Arizona Sunshine VR Game Review: A Detailed Look at Arizona Sunshine 2
On a cold February evening in 2016, Arizona Sunshine changed my life. Well, kind of. Despite being a gamer for 30 years at that point, I had never heard of VR.
Seven years – and countless zombie games – later, a familiar looking corpse has shuffled its way back into my life. With a groan to match the undead, it was time to shrug off my zombie fatigue and see if Vertigo Games has shambled its way back to the front of the horde.
Arizona Sunshine 2: The Facts
Arizona Sunshine 2 is a character-driven arcade shooter that follows the exploits of the foul-mouthed, wise-cracking protagonist from the original. The story begins with the player chasing a crashing helicopter, arriving at the wreckage just in time to hear a mysterious radio message. The message indicates that the military are narrowing in on `patient zero’. This naturally prompts our delightfully unhinged protagonist to decide that he should complete the mission and be welcomed into what’s left of civilization. Before setting off, you befriend a now-abandoned dog in the back of the helicopter, who you glibly name Buddy. So begins your friendship, with the two of you setting off on the 6-hour campaign.
A Dog Named Buddy
Buddy – and your relationship with him – is the heart of both the narrative and combat in Arizona Sunshine 2. The player controls Buddy with simple point-and-click commands, which will see him do anything from taking down a Fred (all zombies in the Arizona Sunshine seres are called Fred), fetching ammo from an inaccessible spot or solving basic puzzles.
- Using Buddy as crowd control during intense action sequences is a thoroughly engaging mechanic.
- The more you rely on Buddy during gameplay, the more invested you become in the relationship your character forms with his canine companion.
For an arcade romp in zombie territory, Arizona Sunshine 2 is surprisingly well-written. There’s definitely a fair share of foul language and crass one-liners, but the emotional investment that this game drags out of its players is quite remarkable. I’ve personally never cared more about an assortment of pixels than I did about Buddy the dog.
Back For More
Arizona Sunshine 2 is exactly what one might hope for in a sequel. It takes everything that worked in the original and refines it to near perfection. For starters, the gunplay is among the best in VR. As far as arcade-style combat goes, the arsenal available is completely satisfying.
Take Another Swing
As a sequel, Arizona Sunshine 2 excels in addressing the elements that were lacking in the original, most notably with the inclusion of melee this time around.
- The game’s level design is also worthy of praise.
- The pacing and tension fluctuates throughout the campaign.
Twice As Nice
One of the most popular elements of the original game was the ability to play the campaign with a friend. This feature thankfully returns in the sequel, with the full campaign playable in two-player co-op. Once complete, each individual mission can be selected to play again with a friend as well.
Sound & Vision
Arizona Sunshine 2 is an impressive looking game on Quest 3. There’s a strong overall art direction that’s well conceived and well delivered. The environments feels expansive and grounded, with impressive texture work and lighting. This is impressive by itself, but a significant achievement when combined with the excellent character work on the `Freds’.
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