Even though the wild west is part of the history of the USA, it doesn’t mean that culture doesn’t resonate with audiences the world over. It also doesn’t mean that Russia based developer Octobox Interactive can’t create something with an authentically Western feel to it. The theme also really suits the VR platform and has inspired other titles like Guns’nStories: Bulletproof VR and Dino Frontier.
You’re not playing as Mcree from Overwatch in High Noon VR, but you can certainly pretend you are if that helps. High Noon VR is a shooter where you play the sheriff of a small town somewhere in the Wild West. This far-flung little town is being overrun by bloodthirsty outlaws and it is up to you to protect its flea-bitten inhabitants. So it’s time to show these bandits who the law is around here and give your Colt some much-needed exercise. The game is available on Steam now for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift at a $9.99 price tag. I got to give the game a try on the Vive and enjoyed the standing shooter experience with its detailed guns and funny narrator. Plus ptooey this game requires a happy trigger finger. However, it really felt like a bit of a shallow experience overall.
Check out the trailer below:
To be honest, I’m not really sure what’s going on in High Noon VR. Sure, the basic premise of bandits versus lawmaker is there. But I have no idea what the reason for the disembodied voice is (even though he’s somewhat funny), nor do I know what the bandits want or where all the townspeople went. It felt like I was defending an abandoned town the whole game through.
The guns in High Noon VR are probably what stood out most to me though. They have been beautifully crafted and serve as the main focus in the game. There are quite a few options as well, that can be bought in an old western caravan that also serves as your home base. I enjoyed the aesthetics of the caravan but am also left wondering why it isn’t the sheriff’s office, or county jail or whatchamacallit. Either way, I was still glad for the many weapons options, especially later on when dual wielding two different weapons evened out the playing field between me and the bandits. Even though some seemed useless or didn’t work at first, like the harpoon gun, the guns were still the star of this Western.
What In Tarnation
As for the characters in the game, I faced off against male shooters with big ol’ cowboy hats who all pretty much looked the same as well as females for some variety. Though I doubt any self-respecting female bandit would ever have dressed as scantily. Then there were also a couple of big-boned bosses. But besides their genericness in terms of visual style, the enemies were at least a little unpredictable. Some would move around so you couldn’t get them properly in your gun’s sights, others would simply decide to start running at me, and others yet would throw dynamites. This, paired with the sheer number of them as the level progresses is what makes the game difficult to win.
Then there’s also the disembodied voice, who tries very hard to be witty and funny at the same time. This lead to treasures such as “If bullets were made with baked beans then shooting yourself in the mouth would be much healthier”. I just wasn’t quite sure what to make of the voice the whole game through and he had me thinking “What in tarnation?” more than a couple of times. Even though the voice acting is pretty good. Because he seemed to be jumping from moral support to implying that I’m a bloodthirsty maniac in seconds. So it seems that he served no purpose besides some comic relief.
Sign Up Here For Some Fast-Paced Shooting
There is a campaign mode to get through which consists of maps that contain a number of rounds, as well as various ‘missions’ to complete. These range from shooting a number of hats off of enemies to shooting down thrown TNT. There is also a quick battles mode with eight levels for when you just want to sharpen your shooting eye again, or just see how high a score you can rack up.
In the end, High Noon VR is a stand in place wave shooter that will appeal to some and entirely put off others. I think this game is one of the more polished VR shooters out there, especially in terms of its guns. Although that’s about all it offers – some cool looking guns to shoot some bandits with over and over again, trying to rack up more money so you can buy more guns. This isn’t a failed game mechanic by any means, however, and some games such as Killing Floor has had a lot of success in that department.
That being said, if you aren’t looking to fasten your spurs and get ready for some fast-paced shooting – and only that – then this game probably isn’t for you. But if that prospect sounds fun, then you better start teaching those bandits the law.