Well, we’re finally here people, this article features ten more Oculus Quest game reviews, the last being our ONE-HUNDREDTH review! We’ve played, tested and reviewed 100 different VR games over the last few years, starting with Oculus Quest launch titles & ending by exclusively reviewing titles played on the Oculus Quest 2.
Scroll to the bottom for links to all our previous Quest review articles and a little insight into what to expect next from us.
Boy did we group together some great titles for our special! Let’s start in alphabetical order, simply ‘cause it's prettier…
We fully expected an official Oculus Rift release of Crashland before getting a Quest version, but we’re not complaining. Many of you might be thinking ‘do we really need another VR wave shooter' and while maybe, no, we do not – we should at least make room for the grand-daddy of all VR wave-shooters. Crashland originally released in 2013, before many readers probably even knew the modern resurgence of virtual reality was even a thing, gamers can be forgiven for forgetting even Crashland existed. This does not, however, mean that it is not a great game fully worthy of your money and time. While its concept is pretty basic, stay alive and fend off all the (at times terrifying) aliens until evacuation arrives, the gameplay is so damn satisfying it's hard to put down!
After crashing on an unknown planet, you are soon encountered and attacked by hostile aliens, with nothing but your pistol and shotgun to defend yourself. The setting and creatures don’t look a million miles away from something you’d see in a Starship Troopers movie, in fact, it's probably the closest you’d get to that experience in VR. As you fight, you’ll earn XP which will unlock various perks for you to pick from, each level will present different landscapes, firing modes and powerups. The graphics are actually pretty decent for the game’s age and the hardware it is running on, even close up nothing looks poor compared to the competition. You have slow but effective locomotion and limited teleporting to help you move around and a motion tracker to keep tabs on the enemy, but I found the directional sound to be so good that I usually knew which direction they were coming from.
As for negatives we’re coming up short. Depending on who you are the game is hard and unforgiving, even on the easiest difficulty, we died pretty early into the second level, but we learned from our mistakes and didn’t die at all in the third or fourth. It’s built to teach you hard lessons and that gives you a real sense of personal achievement when you overcome what at first seems impossible to handle, but if you weren’t great at shooters you might get permanently stuck on a certain level. The game could also benefit massively from cooperative play, it just feels made for it and is a real shame to not be included as a feature. Besides those few niggles, Crashland is quite possibly the best wave-shooter we’ve played in VR and we’re glad it's finally getting the wider recognition it deserves.
Creed: Rise of Glory
This one scratches a few itches for us. Being huge Rocky/Creed movie fans, primarily into workout/rhythm games and generally interested in Boxing as a sport, it should be the perfect combination. And to a certain degree it is, a campaign focused boxing game, Creed will have you working your way up the ranks, fighting progressively stronger boxers, all while hitting you with nostalgic music, radio commentary and even lead characters from the Rocky movies. Between fights, you can walk around the gym and engage in various methods of training, from punchbags to treadmills (sadly no skipping!), designed to raise your heartbeat and get you pumped for the fight all with their own high scores. These are, at times, presented in short bursts like you’re in some living Rocky training montage. Have to say we appreciate the attention to detail.
The fights themselves try to enforce the importance of blocking and preserving energy, although not your own energy, mind, your in-game energy – which is a feature a lot of players take issue with, who is the game to tell them when they’re tired and need to rest? But we actually liked this feature as it broke up the fighting and reminded you to play tactfully, not just swing your arms like an enraged silverback! When you’re close to being knocked down, time slows down and you’ll need to place your hands in specific areas to pull yourself together, once you’re fully knocked out the camera wooshes back beyond the crowd and you have to swing your arms at your sides to make your way back to your body, both attempting to simulate extreme fatigue and out of body experiences, these are nice touches that we don’t think enough people mention.
