We are a week away from the Doctor Who season 12 finale and that means a lull in our reviews. That’s not laziness; it’s that the first half of the 2-part finale is too ambiguous on its own and I wouldn’t feel right talking about it without the other half. And while I’ll be moving to Torchwood in the coming weeks, I also didn’t feel right about doing one, then breaking for two weeks. So today, I pulled this from a draft folder to give you one bonus game review… (It’s been a while, no?)
Kids are crazy. Yeah, when they are young, they have imagination and pretend all sorts of things. But my younger kid is 15 and when I go to the basement and see him just walking back and forth going “pew pew” for hours, I think: no, he’s definitely nuts. There’s no dialogue in his imaginary world. I remember being a kid and we’d be planning raids on alien landscapes, and meeting monsters, and fighting creatures of all sorts… but there was always dialogue. My friends were in on it with me. Mind you, this was the days before video games, so the best you could do when Skyrim didn’t exist was to pretend and we all did that with glee! But, crazy or not, my son seems to have a blast playing down there, and who knows, maybe he’s saving us all from flying polyps or something. Oh to be a kid again, huh?
Thankfully technology is the game changer; we can all be kids again if we want to be. Enter the VR game: Arizona Sunshine. I picked this up on Steam for $30. It was more than I wanted to pay for it, but the VR headset was brand new and I wanted to shoot something without standing around saying “pew pew” over and over again. (I mean, what if my kid saw me?!) Arizona Sunshine is a zombie shooter. You’re some poor dude dropped into a zombie apocalypse and you are trying to survive. You know the tropes. There are hundreds of better shooters out there and I don’t like zombies that much. (Yeah, that’s an HR issue, but thankfully I love werewolves and they run the HR department, so ha! Stick it, zombies!)
But where Arizona Sunshine succeeds above other shooters is that it exists in the VR realm. Yes, there are better shooters, but you’re not going to get up close with them. With this, when something is behind you, you spin around and it’s behind you!! It’s right there, sometimes on the ground, clawing at you! I love a good scare when playing a game, but when these creatures pop up… you physically jump! If there’s an issue I had with it, it’s that my computer room setup is not that big and I found myself getting so disoriented in my room that I’d walk into the desk or the cabinet or the couch, thinking I was in a completely different part of my room. In fairness, this is less an issue with the game than it is with my room, but a number of games offer the option of “standing room only” and that compensates. Alas this did not.
Also neat is the array of weapons and the ability to reload. Bring the gun to the center of your chest to reload and then fire away… pew pew (oh no…) pew! The tension mounts because, as is the way in zombie stories, you have to turn on a motor that’s loud enough to wake the dead. Um, undead? And of course, that’s going to bring hordes and you’ve got to be able to shoot; fast and accurately.
I was glad that the story did have an ending and it wasn’t too long, but certainly long enough to justify the price. I was able to get a good 6 hours out of the game and for $30, that’s $5 per hour. A little steeper than I really wanted to pay, but there is replay value to it. The story does have an ending, but also offers other modes including practice areas that have entertained some of my friends when they’ve come over. It also offers some online co-op play, though I have not tried it since none of my friends have VR yet. I suspect it would be fun. I see that since I picked up the game (or maybe I hadn’t noticed it when I had) it now offers PVP too. For those non-gamers, that’s Player-Vs.-Player. Oh, the fun I would have shooting fellow blogger Paul while running from the zombies. Remember: you don’t have to outrun the zombies. (Ok, I’ll spell it out: you have to outrun your friends!)
It’s been a while since I shot those zombies and as I hear my son pew-pew-pewing downstairs, I think I’ll slip my VR helmet on and go back into those mines, or that deserted Arizona landscape, or that building that couldn’t possibly have anything dangerous in it and maybe wipe a few out zombies. (They really are terrible house guests anyway, so don’t judge me.) To quote my nephew, who at 3 years of age summed it up best: “pew pew peeeeewwwwww!” ML