First-person shooters seem perfectly suited to VR, even more so when there is no movement involved. Pixel Gear slots perfectly into a niche that is currently lacking in PS VR’s library but struggles to provide an enjoyable experience that is further diminished by its short length.
Turn, Point, and Shoot
Pixel Gear is a wave-based shooter that pits cartoon monsters, zombies, and ghosts amongst others against you. The premise is as simple as it gets, aim and shoot the increasing waves of enemies while making sure nothing is creeping up on you. Ignore enemies at your peril as they provide an additional challenge by launching projectiles at you if they survive your sharpshooting. However, it should not be a problem for anyone with a trigger-happy finger.
There are a small variety of enemies that will try to swarm you, from blocky bats, scary witches to Frankenstein’s monster, but subsequent waves start to feel the same and repetitive with little to offer. In fact, they offer so little resistance that the game throws more enemies at you just to make it a little more exciting. The only challenge of the game are the boss enemies that may require a little trial and error to best, but again, nothing too difficult for the typical gamer to handle.
A Square Peg In A Round Hole
The mechanic of using the Playstation Move controller (Dualshock 4 is not supported) to aim and shoot is so simple and perfect, it is a shame that this was not coupled with a more fleshed-out and well-designed game. The shooting itself is unable to hold together uninteresting level design, easy enemies and a lack of a gameplay hook to keep you going.
With three difficulty levels and only three worlds to get past, there is frankly very little replayability and veer towards a boring experience. The addition of more weapons does little to spice things up. Even the starting gun is vastly more useful than a sniper rifle that requires you to look down the scope when enemies are advancing thick and fast.
Pixel Gear could have been an awesome PS VR first-person shooter entry with its simple but excellent control scheme, but ultimately it is hampered by a lack of meaningful content and uninspired design. While it demonstrates that the importance of getting the controls right could go a long way, it also illustrates the pitfalls of having little else to back that up.