The negatives outside of a relatively short campaign would be mostly multiplayer-based. When you invite someone to play they join your gym and can walk around it with you before picking a character and entering the ring, but once they join, all training objects are disabled and only the host can interact with a few of the items (besides the speedball which both players can punch for some reason). We’d love for the gym area to be opened up so at least two people could train there together, because besides this (and some oddly short rounds) the multiplayer is incredibly fun and well designed. Also, while there are a couple of locomotion options included, none of them are stick-based, and while the hand movement-based motion is more immersive, we just found it frustrating to use once the fight started to get more intense. Creed in any case is a solid boxing title with some unique features and well-used nostalgia for Rocky fans.
Down the Rabbit Hole
If you’re a fan of the world of Alice in Wonderland like we are then Down the Rabbit Hole comes highly recommended. A story-driven puzzle-adventure game, DTRH features side-scrolling platforming elements and first-person views, all with free control of the camera (up, down, left, right, forward, back). The game tells the pre-Alice story of a young girl who has fallen into wonderland in search of her lost pet Patches, solving puzzles and requesting help from bizarre and interesting characters along the way. All while searching for lost invitations to the Queen of Hearts party that act as the game’s version of collectables.
Graphically the game is beautiful and has a genuine aura of charm and style to it that perfectly encapsulates the Alice in Wonderland atmosphere. Each chapter has outer-world handles that you can grab to pull the camera closer to the environment which truly shows off the attention to detail that has been put into the world around you, it’s one of very few if not only VR game we have ever played that actually looks better the closer you get to your surroundings, its nothing but fully immersive and deserves much more applause than it gets for nailing the look and feel of everything. The voice acting is also on point and makes each character believable and a joy to listen to.
Picking negatives feels like nit-picking but if I was forced to say, the camera can sometimes be a little jumpy, almost like it's trying to compensate its position as you transition between areas and sometimes it doesn’t move at all prompting you to drag the camera yourself. This is minor and generally, I think the implementation of completely free camera movement is worth the few hitches you experience. It’s also quite a short game, depending on how good you are at puzzle games, you could be done fully in 3-4 hours even after finding all collectables. Again, if you love the story of Alice, you really should not pass up this experience, it will not let you down.
This is a hard game to explain, let alone review. But to explain is basically, Electronauts is a music-based game that gives you simple tools to remix and manipulate music on the fly without any musical talent or knowledge, which on the whole, it achieves incredibly well. You are given a choice of up to 80 songs that you can load up and play specific track sections, vocal verses and even pick and choose which instruments play. The tools at your disposal allow you to warp, loop or mix the audio at will, but it’s the orbs that we believe offer the most creative direction, acting almost as drum pads that play short audio samples that can be cut off early by hitting another orb, meaning you can, for the most part, play samples as slowly or quickly as you like to accompany the rhythm of the song.
After finding songs that match your tastes and experimenting with different tools until you find the ones that are most enjoyable to you, its incredibly easy to get sucked into the moment and for a brief period, feel genuinely like you are creating unique and impressive soundscapes without any aid besides the backing track you have loaded in. Sometimes you’re so impressed with what you’re managing to achieve that you’re bummed you don’t have a real audience there to worship your newfound musical talent! There’s sadly not even a virtual one there to act like you’re their new idol. Graphically for the most part it does the job, but there are some close-up textures of speakers etc that just look straight up blurry, not sure this was something that couldn’t have been tightened up a little, at least not when being played on the Quest 2.
Sadly, there is a pretty big omission in the Quest version of Electronauts, the complete lack of multiplayer. When there’s not even a record function in the game, it can be pretty lonely pretending to be a megastar DJ without a single person to share the experience, regardless of how much you’re smashing it – this is a large drawback and makes the game’s appeal feel dwarfed by its PCVR counterpart. We also kinda wish there was possibility to have a 360 table to allow all the tools and instruments to be used concurrently. Overall, Electronauts offers a unique and fun experience, but without any grander purpose, the replayability gets shorter and shorter with each session.
