Developer: JOYCITY Corp
Device: Samsung Gear VR
Type: Action, Single Player
Controller: Controller Only
JoyCity has been around awhile developing games for pc since the 1990’s. They are credited for making the first Korean sports game on pc. Called Freestyle Football, they are also known for developing apps for android and IPhone.
The story for Gunship Battle2 VR is as follows; our main hero Dylan, Was picked to participate in a top secret government project. ( Never a good Idea, since they always turn out great! ) what Dylan got out of the experimentation, is a psychic link to helicopters which painted a target on his back resulting his family being murdered, and due to inflicted injury’s he lost his memory. Before he can find his memories, and get revenge. The world has been thrown into chaos, and he is the only one with the skills to pilot the advanced helicopters; our only hope for peace. And maybe find his family’s murderers along the way.
The first Gunship Battle game is an Android and Iphone Free-to-play, pay-to-win with in app purchases. The sequel Gunship Battle: Second War (which is essentially the same game but with planes.) and Warship battle. (Again, same control scheme, but with big war ships.) I checked all three out and I am impressed with the control scheme which is very much like GunShip Battled2 VR; but instead of tilting your phone to aim, you will be using your head for aiming, and a game pad to control the movement of your Helicopter. It would be easy of me to tear JoyCity corp. apart on the lack of originality, if each game was a cookie cutter of the other; just with different vehicles. which it is… Sort of.
Each game has diverse levels, enemies; and their own plot. None as fleshed out As Gunship Battle2 VR, and I can say with all enthusiasm that Gunship Battle2 VR is what we have been waiting for. A game from a seasoned developer and all the experience shows off. Gunship Battle 2 VR is polished, and the attention to details; in story cut scenes, and varied gameplay, and the upgrade-ability of your helicopter.
When I Did a review of Overflight, I longed for that game to have a story mode, and a campaign. My wish was granted from the VR game Gods, cause this game came out soon after.
When you first get into Gunship Battle 2 VR for the First time you will be wowed by the great intro screen and music, finally a full fleshed out game. Not a game demo, not a hurry and thrown together experience of that only lasts only 30 mins. One that you can keep going back to over and over for you to get your fix of over the top action. Gunship Battle2 VR may not be the most amazing gameplay experience ever, or the most original, but it takes an idea and makes it exciting and new, once you flesh it out in VR. Other Game developers should take note.
It reminds me of Never Out. Originally NeverOut, was Out of the Box, an app for IPad, where you help a block of cheese navigate a isometric cube by turning it around and changing the sides to navigate spikes and Falling blocks. Out of the Box is 99 cents on the Apple App Store.
While NeverOut is a dark turn on the same premise, same puzzles in fact, but in VR with new skin. And the experience changes drastically. It turns a cartoony non-threatening environment, Into Claustrophobic inducing nightmare Fuel. And it’s to Setapp’s credit they recognized the potential, and realized it within VR. It’s the same with Gunship Battle2 VR. what Joycity has done, they figured out a great control Scheme, and made it work in a far more engaging environment.
The graphics are high quality for the Gear VR, the helicopters look great and the cockpits reflect each one appropriately. The in game story is told with actual cut scenes, and then in-between rounds with a holographic communication display. The voice work is great and believable. And as far as the story goes I’m really impressed that the story mixes the standard; hero has special abilities and can save the day single handedly, story with fallibility, making mistakes so that while your kicking butt on one battle field, something is going on, on another.
The game mechanics work a lot like GunSight, where you use the mixture of your headset movement And use of a controller to aim and the control to move your helicopter. I’m relieved that another developer has taken up this style of game play, because it works so well, between shooting and moving, for me its fluid and natural. When I had my son play it, he’s an avid gamer, and he has no problems either. My wife however thought the game was cool, but couldn’t get the hang of the controls.
