PSVR is already upon us, but what is a new piece of hardware without software to enjoy and show it off with, or in this case, games? While it is true that the PSVR had a very impressive lineup of robust launch games that showcase what the unit is capable of, sadly most of them were over-priced experiences.
Enter EVE: Gunjack, the little-known sibling of EVE: Valkyrie. While Valkyrie was pretty much a flagship game about epic multiplayer dogfights that may have cost you and arm and a leg to maintain, Gunjack is a small and affordable turret gun arcade shooter that simply delivers lightning fast gameplay at a very generous price.
How does the runt of the liter faces up against the big dogs of VR gaming? Adjust your visor and tighten your trigger fingers, we’ve got some pirate scum to waste.
Set in the EVE universe, you are ”Eight,” a blue collar turret gunner who works for an illegal mining operation set on a giant mining platform. Your mission is to defend your home base from any hostiles and pillagers.
Gunjack, then, is a turret-shooting game that has you shooting wave after wave of enemy fighters whose patterns and behaviors vary. The routine is broken by the occasional heavy fighter and drop-ship or the presentation of a few bonus missions that will have you protect the base from incoming asteroids. Each mission awards you up to three stars based on your performance that may be used to unlock more missions.
If you deem the concept too simplistic, well that’s because it is. Gunjack was originally a mobile game that is being ported, hence cheap price, concept, and reward system.
Your turret comes equipped with two machine guns whose ammo cache never runs out, though you still need to reload which will add a strategic layer to your gunfire. Powerups are dropped by certain enemies, some of which are instantaneous, while others you may store to use at your leisure. In such an intense game with little time to breath, resource management is a commodity that only those with a cool head can exploit, especially when it can be the difference between a win and a game over.
As simple and bare-boned as the game may be, with almost no tie to the EVE universe, no plot, no upgrades, and no variation in the gaming mechanics, you’d think yourself dealing with a stinker. It does one thing right, however. The VR experience is a visual polish for such a cheap game. The textures are very clear, framerate is solid, and best of all for a $10 game, the presentation feels like that of a AAA title–the depth of field and precise motion controls are a wonder to enjoy.
You aim the turret with your head, a process that felt equally immersive and convincing. The power of the PSVR helps a lot with augmenting the illusion of being in an actual turret due to clever use of the VR technology. Such a stale genre that was once a staple of the early 2000s is now back to life and better than ever thanks to the wonders of VR.
It’s cheap, looks nice, plays nice, simple for a pickup-and-play experience, and is for anyone who enjoys games with minimal to almost no fuss at all. If you just got your PSVR headset and are looking for a fun time-waster look no further than EVE: Gunjack.