When you think about games that should flawlessly work within a VR environment, I would assume, hopefully rightly so, that you immediately think of the ever-popular FPS genre. It’s incredible, then, how difficult it is to give you that fine balance between a fun and immersive experience, as well as being accurate and pinpoint. Call of Duty, Battlefield and games of their ilk have spoiled us with a pixel perfect level of precision, one that just can’t be replicated on a one-to-one basis in VR. Saying that, Pixel Gear gets pretty damn close.
One would assume that, in order to control the gun, you would simply point the PlayStation Move controller directly at the screen, akin to the way the Wii was operated. As it turns out, Pixel Gear have mixed things up, and is all the better for it. You hold the controller vertically, and whilst it may feel foreign for a brief moment when you start to play the game, it all becomes second nature shortly thereafter, and you question as to why no one else had attempted this method of play properly. However, after that feeling subsides, what you are left with is, unfortunately, a package that just isn’t worthy of the intuitive control scheme that was built in to it.
Pixel Gear is, quite simply, a wave-based shooter. Whilst that may seem like it’s stripping the game to it’s core components, it, for better or worse, doesn’t build anything on top of that to make it stand out. As much as I love games scaling things back to a neatly wrapped, concise package, when the game is half empty to begin with, you can’t help but feel cheated having purchased this, knowing full well that you may get 30 minutes of enjoyment out of this, and that’s being generous with the estimation. Geronimo Interactive do little to change the gameplay, with challenges and enemy variants being either lacklustre, or simply not present altogether. The all-too-familiar pixelated aesthetic, made popular by games such as Minecraft, is used throughout the course of Pixel Gear, and whilst it doesn’t take anything away from your experience, it certainly doesn’t add anything either.
With the game also featuring a single player mode, consisting of 3 levels that each take around 20 minutes or so to complete, the game feels very much incomplete. Whilst I commend the control scheme and the aesthetic to a lesser degree, I simply can’t recommend the package as a whole. Had Geronimo incubated the game internally for a longer period, we could have had something special on our hands, considering the control scheme, but in it’s current incarnation, it’s simply just not up to scratch.