the communication between you and the woman on the radio as it helped add to the journey.
There are a few things that I would love to see added. For one, an additional control scheme where you can use your favorite controller. That way there are more options for everyone. Second, more levels added and maybe switch the roles where you could have a woman driver and the voice on the radio could be a male just for the fun of it and switch things up for a change. And lastly, I do love the Halloween Mode, but what about adding for different holidays throughout the year just for the fun of it. Not saying that it has to be left in all year long, but it would be something to look forward to. Then, contests and challenges could be had to make more of the players come back for more.
Hell Road VR gives us the chance to take on the roads in a zombie-apocalypse-filled world while bringing the fun of arcade action to the mix. It doesn’t try to be something it’s not and just wants to show you a good time. Sometimes the roads we travel through in life have a pretty great view, but sometimes, the choices we make can make those roads become a little more torn, uneven, and the view a little darker than would like.
Hell Road VR is out now on Steam. A review code was provided.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have some leaderboards to try and climb.