A fantasy-themed game where you feel like the tower in a tower-defence game. Armed with a simple bow and arrow, you need to defend a gate from incoming orcs, trolls and dragons that will increase in strength and numbers as you progress through the waves. A pretty basic concept and fairly uneventful in the single-player modes – but where Elven Assassin really shines is in the multiplayer, whether in 4-player co-operative defence or in the hilariously punishing one-shot-and-you’re-dead PVP mode. The screaming as you duck an incoming axe or as your gates are stormed by headstrong orcs and trash-talking each other in PVP really is the bread and butter of the game’s fun factor.
As you progress waves you unlock gold and skill points that you can spend in the main menu on cosmetic items and spells that you can use in the single-player’s loosely named ‘RPG mode’, the latter unfortunately don’t seem to carry over into multiplayer, possibly for balancing purposes, which is a shame. But if you have three friends up for joining you, the banter makes up for the lack of spells that spice up the gameplay and strategies. There’s a healthy dose of maps to play and the graphics are decent enough (at least from a distance) with some cool artistic style on some maps in particular, which you can teleport around by shooting certain platforms with an arrow. The bow physics are real enough to create immersion but basic enough to feel arcadey and fluid.
Eleven Assassin is, however, not without some notable downsides. While the bow controls are great (albeit tiring), the spell selection is particularly fiddly and over-sensitive, requiring you to hold the thumbstick in a specific position while you draw back your bow. There’s also no snap turning, meaning it's practically impossible to play seated as you regularly need your whole 360 view. The enemy variety also leaves a lot to be desired, after a few hours of co-op play we only ever encountered orcs and dragons, nothing else – which can get a little tedious after your third or fourth session. Besides these, if you want a decent 4-player co-op experience then Elvin Assassin is a great way to spend time with your friends and/or meet new people.
Virtual Reality surprisingly still doesn’t have its killer app of first-person shooters, with popular arena shooters only just starting to emerge on mainstream headsets this year. Hyper Dash (so unfortunate they kept this terrible name) is a fast-paced shooter that aims to take the crown in this emerging VR scene. Fresh out of reviewing more military-based titles we’re happy to see something a little different. A mixture of free-locomotion, rail-grinding and dash-teleporting, Hyper Dash offers absolute freedom of movement with relatively minimal motion sickness – although experiences may vary. There are multiple single-hand weapons that you can mix and match duel-wield and various powerups such as health and speed scattered around each map.
Hyper Dash’s main game mode is Payload that tasks one team with escorting a rail cart to the enemy’s base while they try to defend enough to prevent you from getting there before the time limit is reached. There are other popular FPS game modes such as domination, control point and deathmatch. There is background music but to us it felt a little out of place, sounding more at home in a club than in a shooter, it was so off-putting we turned it off in the end. At times when there aren’t enough players or people drop out, the game will replace them with competent but not over the top bots which is a really nice touch for a VR title, you can also play against just bots to practice and hone your skills.
The negatives are pretty subjective but we’ll list them anyway. The clean and simple design is a nice change but after some time can start to feel pretty uninspired and for new players can actually make it harder to know which direction you should be travelling. And speaking of travelling, you’ll be doing it a lot, at least in Payload – once you die, you’ll be set quite far back and have to travel a fair distance to make it back to the objective, if you’re new to the game the difficulty curve can feel relatively steep making the constant travel back to the action a chore to do. With how dashing works in the game, experienced players can run circles around you so you’ll want to practice some before jumping in to multiplayer. Hyper Dash as a whole is a well-polished, intensely fast-faced FPS game that was made for e-sports and tournaments and if that’s your type of thing, there isn’t much better out there.
Possibly Virtual Reality’s first ocean exploration game. Ocean Rift allows for free-roaming in an almost open-world ocean of sea plants, sunken artifacts and marine life. From turtles, sharks and blue whales down to now extinct ocean creatures. You have a selection wheel that will teleport you near animals of your choice and task you with finding them on your deep-sea radar and swimming towards them. Certain globes will teach you facts and interesting trivia about each species with warm and professional narration, it’s an ideal platform to give children the love for seeking knowledge and exploring the natural world. A pure and wonderful learning tool that sets the standard for educational words in Virtual Reality.
