GunSpinning VR Out Now – First Impressions
Disclaimer: This first impressions article is based on playing GunSpinning VR using an HTC Vive. The gameplay experience using a Windows Mixed Reality HMD & its motion controllers may differ.
Gunspinning VR is a Wild West-themed zombies & aliens wave shooter by independent developer Demonixis Games, the trailer for which you can watch above. Thanks to Yannick from Demonixis Games for kindly supplying a copy of the game for this article.
Gunspinning VR is a reasonably basic arcade-style game, it’s not exactly Arizona Sunshine but then it costs a fraction of the price of that game as it’s only £4.99 (UK) / €5.99 (EU) / $5.99 (US). It has got a bit of a story which appears as text as you progress through each area though, so that adds a bit to the game. The initial premise is that a UFO has appeared and seems to have turned a lot of people into zombies and you have to try to find out what’s going on.
The game can be played using either a joypad or motion controllers which is of course the best and most immersive way to play. It’s a 360 degree game and also supports room-scale although it’s not really used a lot, from what I’ve played of the game so far the only place it helps a bit is when trying to dodge the UFO’s plasma balls. The UFO has appeared a few times so far but they weren’t boss battles, I couldn’t shoot it and just had to dodge the balls for a couple of seconds, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you did have to fight it by the end of the game.
You have 3 modes to choose from at the start, Story, Survival and Training. In Training mode you just shoot bottles that appear and try to shoot as many as possible within a certain time. If you shoot two bottles at the same time with each gun you get a combo score. This combo system also works in Story mode but it’s not limited to shooting two enemies at the same time, you can also shoot the same enemy with both guns at the same time to get combos.
In Story mode there is of course a story as I mention earlier and the gameplay starts off a bit basic at first but gets a bit more intense and fun after the first couple of areas with more enemies coming at you quite quickly from various directions. It’s very much an arcade-style game, like a bit more simplistic House of The Dead but in VR so more immersive in that sense. It’s a wave shooter so you’re just in one spot in each area and can neither use smooth locomotion to move around nor teleport, although you can physically move around your play-space but as I said earlier that’s not utilised much. There is a teleport on or off option in the options menu, but that just relates to whether you want a sign to pop up asking you to shoot it to teleport to the next area each time you’ve cleared one or whether you just want the game to automatically teleport you to the next area without waiting. There are places in the game where you can choose which route to take though, so that should add to the replayability.
You dual-wield guns in GunSpinning VR and they are classic six-shooters so you have to get used to reloading more often than in many other games. This can be done by swiping back on the touchpad (or you can also pull back on the thumbstick on Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers which include both touchpads and thumbsticks) or squeezing the grip button. I found it was quicker and easier just using the grip button to reload, but that could just be me. At the moment the shots only go about 20 feet, but the developer says they’re fixing that. Despite this being a shooter this would be a good game for people who aren’t very good at aiming guns because unlike many other VR games this includes red dots for aiming so you don’t have to aim realistically with the guns if you don’t want to, you can just point and move the guns until the dots are on enemies or objects you want to shoot.
The game has some pick-ups to shoot such as bottles that give you “God mode” (invincibility) for 10 seconds, crates that give you unlimited ammo for 10 seconds so you don’t have to reload and I think it shoots slightly faster too, crates which give you health and there are also blue circles in various places around you which boost your score if you hit them. Plus of course there are the classic exploding barrels and crates which you can shoot to blow up nearby enemies. I think the pick-ups appear a bit too often and make the game a bit easier than it should be. There should probably be difficulty levels you can choose at the start with less pick-ups depending on the difficulty.
The enemies I’ve encountered so far are zombie townsfolk, zombie cowboys, zombie miners and two types of grey aliens who move and attack quite fast. The levels I’ve played so far are a classic old western town including a graveyard, a path through the woods and a mine. Although the levels aren’t like levels in the traditional sense, they’re seamlessly connected as you progress through the game.
The graphics are fairly simple, OK for a small independent developer’s VR game but not exactly a showcase for VR. They seemed a little fuzzy but that could be my settings, plus they should look slightly sharper on a Windows Mixed Reality HMD anyway as those have a bit higher resolution (2880 x 1440) than a Vive (2160 x 1200), especially the Samsung Odyssey which has the highest so far (2880 x 1600). There isn’t any graphical damage on the enemies either, just a small blood splatter coming off them each time they’re hit. There are some graphical effects like rain and fog at least. The sound isn’t bad though, especially the country music soundtrack which adds something to the experience. You can hear a bit of one of the tracks in the trailer.
Unfortunately the game kept crashing for me at a certain point, but there haven’t been any reports of crashing on the Windows MR version so it could just be a Vive-related bug. There were some other bugs too but the developer is fixing them. Overall I’d give GunSpinning VR about a 6 out of 10 based on what I’ve played so far, it’s a bit of fun. I haven’t played the Survival mode yet though. I predict that it could be worth up to a 6.5 by the time I finish it if it keeps getting better, as it has so far, and if Survival mode adds enough to it. If you want a really good wave shooter I wouldn’t recommend it over Space Pirate Trainer for example and if you want a really good zombie shooter I wouldn’t recommend it over Arizona Sunshine, but if you’ve already got those and/or want something cheaper and/or find those a bit difficult if you’re not that good at aiming then this could be worth picking up. Also, if you’ve only got desktop PC or laptop that’s around the minimum spec for Windows Mixed Reality so can’t play games like Arizona Sunshine or even Space Pirate Trainer then this is one of the games that will run on a PC like that as it’s not very demanding and has various settings to lower the graphical quality even less if you’re having issues with the graphics.
This can also be played as a non-VR game on an even lower-spec PC and is coming soon to Xbox One as well, but obviously it’s best played in VR and that’s the version I’m giving my opinion on. If you want to try before you buy then there’s a demo available in the Windows Store, although I don’t know what it consists of so I don’t know how well it shows off the game.
Are you interested in GunSpinning VR? Have you bought it already and if so then what do you think of it? Let us know in the comments below or create a discussion in our (PC) Windows Mixed Reality VR Games forum. You can also write your own review of the game in our (PC) Windows Mixed Reality VR Game Reviews forum.
The minimum specs for Windows Mixed Reality itself, i.e: Processor: Intel Core i5 7200U (7th generation mobile), dual core with Intel Hyper-Threading Technology enabled (or better). Memory: 8GB DDR3 dual channel (or better). Graphics: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 (or greater) DX12-capable integrated GPU NVIDIA MX150/965M (or greater) DX12-capable discrete GPU.
The recommended specs for Windows Mixed Reality itself, i.e. a “Windows Mixed Reality Ultra” PC: Processor: Intel Core i5 4590 (4th generation), quad core (or better) AMD Ryzen 5 1400 3.4Ghz (desktop), quad core (or better). Memory: 8GB DDR3 (or better). Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 960/1050 (or greater) DX12-capable discrete GPU AMD RX 460/560 (or greater) DX12-capable discrete GPU GPU must be hosted in a PCIe 3.0 x4+ Link slot.