Viveport Review: Overkill VR
Straight-up arcade shooting action for old and new VR gamers alike.
By Desmond Madison, Greenlit Content
Duck and cover! The Overkill series leaps into VR with impressive results that’ll keep your heart pumping and your guns blazing. Taking gameplay cues from classic arcade wave shooters like Time Crisis with a pinch of tongue-in-cheek humor in the style of Duke Nukem, Overkill VR succeeds at crafting a well-paced and physically demanding action experience that must be played with room-scale VR to appreciate.
While devoid of any narrative structure, the experience is really all about its heavy artillery of highly customizable weapons and armor (all of which you’ll upgrade each time you survive one of Overkill VR's more than 30 explosive levels).
Throughout the campaign, the “crouch and stand combat” serves as a major part of the experience. It really gets your blood flowing as you duck, squat, and sometimes even crawl on the ground to fire from behind sandbags, partial walls, and piles of rubble—the only things protecting you from an onslaught of the oppressive Faction’s foot soldiers, snipers, oversized quadcopters, and APCs.
Taking down the Faction will require more than a “one size fits all” approach with your weaponry. The better you perform in headshots, multiple kill combos, and accuracy, the more you’re rewarded each round with experience and currency for upgrading your gear.
In regard to the game’s expansive arsenal of assault rifles, machine guns, shotguns, rocket launchers, and more, each weapon purchased can also be upgraded across upwards of ten different points of customization. Each of these customization points offer multiple levels of enhancements, all of which provide tons of replayability to the campaign experience should you want to max out everything.
While you’ll always have your trusty pistol handy, you’re better off sticking to a solid two-handed weapon, as it affords additional stability and accuracy versus spraying bullets wildly from behind cover and hoping to get lucky. The cover system is key here, and it’s worth noting that you won’t be moving around the stages in real time.
Instead, you’ll occasionally select pre-set locations to move forward and advance in the level. This is a defining gameplay aspect of the arcade shooter genre, and it’s best not to go into Overkill VR expecting an FPS experience with full locomotion. This game is far simpler to pick up and play, and also makes for a great option when ushering friends into VR for the first time if they’re looking to get straight into the action.
Overall, the multitudes of weapons and hundreds of upgrades that await you after plowing down countless sums of enemies really help Overkill VR live up to its namesake. Even after a few hours of the campaign, you’ll want to revisit each and every location for higher rank and higher scores. Not to mention the act of gathering more experience and money needed to upgrade your own armor and weapons, and push yourself further and faster in your efforts to take down the Faction.
If simple, straight-to-the firepower arcade action is what you’re looking for, it’s hard to go wrong with exactly what Overkill VR not only promises, but over-delivers.