Upon its PSVR launch, we found Pistol Whip to be a sublime experience, brilliantly blending rail shooter and rhythm mechanics. How does the upgraded version fare? Well, even better.
Unlike some of the PSVR2 upgrades, Pistol Whip doesn’t make a huge impression graphically. It was a stylized title with a solid aesthetic on first attempt, so things don’t make much of a leap, aside from the welcome addition of HDR. Where the upgrade is noticeable, though, is tracking. Pistol Whip calls for lots of movement and frantic activity. As such, the PS Move wands often had a hard time keeping up in the heat of the moment. This problem is mostly gone, as the PSVR2 Sense Controllers deliver a massive step up in accuracy, some minor aiming niggles aside.
This makes it even more satisfying to achieve flow-state when playing as it allows you to focus on the action, rather than what your motion controller's doing. It turns an experience that was already one of the best on PSVR into something even better. The newly added haptics also improve things, as you can feel the vapor trails of bullets fly past your face, and have a better feel for the beat of an individual song based on the pulse of your controllers and headset.
Another noticeable change from the last time we reviewed the release is content. The game had a good amount at launch on PSVR, but in the ensuing years, the amount has basically doubled through a number of free updates. This includes multiple campaigns featuring various story levels, as well as an absolutely brilliant boss fight level. These new campaigns also make a concerted effort to include new sounds, adding more traditional rock music, and genres other than EDM. It helps with adding broader appeal to the title.
Not that the title should be a hard sell to begin with! With its colourful environments and masterful level design, there’s very little to poke holes at here. The gunplay functions brilliantly on its own, as does the rhythm gameplay. So, when these two disparate elements harmoniously converge, the product ends up supremely easy to recommend.
Played it for a few tracks then stopped. I’ll likely get into it massively moving forward, but doesn’t scratch that exploration itch I’m enjoying in VR currently.
Doesn’t help that I have zero rhythm either lol.
This game is excellent and currently one of my favorites. Graphics are kinda lo-fi but it works. The amount of content is pretty good too and the various modifiers available ensure you can get very solid play time out of it.
Yeah i have to agree, its defenately the best game ive played on psvr2 so far. All the family like it too.
The haptics in the headset can't be understated. I love this game on Oculus and PSVR1 but the first time I felt a bullet whizz by it was a game changer.
It's such a refined VR experience and gets you completely immersed in being a virtual gun-toting hip-swaying badass.
It's also 'sick' according to my son, though I think it's more John Wicked. Sorry.
I’m really enjoying this and Rez, more than Horizon, Resident Evil and Gran Turismo strangely.
@h15c0r3r I have never played Rez before and found it underwhelming. I did the 5 story levels yesterday and just didnt think much of it. Am I missing something?
@LordAinsley Possibly not, it might just be me but I quite like quick blasts on VR rather than long adventures so maybe it just suits what I’m after? Each to their own. What are you finding to be your favourites?
@h15c0r3r Pistol Whip I think is my favourite, followed by Thumper and Tetris.
I haven't tried Area X yet in Rez
@LordAinsley For what it's worth, Area X is "THE" thing to do in Rez! The rest of the game is very good, but Area X is the star!
This game is really cool...and really fun....but I also suck at it massively. It absolutely feels so much like an arcade light gun game that I can practically feel the metal sheathed cable connecting me to the coin box, which is AWESOME.
But at the same time I tend to not notice projectiles coming at me until too late and then instinctively, violently snap myself to the side or back like Neo dodging bullets but 10x faster. I even disabled obstacles but still kept running into the same problem to the point I nearly shook the tightly clamped headset off my head violently snapping around in sudden movements....ultimately it makes it difficult to play for me, but I still like trying it for that light gun feeling.
I also think I'm "doing it wrong", because I keep hearing it being a "rhythm" shooter, and there is nothing involving anything to do with rhythm in any way whatsoever when I play, I'm just frantically shooting at things as they appear and violently dodging things like a modern arcade shooting gallery. If there's a rhythm aspect I have definitely not been able to find it outside the existence of background music that admittedly makes me feel like far more of a bada-s than I look like in the real world while playing or on the results screen, lol
Interesting synopsis of the game.
