Listen, we’re living in an age of too many video games. If I were able to stack up every video game that is good enough to be played, I’d be able to reach the moon, effectively dodging all my adult responsibilities, freeing up my schedule so that I could play video games without interruption. And even then, I still wouldn’t have enough time to play all of the games available to me.
Publisher: Winking Entertainment
Genre: On-Rails Shooter
Controller: Aim Controller/Dual Shock/Move
Length: 1-2 hours
PlayPSVR Score: 6
Luckily, the VR market is still in its infancy. The average game takes a lot less time to complete and the lack of overall competition leaves room for one of my favorite types of games from the earlier generations of gaming: the bargain-bin games. These games were often much cheaper, with starting prices of around $10, and along with them came no surprises. Often, you’d get a bare bone, but functional game, with an equally bare bones title, like “Table Tennis,” or “Skateboarding.” I’m happy to say that this tradition has been kept alive on PSVR, and for one of the best examples, look no further than “Drone Striker.”
“Drone Striker” isn’t so much a wave-shooter as it is a throwback to the light-gun era of games. As a stereotypical futuristic soldier, Drone Strike had me slowly drifting on rails through a city, combatting an AI run amok with various robots threatening to take over the world. The story here is as unremarkable as it is generic, but it provides minimal backdrop for the action ahead. Awkward voice-acting hearkens back to the budget title days before, and with it the stage is set for arcade, light-gun action, except this time it’s all around you.
The gameplay of Drone Striker is straightforward if not overly simplistic. Whether I was using a Move controller, a Dual Shock, or an AIM controller, I had one rapid-fire machine gun as my arsenal. The pea-shooting bullets were supplemented by lock-on missiles that targeted when I highlighted enemies with my cursor, and launched when I finally pulled the trigger. While missile attacks caused more damage, the precision shooting of the machine gun scored more points, and the strategy of the game became a balancing act of causing damage with missiles and finishing enemies off with “perfect” machine gun shots to their weak points in order to get a higher score. Unfortunately, score serves no purpose other than global leaderboard bragging rights, and weapon upgrades only increase the main weapon’s fire rate or missile capacity. However, this balancing act keeps the challenge and engagement high even when the enemy types begin to become repetitive and old.
“Drone Striker” refuses, however, to overstay it’s welcome. With three stages available in the main game, a complete run-through takes a novice player anywhere between one and two-hours. A “hard mode,” increase the number of enemies and their hit points, but doesn’t provide much variety to the gameplay beyond a necessity for smarter targeting. And the lack of content exemplifies the real balancing act performed by all budget titles: cost vs. content.
“Drone Striker” is a no frills, on-rails shooter that will provide a small sense of nostalgia with its enjoyable but repetitive action.A couple of boss fights shake things up, but for a $10 game in virtual reality, Drone Striker makes sure you get what you paid for, because what you’ll have paid for is budget action from a budget title.And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.