If you had the ability to fire an arrow, do you think you could hit the target you aimed for? If arrows were being fired at you, do you think you could dodge them and still fire off your shot making the impact you hoped you would? Could you do this all while moving and wishing that you came out all in one piece? It really makes you think about the dedication and focus one must have, the instinct one must have in order to not be phased or distracted to make sure you make that perfect shot. So does developer, Business Dog Studio show us what’s it’s like to fire arrows while dodging attacks? Let’s find out with Rain of Arrows for PCVR.
Rain of Arrows has you fighting for your life as an archer where you will need the skills of speed and accuracy as you block arrows, dodge fireballs, and battle your ways through the horde of enemies and bosses. Trying to please gods, as you use a variety of magical powers, purchase upgrades, and battle your way to survival.
Before we start I want to point out that for some reason, the video of the gameplay did not capture it in full screen for whatever reason. I tried a couple of different times with the same results, but can say, that the actual gameplay has plenty of depth and screen for you to enjoy. Also, I will not show the gameplay footage of all the bosses as I want you to be surprised when you face them. With that said, let’s continue.
Before you start firing your arrows like the mad archer you want to be, you want to make sure of a couple of things. For one, make sure you stretch your arms. You will be firing arrows, blocking, and dodging, and if you are not used to it, you may have some tired arms, so just stretch and get ready. Second, you can stand or sit, so depending on your preference, you will be good either way. Third, go into settings and if you are left-handed, select left-handed mode, otherwise it defaults to right-handed. And last, go through the tutorial. You will want to know how to fire your arrows, block, dodge, and paddle your way through the levels. Yes, I said paddle, again, stretch and let’s continue.
Since you are on a raft, you will need to learn the basics and the tutorial will show you just that. To shoot your arrows, which work exactly as you would expect. Pull back and release. If there are any barrels coming at you, shoot them to make them explode. When arrows are being shot at you, squeeze the grip to equip your shield in your other hand (which is a nice touch by the way). If there are fireballs headed your way, you cannot use your shield to block them, so you will need to squeeze both hands to equip your paddle so you can move out of the way of the fireballs and any other obstacles that may be in your way that could damage your raft.
In front of your raft, you have four torches that work as your magical powers. Just hold out your arrow to the flame of choice like you are making smores, pull back, and let the arrow go. It’s that simple You have your choice of Explosive Shot, Piercing Shot, Healing Shot, and Time Slow. The Explosive Shot is like it sounds, exploding on impact killing many enemies at once after your shot is charged. The Piercing Shot allows you to pierce through the armor of enemies once the shot is charged. The Healing Shot allows you to regain health after your shot is charged. And Time Slow sounds exactly like it sounds, by allowing you to slow down time. This is helpful when there are many things to dodge to allow you to move at the right time and still fire off your shot. Once you are through with training or want to get right into the action it’s time to start the game and hope for the best.
When firing your arrows, you do see a trail of where your arrow is going to fire and this is helpful when trying to knock of those enemies that are in a distance. Along the way, you will see treasure chests that you want to try and aim for so you can use that to purchase new powers as well as get rewarded for killing enemies, any damage that you avoided, and if you can kill that level’s boss quickly. Some enemies will be on top of structures that you can hit and make explode which is a nice effect and one that I really enjoyed shooting.
Speaking of bosses, they are tough. From the Grim Reaper to a giant Kraken, and even an enormous titan, not only do you have to worry about the enemies such as wizards, orc, and trolls to name a few, but you have these powerful bosses to try and defeat. But remember, once you are slained, it’s game over and you will have to start over.
Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. The graphics are a good attempt. Some may look and think that they may be a little underwhelming, but since this is an on-rails shooter with you moving on the raft, you may not be taking the time to look at the trees and cliffs. I know I wasn’t. I was too busy worrying about where the shots were coming from and trying to make my shot count while trying to dodge whatever was coming at me. Honestly, the gameplay looks better in the headset compared to the footage that you see here. Seeing the explosions of the structures and when the bosses were getting hit, really had a nice effect on them. Seeing the draw distance when the action did stop for a second made it seem like this river would never end. Listening to the sound, I liked the mythical music that was being played. There were times when certain sounds were louder than the others and you could still hear other sounds like it was overpowering what was being played wasn’t distracting, but you could hear it.
There are some things that I hope get addressed. For one, yes, could Rain of Arrows use a little more on the graphical side, yes. Not too much, just a tad. When there were times that the action stopped I did notice that some parts of the mountains could really shine with improvements. Second, right now the only destructible obstacles in the game are barrels and the one structure. It’s fun to see the structure collapse with enemies on top of it. I wish more things could be destructible like parts of the cliffs and using your explosion arrows and having either the cliffs break apart and fall in the water or maybe hit some trees and have those trees fall over and knock down the enemies. Third, difficulty settings would be nice to have here that way any person of any age could have fun. For those who may be first-time VR players, they may find it a little discouraging while those who like a challenge are going to have some fun here. Lastly, leaderboards. I know it’s a consideration for the future, but it just might be something to have here to keep coming back to see who the top players are.
Rain of Arrows gives a lot combined into the action. We have shooting the arrows, dodging, blocking, and even paddling added into the mix along with a way to give our arms a little workout while playing. It shows us that even though we may be judged by the gods of our actions, it’s those actions that we make, whether good or bad, that will be the final judgment when the time comes.
Rain of Arrows is out now on Steam. A review code was provided.
To learn more about Business Dog Studio, please visit their site, follow them on Twitter, and subscribe to their YouTube channel.
Also, check out the Rain of Arrows interview.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I am going to go see if I can perfect my archery game.