It’s High Noon, and you know what that means, time for some gun-slinging cowboy action for the HTC Vive from Octobox Interactive and Buka Entertainment. Grab your six-shooters and stand out in a dusty street for this VR action.
Let’s be honest, most of us played as cowboys as kids and it always entailed some major gunfights for no apparent reason, well I did anyway. Nothing has come close to reliving that fun until now with the help of my HTC Vive and High Noon VR.
High Noon VR sets you up as the new sheriff in town and your job is to bring law and order. Those outlaws need to conform to a peaceful society. Learn to be civil, respectful, pillars of the community. And what is the best way to accomplish this task? Kill them.
High Noon VR doesn’t need all that slow moving, talk to everybody, do some quests stuff. We’re here for one thing, and one thing only shooting people. Let’s be honest, that was the most entertaining parts of the old western movies anyway, wasn’t it?
So, upon start up, you are thrown into a boss battle, which I believe may be impossible to beat. This may in fact be the last moments of the previous sheriff’s life. Then, you are positioned inside a small hut where you have an assortment of weapons that can be purchased later in the game with currency earned from completing levels and achievements. For now, you can only purchase the one six-shooter pistol. Then you can choose to do quick-play mode or start working on levels which will open up more levels and harder tasks. Each of these levels can be re-played as much as you wish with increasingly harder challenges to strive for.
What I do like about this game is the no-nonsense attitude of the game, get into the game, count down timer and boom you’re shooting. The controls are very simple and easy to get accustomed to, tap the D-pad to reload and of course, triggers to fire. With very little effort, you will be taking down outlaws, literally left and right and boosting your rewards and before long, you’ll be purchasing bigger weapons to use.
Of course, I purchased a second pistol quickly, so I could really get into the game (despite my apparent inaccuracy with my left hand). A great way to have more fun is to mix and match. Use a double-barrel shotgun in one hand and a pistol in the other, or try out the harpoon so you can pull your enemies towards you for a little more, let’s say “wet work.” Each weapon has their advantages and disadvantages as well. Shotguns take them down quicker, but don’t have as good of a range, also you need to reload more often, for example.
Having your position fixed in one spot can be a disadvantage as well, being that you cannot evade bullets, but you can memorize the location of helpful objects, so you don’t really have to look at them to make contact. The barrels can be of great assistance, they not only explode causing proximity damage, but they also temporarily slow down time, so you can land that tricky headshot.
There are a number of different outlaw foes, ranging from skinny guys, larger guys and ladies (for equality of course) each with itchy trigger fingers and a loathing of the law. They have numerous spawning points and set path that they move, and an assortment of weapons. These range from pistols to shotguns and also throw the occasional stick of dynamite which if noticed earlier enough, you can shoot before it lands at your feet.
Each wave of outlaws progressively gets more difficult and if you are a good shot, you will reach the boss. A villain with a much larger health bar who has their own spawn points and set paths. They always have help from standard outlaws as well, so you will need to share your focus equally. Beating this boss will grant you a good reward and unlock the next level to keep the action going.
The thing that stands out to me about High Noon VR is that it delivers the experience. It doesn’t try to complicate things with fantastic, photo-realistic graphics and cinema-quality weapon sounds, it’s a game, you’re here to have fun and sometimes simplicity is better. The game is currently on sale on Steam for $7.99USD, it is value for money, no question.
Audio & Visuals
As I hinted on earlier, High Noon VR doesn’t have the greatest graphics. The models are simple, they have obvious set paths and some spawn points are clearly in an open area which means some will run out of a building, and others will just appear. But you know what? It doesn’t matter, much like the story, you don’t really care. Your eyes are telling you that you are standing in a cartoonish dusty street, holding a couple of old-time weapons and shooting people who are shooting back at you. What else do you need? This is what you imagined as a kid and it’s fun.
The sound is a similar story, each weapon has its own sound, there is the occasional voice heard from the outlaws. That’s good, it’s immersive, job done. I’m not 100% sure on the voice between stages though as it regularly gets cut off mid-sentence by the game, not skipped by myself, but it doesn’t affect the overall experience.
High Noon VR was a dark horse for me, I went into it with average expectations and was pleasantly surprised. Sure, it breaks no boundaries with graphics or audio, but the experience is where it will get you. For $8USD, it’s a no brainer, great value for money. If you like VR shooters, this is one you should have.