I’m on the fence about this one. I keep reading it’s a stand out game for PSVR2 but would have loved a demo to try first.
Would you recommend it?
It was the rhythm part that I wasn’t sure about tbh.
@LordAinsley I agree with @gbanas92 Area X is by far the best bit. Pistol Whip is great.
@NEStalgia I’m exactly the same, absolutely nothing to do with rhythm when I play and I struggle to see any aspect of a rhythm game.
@Hurblyburbly depends on what you're looking for. I think if you're looking for that authentic light gun arcade experience, this really can't be beat. And not everyone will have that jarring reaction I have trying to dodge those too-late-noticed projectiles.
I'll say the light gun feel is really really spot on (complete with aim down to reload, like Time Crisis, Mad Dog McCree, etc.)
And it's loaded with content you unlock like different weapon types (there's pistols, but also shotguns, and even brass knuckles and single or dual wield modes.
It's definitely quality, but at the same time I don't play it much because jarring dodging actions that shake the headset around can't be good. Imo it would have been better if it was about hits vs misses than having to physically dodge bullets, even if they're slow moving.
But if I could find the rhythm aspect to what seems like a shooting gallery but with good music, maybe I'd be better at predicting it. They SAY rhythm... Either I'm just missing it, or that's a reach to sell the concept
@h15c0r3r I'm glad I'm not the only one!
Appreciate the detailed reply mate.
The songs have a beat to them, if you shoot the enemies to the beat you get bonus points.
It's not always the second you see them, sometimes you have to literally wait for the beat/a drop.
I tried the hard difficulty and did find myself flailing around on the floor like a fish trying to avoid getting blasted
@LordAinsley I’ll have to try again, at the moment I’m just shooting whenever I see a target and not picking up on the beat. Really enjoyable though.
@NEStalgia The default version of the game wants you to shoot enemies on beat to the song playing in the background (it's easier on some songs than others to pick up what those rhythms are), but you can also turn off the rhythm part of the game entirely. Then it becomes solely a light gun game! I don't think it changes the gameplay much, but it alters the rate that you accrue points. It might be better to play that way while trying to get that initial feel for the game! THEN you can turn the rhythm stuff back on, and you'll be able to destroy the game!
The best game I've played so far on psvr2. A must buy. I need more levels, with different kinds of music tho, maybe some Wu Tang - NYC crack, would go exceptionally hard.
@gbanas92 The concept sounds great as a rhythm game, but I still don't get where the whole rhythm aspect comes in. If I don't shoot as soon as they appear I end up late and like @LordAinsley aptly said, flailing like a fish on the floor dodging bullets!
I'll say though for raw motion rhythm Synth Riders is a hard act to beat..... Pistol whip would be cool if the rhythm aspect were stronger but maybe it's best as an all light gun game...
Another 90fps VR game, or so I've been told?
I'll definitely be checking this one out. Hopefully it will get that sour taste Tetris Effect left in my mouth
@NEStalgia Okay, SO (This is if you're interested, of course haha)
in the modifiers list, turn on the one that makes you immune. Then just watch as enemies spawn in but don't shoot them, pay extra close attention to the music while it's happening. You'll see they pop into being on beat with a given song (some of the songs are harder to tell what the beat is than others). You don't have to kill them on that specific beat, but rather A beat. So you can wait until the next "on-beat" moment to kill them, it might allow them to get a shot off however, so you might end up in "flail" mode as a result haha. And the game "wants" you to shoot those people in rhythm to the songs that are being played.
That'd be a more organic way to see how the rhythm works, there's also a tutorial in the tutorial section about shooting on rhythm, alternatively you could try just doing that a whole buncha times in a row or something?
@gbanas92 Thanks for the advice, I'll definitely give it a shot (ba dum tss.) I wish they had an option to turn off flail mode entirely.... As is I'm either going to break my headset or my head, whichever is less hard 😂
@NEStalgia There...might be? Possibly not though haha. I guess them not being able to shoot wouldn't help very much. I know you can turn off obstacles, and some comfort settings can mitigate the bullets, like you being invulnerable, but it's still not quite the same haha
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