There’s something inherently entertaining about bashing a zombie's brains in. We’ve enjoyed it in shows like The Walking Dead, and we’ve certainly enjoyed it in video games like World War Z, Days Gone, and even Sony classic The Last of Us. However, Arizona Sunshine 2 takes the prize for the most entertaining zombie brain-basher on the market — and it’s all thanks to the PSVR2.

Stepping back into the shoes of your unnamed quippy protagonist, Arizona Sunshine 2, the latest from VR devs Vertigo Games, is an improved sequel in just about every way. It looks better, controls better, and has a far more satisfying gameplay loop. It’s not exactly what we’d call “high-brow” entertainment, not that it was ever trying to be, but slapping a mag into a pistol and popping off a crunchy headshot literally never gets old.

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With a crashed helicopter leading to the prospect of meeting other humans, our protagonist has a mission: find patient zero to find the army. However, he won’t be going on this journey alone, as one of the title's key features is your canine companion, Buddy. You can order Buddy to attack zombies — or Freds — retrieve unreachable items for you, and he’ll even store a couple of small weapons in his army vest.

Buddy also undeniably serves as the heart to Arizona’s story, giving our protagonist someone to talk and relate to, other than flesh-eating corpses. You’re never going to shed a tear, but there is an endearing soul to the story that's welcome amidst all the pulpy action. And you will form a bond with Buddy as you play fetch with a zombie head or ruffle his fluffy ears.

Ultimately though, the story acts as a reason to move from one zombie-filled location to another — and we were totally onboard for it. The latter half of the game’s 12 hour campaign is stuffed full of some awesome scenarios that we don’t want to spoil here; just know that you’ll feel incredibly cool as you play through them. We only wish that there was slightly more environmental variety, as it's a little disheartening to boot up yet another sewer level.

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A lot of Arizona's entertainment comes from the game’s new realistic reload mechanic. You’ll be ejecting magazines, slotting in grenade launcher shells, and dramatically pulling at pump-action shotguns. Thanks to the tracking on the PSVR2’s Sense controllers, reloading is finely tuned and becomes second nature. It’s endlessly enjoyable as you familiarise yourself with new weapons, each with their own reloading process. And this also ties into the intensity you feel as a horde of zombies surrounds you; there were a few times where we panicked as the biting mouths got closer, dropping our ammunition or forgetting to lock our gun after slotting in a magazine.

The shooting feels phenomenal, too. There are some haptic features applied, although not quite as detailed as we would have liked, but the level of control and precision is brilliant. Naturally aiming down sights with one eye closed or spinning around for a last minute headshot made us feel like a kid in a playground. It's very easy to forget the hunk of plastic on your head once the bullets start flying. It’s some of the best shooting on the platform, feeling ever better than a game like Pavlov VR, in our opinion.

It certainly helps that there are so many weapons up for grabs. From revolvers to bolt-action rifles, there’s plenty to play around with. It's a delight to pick up some new guns and take them for a spin, trying out different combinations, and the game’s detailed gore mechanic means blasting arms, legs, and heads off is always a little different — even more so once you get into the game’s melee weapons. All the armaments have a certain weightiness to them as well, which is an easy thing to get wrong in VR.

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Elevating the game even more is its inclusion of co-op. You can play the entire campaign, and the returning Horde Mode, with a friend. And thanks to cross-platform support they don’t even have to be playing on PSVR2. Co-op play gives the game a whole other level of playfulness, whether that be the hilarity of its survival shooting, or the interactable elements of its levels.

From cigarettes to ping pong balls, Arizona Sunshine 2’s levels are littered with interactable objects, which significantly amp that VR immersion. Even some aspects of the levels include incredibly cool ways to proceed that are wholly unique to VR, like having to pick up an object and place it on a button to open a door, or navigating your handcuffed hand along a pipe. We absolutely adored these elements, and honestly, the biggest issue is that there wasn’t enough of them.

Our experience with the game wasn’t entirely plane sailing, though. The game crashed on numerous occasions upon finishing a level, and once during co-op, our partner dropped below the floor and was then stuck behind a checkpoint after reloading the stage. VR enthusiasts may also be disappointed to learn that the game runs at 60 frames-per-second reprojected to 120, which can impact image quality. The resolution itself doesn’t utilise the headset’s eye tracking either, opting instead for fixed foveated rendering.

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A lot of these technical decisions feel like ways in which the PSVR2 version of the game has been held back to accommodate other headsets like the Quest 2 and 3. It is somewhat disappointing when the PSVR2 is capable of so much more, but at the very least, the OLED panels on Sony’s headset easily make it the most vibrant version of the game available.

Indeed, this is still a pretty game. Look too hard and you’ll find the seams keeping it all together, but as a whole package it looks brilliant, and with a keen focus on the gore, you can get up close and personal with all the removed zombie appendages.


Despite some technical letdowns, Arizona Sunshine 2 is still a joyous celebration of zombie brain-bashing. It features some of the best VR shooting on the market, with a reload mechanic that is incredibly satisfying and really brings to light what makes the platform so great in the first place. As a sequel, it improves graphically, narratively, and just controls a whole lot better. With a solid campaign offering, various difficulties, and a horde mode with more maps to come, Arizona Sunshine 2 is the full VR package — and an absolute must-buy for PSVR2 players.