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Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Action
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Developer: Croteam
Release Date: Summer 2016

About Tony "OUberLord" Mitera

I've been entrenched in the world of game reviews for almost a decade, and I've been playing them for even longer. I'm primarily a PC gamer, though I own and play pretty much all modern platforms. When I'm not shooting up the place in the online arena, I can be found working in the IT field, which has just as many computers but far less shooting. Usually.


PC VR Preview - 'Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope'

by Tony "OUberLord" Mitera on June 22, 2016 @ 2:00 a.m. PDT

A fearless general, Sam "Serious" Stone leads the resistance to save the galaxy. Travel the galaxy, meet aliens, and blow them all away in a fast-paced, guns-blazin' virtual reality environment.

At Devolver's area at E3 2016, they had something of a gem tucked away in a back corner. Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope isn't exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you think of properties that would translate well to VR gameplay. What the development team has done quite well is channel the spirit of the games into a new experience where you play as a stationary Sam who's holding his ground against waves of enemies.

Starting off, I had a Vive placed on my head, a motion controller in each hand, and a rumble pack strapped to my torso because sure, why not. The first level was in the exact type of Egyptian-inspired architecture that you'd expect from the series. Enemies could not only rush my position from the front and the sides but could also snipe from the distant rooftops.

The motion controllers represented a pistol in each hand, but even for distant targets, you'd have to actually aim using the iron sights to be accurate. This was important, as you could be a badass all you want and spray akimbo fire at close targets, but to take out incoming projectiles, you had to really hit your mark. This made the gunplay feel quite satisfying, especially for a VR game, as there's a fair margin of skill involved. Since enemies can come from essentially any direction in the forward arc, you also have to use your head to scan for new targets or incoming enemy fire. At some points, I had to use both guns and my head independently of each other, still firing but hoping I was hitting my original targets as I looked around for new threats.

In between levels, I found that you get to spend the cash that you accumulated to buy new guns, more ammo, and refill your health. You can equip any gun in either hand, or two of the same, if you'd like. Fill up on ammo and use one in each hand for a ridiculous amount of firepower at the expense of burning through the ammo twice as fast. You can also make tactical choices; maybe you want the assault rifle in one hand for distant targets and a chainsaw in the other to sweep across swarms of the smaller melee enemies.

The other two levels were just as entertaining as the first, with the second taking place inside a dark crypt, where you can't see enemies from too far away. The third and final level of the demo was set in a massive expanse of a desert and started with an insane number of the iconic headless bombers rushing my position from pretty much every angle. Additionally, in the outdoor levels, there were parachutes falling in the distant skies. Attempting to shoot at them with any gun fires off a grappling hook to bring their contents to you, such as health or ammo.

Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope is great at one thing in particular: making you feel like a bad ass. At one point, I had my outstretched arms crossed, using each gun to fire at different targets, and that's exactly the type of awesome experience that's intended for VR. The game is only set to launch on the PC for now, though the team is trying to get it on to as many other platforms as possible, such as PlayStation VR. I really hope that they do because the game is shaping up to be a very fun VR shooter, and it's something I want in my living room pretty much right now.

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