Arizona Sunshine is a great co-op experience for VR! | First Impressions

in Hive Gaming2 months ago

I've always been convinced that the zombie genre would be perfect for virtual reality (VR). There's a couple out there to choose from. The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners and Arizona Sunshine seem to be the best rated ones at the moment. VR is very much still finding it's place in the world so there's not a whole lot of games to choose from in every genre. There's no room to be picky.

Since me and a friend was looking for a coop VR game we decided to check out Arizona Sunshine. It looks pretty cool from the screenshots and videos I've seen and since it was 50% off these last few days we were able to pick up the Deluxe Edition with all the DLCs for $15. Not a bad price at all for one of the best rated VR games out there.

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First impressions

My immediate reactions were that the game looks great. We spawn into the desert canyons of Arizona in what I would imagine is the Sonoran Desert. We're surrounded by high canyon walls and the weather is great. We spawn in with nothing but a gun and some ammo. Our objective is simply to get out of here and to safety. Pretty straight forward.

The gameplay is pretty straight forward as well so there's not much of a tutorial needed. The few things that we need to learn they show us as we go. Shooting zombies is as simple as pointing our gun and shooting. You really gotta be on point with the aim though. It's relatively easy to hit your shots from up close but if you're at a distance you're gonna have a bad time with the handguns. Or I might just be bad at aiming. I'm probably bad at aiming.

Another important gameplay element is the ammo belt. Ammo is stored in your belt that can be seen and accessed by looking down. When you find ammo around the world you pick them up and drop them off at your belt. Or basically in your groin in real life. If you need to reload your guns it's as simple as releasing the magazines and let them fall to the ground and then punch the gun into your ammo belt. Or your groin which is what keeps happening to me. For anyone who watches me play this from the outside it will probably look like I'm just standing there beating my own groin over and over. The neighbors has to be confused for sure.

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Coop is fun

This is the kind of game that is definitely better when playing it in coop over playing it alone. The game is very arcadey and doesn't have much of a story to it. We don't really get much of an explanation as to why we're in the canyons or where we're going. Apart from reading a sign that mentions a safe haven and our character commenting on it there's not much of substance to the game. If we encounter some kind of obstacle like a locked door or some debris in our path that needs to be blown up our character will comment on it but that's it.

You progress through the game in sections. An area might have a locked door and some zombies. You kill the zombies and find the key. You open the door which triggers an alarm and more zombies arrive. This is pretty much the rinse and repeat of the first few hours of the game. It's a little bit like Left 4 Dead in that regard.

I would probably be quite bored with this if I was playing it alone as the game feels kind of dead, no pun intended. When playing it with a friend though you can mess about and have some fun. Finding silly hats and masks that we can dress up our characters in is much more fun when you can show it off to someone. The thrill of finding a badass six shooter revolver and screaming "DUDE CHECK THIS OUT" as you're pointing the gun into his eyeball totally beats playing alone and just thinking "Cool, a revolver.".

My friend posing for the camera.

The Verdict

Arizona Sunshine is a fun game that's definitely best to play with friends. It wouldn't be a bad experience solo either but it's just that the game doesn't have a lot more going for it than running through the stages and shooting zombies and finding loot. There's not really any innovative gameplay mechanics that make it stand out. If shooting zombies in the face in VR is all you want this is the perfect game though.

Much of the reason I feel it's a lacking solo experience is probably because I've been playing a lot of Half Life: Alyx lately. That game is an amazing solo experience with a rich story and a detailed world. It also has some great and innovative gameplay mechanics that really makes it stand out. I was afraid that playing Alyx as one of my first VR games would make me feel like any other game was bland in comparison, but oh well.

I'm gonna keep on playing this with my friend though. It's fun to mess around with in coop if you just want to have a good time with a bro while shooting some zombies in the face.

