Gunheart. A single player and co-op RPG action-adventure shooter, developed by Drifter Entertainment for the Oculus Rift, Rift S, HTC Vive, Valve Index and Windows Mixed Reality. The game is rated for players aged 12+
Game Languages: English (US), French (Canada), German, Korean, Spanish (Mexico)
Expected gamplay: Approximately 8 - 12 hours
Well, don't be put off by the cheesy name. Trust us. It's not the name that counts, it's the game. If you own a VR headset and love shooters, and role-playing games (RPGs), this is the game for you!
Gunheart is a fast-paced, RPG shooter built specifically for desktop PC and VR platforms. Play solo, multiplayer, or online co-op with friends. Oh! And before I forget, Gunheart is also cross-platform, meaning that your teammates can join in no matter which platform they own.
Gunheart utilises full motion control and can be played standing or seated. The game supports full cross-play between some of VR’s leading headsets: the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality head mounted devices (HMDs). For the best gameplay experience, we recommend playing standing up.
Gunheart is a stunning game set on the Planet Fortune somewhere in a distant galaxy. You play as a robotic bounty hunter with a passion for blasting giant alien insects to kingdom come and earning bounties to upgrade yourself... or your rig, as it's referred to in-game.
The more experienced you become, the more you are rewarded for in-game play. You’ll get extra cash, bonuses, upgrades and mods for your weapons. The more kills and cash kegs you destroy, the quicker you can upgrade your arsenal, and shields to take on the more challenging levels.
The Gunheart universe is controlled via Palco's Brainspace interface. It's where all new players are brought when they first fire up the game. Within Brainspace, you’ll learn the basics of controlling your rig.
You begin Gunheart at the Hub on Bent Horizon. Technically, the hub is the virtual game server. Here, you can chat and interact with other players from across the globe. It's not only an interesting place, it’s also an integral part of the game. The Hub consists of seven key areas. In summary, you have;
Palco posts new missions weekly on the Job Goblin board. Some of these can be quite challenging, like restricting the use of a particular weapon or only allowing headshot kills. It appears that Palco updates the board on Sundays.
If you're into entomology and are a true insect lover, Gunheart may not be your cup of tea. Us bounty hunters aren't into getting up close to study these pesky bugs... just blasting them to smithereens! Sorry, but life's too short to get friendly with this bunch. Let’s take a further look at the enemies you’re likely to encounter.
Grunts are just one of protectors of the Anthromite forces. At first glance this bug appears to be kind of cute. What with its dinky little wings, short legs and bulbous body, you almost want to keep it. Unfortunately for them, Grunts are simply cannon fodder and can only really do damage up close.
Nevertheless, these comical critters are a force to be reckoned with. They’ll lull you into a false sense of security when there's just a few, but then all hell breaks loose when the whole clan suddenly appear out of the blue. Then, they’ll relentlessly attack from all directions, puking out copious amounts of toxic green gunge. You’ll literally feel like a piece of meat as the Grunts attempt to digest you.
There are two types of Grunts: The Blue Bottles, described above and the slightly more intelligent and destructive Red-eyed Grunts. These Red-eyed Grunts not only spew toxic gunge, they carry contact mines, kamikaze style! Don’t let ‘em get close.
Strength-wise, they're not much of a challenge. For total group carnage, fire in multiple rounds from the Mimecaster gun or a single round from the powerful rocket launcher... “Hasta la vista, baby!”
We all know hornets are big, ugly flying bugs with nasty faces...But in Gunheart, they’re even nastier, standing at about 3 foot tall. Buzzkills aren’t the cleverest of the Anthromite forces, but they can be really annoying when you’re taking on the other enemies. These flying critters don’t take much to shoot down - if you manage to hit them that is. If you’re struggling, there are a few different ways you can take them out. The Carbine pistol is the obvious choice, but for a little fun you could try the Multi-tool to pluck them from the sky or to create a wider kill range. You can also try the Minecaster, releasing your trigger at the right moment to destroy several at a time.