There are three methods of swimming, your standard joystick locomotion, grip button mini-propellers and gesture-based swimming, all greatly implemented and allow for everyone to explore the ocean in a way that works best for them, eliminating almost all potential for motion sickness. The graphics are decent enough for the hardware but can break immersion slightly when you get too close to an unfortunately low-poly animal or object, however, the lighting and depth of field is perfectly implemented to really make the deep and often dark depths fill you with excitement or anxiety about what you might encounter. There are many more animals to discover than what is found in the selection menu so you are rewarded for exploring high and low with new discoveries.
Our main negatives would be lack of multiplayer and the forced route to exploration, we tried using this title as a way to introduce a new-comer to VR and they spent 10 minutes swimming around without seeing much more than a crab and some fish, we’d have much preferred there to be an option to warp you directly to each animal rather than searching for them. However, saying that, simply stumbling upon the mystical and larger than life blue whale is certainly a much more rewarding experience than warping directly to it. There should also be a warning on the particularly nerve-wracking great white shark section, especially as this game has an age rating of 3 and up, this could easily give a young child nightmares. Besides this, we think Ocean Rift is a terrific education tool for visual learners and a soothing exploration title that we’d love to see more of.
Solaris: Offworld Combat
Our second online arena shooter in this selection of reviews, Solaris: Offworld Combat is a 4v4 futuristic FPS that aims to deliver fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled action between two teams of Athlons, with an assortment of weapon and power-ups to collect across each of six available maps. The gameplay is tight and well-polished and the graphics are sharp and high-resolution. Having communication with your teammates, knowing the advantages of each gun, having map awareness and good placement of power-ups will help give you the advantage over your competition as blind running and gunning will only get you so far.
Solaris seems to be trying to bring more fluid locomotion to the genre, by allowing sliding into a crouch mid-sprint but this could do with some improvements, such as keeping sprint active even when you snap turn. We also think jumping and wall running would give this game some unique movement to separate it from the competition and make the firefights more intense and exciting. While there is room for improvement, the base gameplay included so far is solid and makes for an exciting shooter, especially when the lobbies are full and everyone is engaging and communicating with each other.
This brings us to an unfortunate note about Solaris, the population at the time of this review is still disappointingly low and not what we expected when competition in the genre is still relatively slim (unless you prefer military-themed shooters). While this isn’t the fault of the developer, we think it is much more obviously a problem due to the fact the game does not yet support bots, this is so painfully needed to bridge the gap while the community grows that we’re surprised it isn’t the number one priority for future updates, for that it unfortunately losses some points. We also think the more premium price and lack of Steam release isn’t doing the active player-base any favours either. Outside of this, Solaris is on its way to becoming a killer app for arena VR shooters and we’re looking forward to seeing it evolve.
Lots of games over the years have baselessly received the “what VR was made for” comment from reviews and the like, but very few of them actually justify it quite in the way that Swarm does. The concept is a little tricky to describe but the store page quotes the game as “Spiderman with guns”, which isn’t far off to be fair, but even that description has its limits. Your main objective in each mission is to fling yourself to and between small platforms in a variety of arenas with grapple hooks, destroying droids with a multitude of guns and power-ups, avoiding incoming fire and collecting gems by swinging around the area. Between each mission is 2.5D static cutscenes with voiced dialogue to give the locations and the battles, in general, more context.
What’s great about Swarm is just how intuitive the controls and movement are in-game, there is a small learning curve at the beginning but once you get your head around fundamental lessons like how momentum is maintained and how to give yourself prolonged airtime to allow longer opportunities to blast the swarms of drones spiralling around you, things will suddenly click followed by self-worship and gratification in the truckloads. Once you start unlocking slow-mo and boost special moves things will become even more entertaining. It almost feels comparable to the combat dance of recent Doom games, constantly having to think ahead, putting yourself in the best future position to output the maximum damage on the hordes. It has moments of pure glory.
