Developer: Oasis Games
Release Date: Out Now
Controllers: Move Controller Required
A simple, on-the-spot, first-person shooter that will keep your attention a lot longer than you’d expect.
There have been a lot of surprises in this PSVR launch window and Pixel Gear is no exception. It’s looks a bit like Minecraft, limits the player by keeping them stood in one place and only has three levels. But it’s just so utterly addictive.
The aim of each level is to survive six waves, including a boss battle, racking up head shots and high scores at the same time as shooting ghosts for bonuses and avoiding angels – hit one of those and your high score takes a huge hit. After each round you’re able to upgrade your gun or buy new ones. Although slight, there is a good enough sense of progression. The monsters are clichéd; skeletons, zombies, bats and armoured guards – but there’s enough variation to keep you interested. The boss battles are entertaining enough though I did find the first one more difficult than the latter ones.
It has to be said that Pixel Gear features the best and most accurate motion controls I have ever had the pleasure to use. There is never any jittering and the gun never vanishes, aims in the wrong place or moves of its own volition. If you aim for the head of an approaching monster and shoot, you will get a head shot. Whatever Oasis Games did I hope they share their skills with every other developer who wants achieve the same level of accuracy.
The art style works perfectly for VR. It looks blocky like Minecraft but that’s not a criticism. The monsters have square heads and chunky bodies, which would look awful if the game were attempting to look realistic, but it’s not. The enemies do get blurrier the further away they are but at this point that’s something we just have to deal with.
There were moments whilst playing the first level, set in the countryside, that I had flashbacks to the NES era. The music is great and feels very familiar, and the shooting reminded me of when I first played ‘Duck Hunt,’ but luckily the accuracy of the gun is much better here. Ultimately I was just having so much fun I felt like a kid again. I just hope that they release more levels or release a sequel with more levels, monster variety and weapons – but it really doesn’t need much more than that.
Though there are only three levels, there are numerous trophies to be had and if you need something to keep you playing for a bit longer, a bit of trophy hunting doesn’t go amiss. None of them are overly difficult but they are fun all the same. Each level has four levels of difficulty, from ‘easy’ to ‘crazy’. I’ve not as yet made it past ‘hard,’ as it unsurprisingly gets pretty difficult.
The price, the addictive nature and the sheer quality of the motion controls and tracking make this a great game. If you’re looking for a deep title, you won’t find it here. But if you’re looking for pure fun, it’s a must-have.
Verdict: 8/10 – Must-buy.
After writing this review I was contacted by the developer Oasis Games who informed me that they will be adding a multiplayer mode in a few weeks time!