On paper, Out of Ammo sounds like a good idea – but any positive notions are squashed almost as quickly as the game can boot up.
Out of Ammo is a blend of real-time strategy and first-person shooter. You take control of a squad from above and build your base, with the ability to switch and control any individual on the ground at will, shooting down your sights at waves of incoming enemies. It's a promising idea that blends established genres that are proven to work well in PlayStation VR, but that just makes this sorry excuse even harder to stomach.
The tone is immediately set by one of the most ambiguous and finicky menu systems we've ever encountered in a video game. We dare not admit just how long it took to figure out what we were supposed to do or even how it controls. Two PlayStation Move controllers are mandatory, for which you can thank us for telling you because the game is more than happy to keep this a secret. It's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but this lack of care comes to exemplify the experience that follows.
Plonked square in a tent of green – a 3D space that constitutes the game's menu – with nary an inkling of where to go, Out of Ammo seems eager to anger from the very beginning. Even making your way over to the control scheme on the drawing board is an arduous task that tests your resolve.
It's immediately apparent that this is a poorly implemented port from the HTC Vive. Everything seems to be just out of reach, and the game’s systems simply don’t work with the range of the PlayStation Camera or its controllers. Reaching out and interacting with items in Out of Ammo is a painstaking process that forces you to teleport even just to move a few centimetres. You’re left juggling teleportation and snap movements that don’t even make any logistical sense.
A quick press of the X button and you snap to the left, but it moves your location too. Confused, you now you find yourself randomly caught amid a piece of geometry with scabbard edges and polygonal props that nauseatingly invade your space. Keep snap turning and you may even find yourself suddenly transported outside the tent entirely.
All we wanted to do was turn and look at the pin board. You'll dare yourself not to pull the head-mounted display right off your face for sweet relief.
Even launching the mission select screen is a baffling experience. You have to reach out and grab the polaroid slips on the pin board, but most of them are so low down the camera loses sight of your hand in the process, or you end up punching the floor. Just trying to orient your body to start missions lower on the board is an achingly grim process that would be downright funny if it wasn't so tragic.
If it seems like we're meandering on these points it's because they extend into every nook and cranny of the game. Even if you ignore the deeply flawed controls – which is nigh-on impossible – Out of Ammo reveals itself to be a shallow experience with repetitive missions devoid of variety or imagination.
We struggled through this game – literally – in a way even Dark Souls players cannot understand. Even when it finally, painfully reveals some decent ideas after a monstrous haggle with the heavens to "please, God, just work", it never escapes its convoluted control scheme that forever undermines even the slightest of glimmers. We take hold of a weapon and shoot down the sight after taking control of the avatar below. Did we just have fun? No, it's all over in a split second because, fittingly, we're out of ammo. We dare not elaborate further.
Even with what looks like decent ideas on paper, the implementation of just about everything in Out of Ammo is heinous. Looking for any semblance of positivity is like trying to find something new to watch on Netflix before your takeaway gets cold. No matter how good your day has been, Out of Ammo is willing and able to bring you down with a thump. You have been warned.