Sadly, we’re disappointed that Swarm isn’t some grander experience, despite its perfected gameplay, the content really is just arena battles with different objectives and challenges that increase in difficulty. We were left wishing for a game that involved swinging through cities under siege, completing varied missions with acrobatic courses to test your grappling skills. We thoroughly enjoyed what we played and think it’s a milestone in pushing the limits of VR gameplay, we’re just hoping the sequel offers more than arena battles that can sometimes give VR the perception of being a sea of great ideas locked behind nothing but tech demos. This shouldn’t take away from everything Swarm does so graciously though, it’s a thrilling experience either way.
Zombieland: Headshot Fever
If you’re not aware of the license this game is based on then we should explain that it’s tied to a series of comedy/action movies about the zombie apocalypse. There are many zombie survival VR games, a handful already for sale on the Quest, but none of them quite aim for the level of tongue-in-cheek silliness as Zombieland. As an on-rails light-shooter game, instantly it draws comparison to titles like House of the Dead and Time Crisis. Each mission will take place in a different area and give you 4 separate challenges that unlock various bonuses, from brand new weapons to extra toilet paper (the in-game currency).
Aiming for a more fast-paced and arcadey experience, Zombieland tasks you with chaining kills together and aiming for headshots which slow down time helping you get your composure and decide which deadite needs to hit the deck first. If you’ve seen the movies then the setting and voice acting is all on point, even if the lead movie characters are voiced by different people. There are collectables, achievements and challenges to add replayability to each level and even increasingly difficult training modes to hone your skills and unlock more bonuses. You can also upgrade your weapons and pick your loadouts between each mission.
When it comes to arcade shooters it doesn’t get much better, the whole experience is very well crafted. But it does have negatives, even if we avoid speaking of the lack of multiplayer. Transitions between each scene is performed by glancing in that direction, which happens so quickly its sometimes impossible to avoid, which is frustrating if you’ve left a collectable behind before you were forced to progress, this is made worse by the lack of snap-turning. There’s also no locomotion in the mansion hub area, which would have been nice for exploration purposes. There also seems to be a pretty significant difficulty spike halfway through the second stage. That said, Zombieland: Headshot Fever is a fast-paced, arcade shooter that’s all about blasting zombies and nothing more.
This will likely be our last VR reviews for quite some time while we focus on other projects, but we'll be sure to return from time to time with one-off specials showcasing more impressive titles that we just couldn't stay away from. So expect any future articles to feature only highly-anticipated games or titles that for whatever reason, we enjoyed immensely. We're still gamers and VR enthusiasts after all and want to raise awareness for awesome experiences wherever we can.
Special thanks to ALL the developers who offered us press access to their games in order for us to put together our reviews and apologies to any of those who didn't have their games featured, we're a small team with very little free time to work on content like this but we always did the best we could to include everyone.
In case any readers missed our previous 90 reviews, we've listed each article below for your convenience:
10 Oculus Quest New Release Reviews - Series 1
Part 1 - https://www.opiumpulses.com/article/306/10-oculus-quest-new-release-reviews-p1
Part 2 - https://www.opiumpulses.com/article/310/10-oculus-quest-new-release-reviews-p2
Part 3 - https://www.opiumpulses.com/article/315/10-oculus-quest-new-release-reviews-p3
10 More Oculus Quest Game Reviews - Series 2
Part 1 - https://www.opiumpulses.com/article/407/10-more-oculus-quest-game-reviews-p1
Part 2 - https://www.opiumpulses.com/article/411/10-more-oculus-quest-game-reviews-p2
Part 3 - https://www.opiumpulses.com/article/417/10-more-oculus-quest-game-reviews-p3
10 Oculus Quest 2 Game Reviews - Series 3
Part 1 - https://www.opiumpulses.com/article/420/10-oculus-quest-2-game-reviews-p1
Part 2 - https://www.opiumpulses.com/article/421/10-oculus-quest-2-game-reviews-p2
Part 3 - https://www.opiumpulses.com/article/424/10-oculus-quest-2-game-reviews-p3
100th Oculus Quest Game Review Special
Final Part - https://www.opiumpulses.com/article/425/100th-oculus-quest-game-review-special