Hopalong: The Badlands
Hopalong: The Badlands is a comedic first person shooter set in the Midwest. Become Sheriff with an outlaw problem. Mount your steed while you gallop through the wild west to preserve peace in your land. With 3 in depth chapters, a series of different horses (with different capabilities) and a nice array of weapons, Hopalong: The Badlands provides a good amount of fun while adding a spin to the typical FPS genre.
Quick Facts Genre: First Person Shooter Price: $24.99 Length: ~3 hours Controllers: Move Controllers PlayPSVR Score: 6
PSVR has so many first person shooters that it is starting to get difficult to really prioritize the ones worth playing. Obviously, with the way PSVR works and the vantage point you have as a player this leads to obvious advantages in this type of genre, but I can’t help but to kind of shrug when I see another one come out. However, Hopalong: The Badlands added their own spin to the genre and made a fairly convincing argument to be considered one of the better ones on the market.
You become Sheriff and must traverse deserts, towns, caves and various other environments to rid the area of outlaws. To do so you must master controlling your horse and have an accurate shot. Using two move controllers, your dominant hand will be equipped with your weapon and the non dominant hand will be holding your horse. This horse is a stick horse, which I think is a playful idea and really fun. To move, you have to move your hand up and down as if you were holding the reigns of a horse.
Now this is really awkward at first. God forbid someone see you playing in the distance or through the window. It would not look good, let me just say that. But it is actually pretty fun galloping through the world. After an hour or so it does get annoying, but overall this isn’t a huge deal and I like the idea of having a creative spin on locomotion.
My favorite aspect of the game is the fast paced game play. There is never a second where you aren’t moving, shooting, dodging and fighting enemies. I love that it isn’t like normal FPS where you just stand there and shoot. You are constantly moving and it takes much more skill to be moving on a horse and put a bullet between your enemies eyes while they are also moving. The plot is very basic, but this game relies heavily on the game play, not the plot so this isn’t abig issue.
Another thing I like is that when you die the game is pretty generous about where they put you when you try again. Rather than playing an entire level, you can begin at the last checkpoint. One thing I find interesting is that there are only 3 chapters but each is very very long. Why not just break it up into like 10 different shorter levels? It can get rather repetitive and boring going through a 1 hour level.
Although I praised the fast game play and fun nature of the game there are still some issues. First, it lacks variety that other games can provide. There is so much you can do with the wild west as your theme I suppose, but it is more of the same throughout the game. The comedy really isn’t funny at all. Maybe I am an inappropriate hog who enjoys filthy humor, but I wasn't amused by the attempted comedy.
My biggest issue with the game? The price. $24.99 is bonkers to pay for this game. I’ll admit it’s a decent game, but for about 3 hours of content and although they did add a nice spin to the genre, nothing here is that novel. There is no reason this game should be that expensive. Especially since there are many other big time PSVR staples that are that much or less. I would not purchase it for this price. If it is on sale, sure, pull the trigger. Otherwise, I would wait.
Hopalong: The Badlands puts a fun spin on the traditional first person shooter and excels with its fast paced game play. The price is a big sticking point to me and although certainly a good game, Hopalong: The Badlands isn’t a great one. If you are looking for a fun, light hearted family friendly game, I suggest you pull up your bootstraps and saddle up cowboy!