Arizona Sunshine PlayStation VR Review

Publisher: Vertigo Games  Developer: Vertigo Games Genre: FPS

Players: 1-4  Age Rating: 18+  Other console/handheld formats: N/A

Horror and VR go together very well, and there has been some really good cases of scary and chilling VR games so far, with Resident Evil 7 being the prime example of just how amazing horror in a headset can be. With all the latter said, I was surprised to learn that while Arizona Sunshine features zombies, there’s very little of it that can actually be called a horror game. It’s certainly not one of those VR games that is going to make you jump, and is instead focused on the action.

Arizona Sunshine’s story is very basic, but it is saved by its very cheesy sense of humour, with the main character delivering the kinds of lines of dialogue that are so bad that they are funny. Something that many will also find amusing is that the protagonist refers to zombies as Freddies, which is wonderfully random to say the least.

There’s quite a variation of zombies, with some even wearing helmets, which makes for impossible headshots.

Arizona Sunshine is an FPS, and it’s one that gives you a lot of control options. The game supports the DualShock 4 controller, Move, as well as the Aim controller. Being currently without the last one myself, I was sadly only able to test the game with the former two options. I actually found the DualShock controller to be the most accurate, as the tracking of the Move controllers was questionable whenever I played the game with them, and not forgetting the fact that the lack of analogue sticks makes free movement rather awkward. Despite being my preferred way to play the game, even the DualShock controller wasn’t perfect, however, with dodgy tracking issues happening when using this scheme as well. The thing is, Move is the only option that allows you to dual wield weapons (pistols and uzis), with the other control options limiting you to a single weapon (pistols, uzis, assault rifles, shotguns etc).

Arizona Sunshine is playable, but I must warn you that if you do play the game, tracking woes are to be expected. The game allows for more precision aiming by looking down the barrel of your weapons and there’s also moments in which you’ll find yourself armed with a sniper rifle, although I found the tracking with both of these to be all over the place at times, and it’s a shame as it’s an interesting way of doing precision aiming when playing an FPS in VR. It’s just too jittery to truly convince as precision aiming though.

Tracking issues aside, you can opt to play the game with teleportation or free movement, which hopefully means that there are enough options to please everyone. Teleportation will hopefully help minimise motion sickness in those who suffer from it, while free movement should satisfy those who are able to play such games without any adverse effects. You can also alter how your character turns, so if you do experience any discomfort when playing the game, it’s definitely worth taking a look at the options before you decide to abandon it entirely.

Arizona Sunshine’s shooting is satisfying when the tracking is behaving itself, with great bullet feedback, and bloody holes opening up and limbs and heads being shot off. The game can get pretty intense as well, particularly when a fair number of zombies spill towards you, and you’ll feel rather relieved when the last zombie falls and you manage to complete such a section. I found a scenario in which you have to wait for a door to open while zombies pour in particularly nail-biting, and the ending portion of the game is also rather tense.

Visually, the game is rather low quality, but the zombies have more than enough detail to show their ugly decay.

As a zombie game, Arizona Sunshine is actually a surprisingly sunny game. Taking place in Arizona, you’ll be making your way through sun-baked valleys and canyons as you search for other survivors in the game’s eight level campaign mode, although you’ll find yourself in the darkness from time to time, which is a nice break from the blazing sun. The campaign itself can be played in single player or two player co-op, and lasts for around 4 hours.

Arizona Sunshine also has a Horde mode, which does add value to what would otherwise be an overly expensive package at £33. Horde mode can be played by up to four players at once, and has you taking on endless waves of the undead. As is typical with such a mode, each wave is tougher than the last one.

Arizona Sunshine has issues with its controls, although these issues are mainly irritating as opposed to making the game completely unplayable, particularly when playing with the DualShock. If you can put up with the rather jittery tracking, there’s lots of zombie shooting fun to be found here, with comic dialogue that adds some extra personality to the game. It also must be said that the game feels a lot better rounded than many other VR releases, which adds to its appeal. I must advise you to approach the game with caution, however, as annoying control issues may rear their ugly head.