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Juggling games

This is also one of the few times in my life I've been juggling several games at the same time. I usually stick to playing one game or perhaps two at the most. I'm currently juggling four different games which is crazy to me. I'm playing Resident Evil Village and Half Life Alyx alone, Terraria with my brother and Arizona Sunshine with my friend. It's not all that bad changing it up regularly though I gotta say. The Oculus Quest 2 only has like 2-3 hours of battery life depending on the game you play so I can only play VR games for a limited time before needing to charge. Luckily I have some backup in those other games.

To end off this post I gotta mention that I was thrilled to find this goblin mask. It's so awesome:

Screenshot by my friend

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All images in this post, except the one taken by my friend, are screenshots taken by me.

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This looks super cool! And it looks like it has a PS4 option too which might be of interest to @lacking and @arcticgypsy!

Yes, this game seems to be available on most platforms as far as I can tell. Gotta love that!

Already beat it and all the dlc :p

Damn man, the game looks spectacular, I loved it graphically, although I was a bit disappointed that the game will not have a great story that makes it stand out, however killing zombies in VR must not be boring at all, the pose gave me a lot of laugh What did your friend do, a question man, is the game scary? I mean, when the zombies are around, don't you get scared? that's important to me in any zombie game

The game wasn't all that scary outside in the sunshine but once we got into the mines it was quite creepy. We have to light up the place ourselves with a flashlight and if you're turning around and suddenly staring into the face of a zombie that's scary for sure. It's an uncomfortable feeling when they come running at you as well.

holy shit, it must be super mega scary, it is VIRTUAL REALITY! LOL

VR zombie game? sounds fun! but don't play near an open balcony XD

lol! I get excited sometimes and walk and start moving to close to my guardian zone. When playing Half Life Alyx yesterday I was turning around fast to point my gun at a noise and I smahsed my hand into the kitchen counter.

I've never heard of this game, it seems to be pretty solid for a VR game. I'm going to look for it later and see if I can download it.

Let me know what you think if you get it!

Arizona Sunshine is one of the better shooting games for VR. I had a blast playing it. You need to check out Pistol Whip. It is probably the best game for VR

I've seen that one and it looks good. Will have to check it out eventually. I gotta slow down a bit though. Been buying a bunch of games lately.

Now I come with this to a conclusion all zombie games are to be played with friends I had a similar experience with L4F2 and Dead Island, if killing zombies is fun to do it with friends as if it were an apocalypse makes it more so.

How brutal is Arizona Sunshine although it scared me a little everything, I can't imagine playing it in VR and a zombie pouncing on me hahahahahah. Good post mate @pusen, I'll add the Oculus to the wish list for Christmas to try it out.

Yeah, zombie games in general are definitely great for coop. L4D, Dead Island, Dying Light, 7 Days to Die and the list goes on.

Cool! I'll probably have a lot of games to recommend by the time you get the Oculus.

this game looks amazing, the funniest thing i see is the flashlight that has a weird shape lol, i would also like to feel someday how it feels to shoot with a gun in virtual reality,

One day you will my dude! VR us relatively expensive now but with time it will become more accessible to the general public. That's gonna be great because it means more studios will develop games for VR.

you are absolutely right brother, by the time I can get mine there will be thousands of games in virtual reality.

it looks great i have never seen this kind of vr game before i would have a heart attack if i am exploring and a bug comes out of nowhere.

There's zombies in here and it's the bugs that's gonna scare you? lol

I love that game general design, starting from the menu 😅

So this explains why you stopped playing Left 4 Dead with me, I feel replaced.

Not that it looks great graphically, but I still think VR technology is in its infant stage, it has a long way to go. How do you get around? I mean, do you walk around inside your house? (Which I don't think so), or do you move around using the controller?

Anyway, it looks really cool to play with friends, is only a group of 2 people allowed, or can you invite more friends? So I turn on my VR and join to play with you guys too 😉 (kappa).

I was waiting for the zombies....

And yes, I say that in a few years, they will be able to make most of the games in virtual reality, since the experience is much more enjoyable when playing.