There are several variants of Hoppers, including the winged type that can hop around, similar to the way you teleport from point to point. There are two main types of Hopper: the grey-blue one and the nimble red Hopper. Be careful with the red ones, they’re more intelligent and harder to kill... Likewise, some Hoppers even have amour and pose an even greater challenge.
The weapons Hoppers use vary from shotguns, and grenade guns to the lethal sniper rifle.
Tip: If you get caught in a cluster of sniper fire, keep moving and you’ll have a far better chance of keeping your head.
These armoured critters are big, and we mean BIG. Let them get up close and you’re a goner. The Ridgebacks’ firepower comes in the form of a deadly green gas bomb. On the flip side, occasionally some Hoppers and Grunts will attack it, drawing the Ridgeback’s focus from you. Take the beast down with the Minecaster or Rocket Launcher.
Dropships, or giant flying squid as we like to call them, drop off enemies while firing a powerful laser. Move quickly to avoid the laser beams or you’ll be sliced up into sushi in no time. A quick kill is paramount to your survival so take it down ASAP using your arsenal of combo weapons. The Chaingun, Minecaster and Rocket Launcher are our favourites.
Zombugs are undoubtedly the most annoying and challenging of the Anthromite forces. We hate them! They hone in to you by teleporting. Just when you have one in your sights and start firing, it’ll vanish and reappear slightly closer by, until it comes face-to face and impales you with its tongue. Watch out for the orange flash, that’s when you know a Zombug is about to teleport. Kill ‘em quickly with some headshots.
The Overmind is closely guarded by the Anthromite forces. Their existence depends on keeping it alive, no matter the cost. If you ever even spot the Overmind, let alone get close to it, you’re in grave danger. Ready yourself for a full onslaught from the best of the Anthromites.
The pop-up HUD takes a little getting used to, although it's quickly mastered. We suggest you play around with it a little and familiarize yourself with changing weapons.
Gunheart is simply fantastic and shines in so many ways: The environments and enemies are equally impressive in detail, as is the atmospheric fog. Combining these stunning graphics with vivid sound and a nail-biting score ratchets up the tension. So much so, that almost every level left us gobsmacked. Gameplay-wise, it’s clear that much thought went into Gunheart. Hats off to Drifter, the developer.
Gunheart features 15 stunning, almost open-world game levels. However, most seem to take place in the same general area, a rocky mountainside. They’re filled with a few generic looking bases, floating cargo containers and some caverns filled with alien bugs. It’s not a huge deal, but it would have been nice to see a more diverse selection of levels.
Having said that, as the levels are still breathtakingly atmospheric and intuitively constructive in game play, you’ll soon forget these quibbles.
The game sounds accompany the gameplay very well. You know when an attack is imminent when you hear the tension building in the music and vice versa when things start to cool down. We love the distant sound effects that the rocket launcher and minecaster weapon make when the shells explode in the distance. This adds further realism, and excitement to the game.
In particular, the Oculus Rift and Valve Index, which include integrated headphones, work well with the 3D surround sound. The built-in microphones make it easy to communicate with teammates.
The teleportation works very well. We loved that you can quickly teleport almost anywhere, even high up in the mountainous rocks, to gain a better vantage point. The team did have some issues with Gunheart, but to be honest the positives so far outweigh the negatives, I'm not even going to mention them. Bloggers and critics are free to express their own opinions in the comment section below.
The Gunheart VR game was developed by Drifter, a dedicated team with years of experience building the platforms that make AR and VR possible. In our opinion, Drifter have built some of the best damn VR games we've ever seen! Also, check out Rise of the Gunters, a single and online multiplayer game coming soon to muliple VR platforms. Let us know what you think. See Rise of the Gunters here.
Let us know what you think about the game Gunheart VR in the comments section below...
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