The level diversity is great, one level you will be Piloting around the helicopter destroying bases, another you will be controlling ta turret much like Bandit six, but hanging off the side of a moving Helicopter. There are green mountain areas, desert, desert mountains and tropical beaches, and even battles defending a converted oil rig in the middle of the ocean. The Big Downside to this game is the grinding you will have to do to upgrade your Helicopter. That means listening to the Girl talk over and over at the beginning of each level without the ability to skip… (Why Not add a skip feature on the beginning monologues’ Joycity Corp.? you did it for the Main Cut scenes.) Each level only takes five minuets or so to complete, and they are fun; but after five times, the grinding becomes tedious. The game has two episodes, with 10 levels each. With a boss battle at the end of Each tenth level. and be prepared to play them -alot- if you want to unlock every Helicopter. There are also three levels of difficulty. Normal, hard and very hard. If you want to see some Gameplay, Check the Video Below.
For me the game works great and I felt fine the whole time its marked as moderate in the Oculus store. And maybe cause of the cockpit it helps trick your brain and not make you get the motion sickness.. the only time I even felt a bit of it was when I was turning my helicopter for the first time and it was only for a second, and I never felt it again. Had my family try the game and they all felt the game was fine, that is a big achevement! The only other game I felt had this level of freedom while piloting something, was Omega Agent. And I actually got sick. The first and only time in VR, after 2 hours playing it.. but still most people only last a few minuets in that game. Everyone that i had jump into Gunship Battle2 vr, had no problems at all. It deserves a standing ovation.
This game is the total package compared to the bulk of games that have been coming out. It has options, it has upgrades for your helicopter, it feels a little like Grand Turismo upgrading feel to it.. you can up grade your copter to the hilt and keep it as long as you can or you can make it good enough and save your cash for an upgraded copter with more armor and heavier hitting weapons. I think the reason why people can handle the game so well, is that you have a cockpit around you, you can see the stick moving around while you pilot, giving your brain something to reason with you, why you are moving around while sitting.
The difficulty really depends on how well you take advantage of the controls. On the normal setting, you can make the game really hard depending on how you tackle the levels as well… If you are cautious making it through each scenario, hiding behind objects, and shooting from afar you will find that normal is just that. Average difficulty. For the first ten levels, at least. I played through them Relatively easy the second episode however is where the game kicks it up a notch, and tests your piloting skills. Missile management it a must, and the sheer number of things shooting at you is staggering. Which i’m happy about because it sharpens your skills and forces you to approach each area
Music / Effects
The music is so fitting I forget its even playing until I think to myself I should be paying attention to it. the very cinematic and fitting for the setting of the game, it didn’t feel over bearing and obnoxious. When I had my son play it he said. “Can I just sit here for a while and listen to the music?” That’s pretty high praise. I’m not going to say it’s as good as Skyrim, but that’s the last time I heard him say something similar. The voice acting is good for a Gear VR game, the addtion of Full cut scenes was a particularly nice touch on JoyCitys part in engage the player into something deeper.
Is the Game worth Ten Bucks? I’ll get to that. Another story about when my son played it. After I put the headset on his head he said, “This looks like one of those Pay-to-Win android games.”
I said “It is one of those Pay-To-Win android games, But, I paid all up front. You can purchase xp upgrades and ammo upgrades and other power-ups in the games store, but it is purchased with in the games currency you receive after completing levels. There will be a lot of grinding you will have to do in order to upgrade your ship. I understand that developers are really having a hard time trying to get VR to be profitable and because VR is a much smaller market than say android or IPhone, I understand trying to develop a VR title and make money with it in every way they can. So, while I’m pleased they took out in app purchases, I wonder if not having a pay to win system is hurting the VR platform altogether. Tell me what you think about that in the comment section below, there are good arguments on both sides; but ultimately if the money is not there, neither will the content. Developers need to eat too. In the beginning of mobile VR I felt like developers were charging too high for content that was either just a demo, or games that were incomplete. And I think we have hit a sweet spot with games that are between 3$ – 8$.
While the content is a little light for a 10$ purchase, I feel like JoyCity corp. Did a great job by Porting over a great franchise, with a fresh game-play style you can only experience in VR. And that my friends; is worth the cash.
- VR Design
- Only two episodes
- So much grinding!
- More Interesting Weapons