I haven’t picked up any of the virtual reality systems for myself yet but every once in a while someone brings one to work to play with and I take full advantage. I was able to play Doom, Rick and Morty, a demo for Star Wars Battlefront, and Ace Combat 7 at PAX South but the other day I experienced my favorite one so far on an Oculus Rift. Are you interested in dual-wielding automatic pistols, dodging bullets and blowing things up? Then Robo Recall by Epic Games might be the VR game for you. I know I’m two years late on covering this game but I can’t stop talking about it ever since I played and for good reason too.
I went through the tutorial on how to move and use melee combat which included grabbing a robot, ripping off its limbs, and punching its head off. Moving around in Robo Recall uses a similar teleporting system to Doom and I initially wasn’t thrilled about that because I’d like to just be able to move like using a controller on your usual first person shooter but I got used to it. The Oculus controls were very intuitive and responsive. They even knew when I was making a fist, pointing my fingers, or doing a thumbs up. All of this led to me going pew pew pew with finger guns just about every time I wasn’t holding actual guns. This brings me to the firearm training where I learned how to pull pistols off of my hips. “How would you reload?” someone might say. Don’t worry about it. Just drop the empties and pull out more guns freshly teleported to your holsters! Just like Reaper! At this point, I already felt like a badass so I started up the first mission. As far as the story goes, basically all of the humanoid helper bots have gone rampant and you are a recall specialist sent out to destroy and/or retrieve all of the “products”. A pretty run of the mill plot that gives you a reason to run around shooting up robots.
The game is extremely polished and looks amazing. I could talk about its killer graphics and epic soundtrack all day but I’m ready to get to the gameplay. I feel like a freakin’ superhero when I play this game. Pulling guns off my hips and my back from four different weapon slots, which can all be customized with an array of weapons and attachments, shooting in one direction with a laser-sighted revolver, and another with a tightly choked shotgun, juggling enemies in the air with bullets feels as smooth as a baby’s bottom. You can then drop the guns, grab a bot to use as a human shield from a shotgun blast, rip its head off, throw it at the shooter to knock it off balance, hear a gunshot behind you tilt your head to the side to dodge the bullet, grab the bullet out of the air, pull another pistol off your hip, unload it into the gunner, throw the empty at the shotgunner and then finish him off by flicking the bullet you caught at him for a headshot. Did I mention that you can catch and throw bullets out of the air?
I know that was a lot to read and keep track of but it can all happen in just a few seconds in the game and it feels so natural. Now rinse and repeat, but in a completely different order and throw in some more sick tricks. I even started figuring out how to better utilize the teleportation system as it will actually slow down time as you use it allowing you to string together combos better. With all of the different combat options and insane VR physics, this game takes the notorious Halo thirty seconds of fun to a completely new level.
It took me about three and a half hours but I made it through all of the story missions. The replayability, however, is in the scoring system where you get higher score multipliers if you keep your combos going, earning more points and getting medals by doing rad things like some of the stuff I mentioned above topped off with a cheesy AI calling out “headshot!” and comic like BANG! banners stamped on. There is a global leader board as well as stars you can earn by doing challenges for each mission. To me, Robo Recall feels like a rocket-fueled modern day Time Crisis arcade shooter that, like most VR games, you really just have to play to comprehend the full magnitude of the gaming experience, and this truly is a must play.