Viveport Review: Frontier VR
Survive the old Frontier in the American West as you experience a wilderness teaming with tiny bunnies and ferocious grizzly bears.
By Desmond Madison, Greenlit Content
In Frontier VR, armed with a revolver, sawed off shotgun, or a sniper rifle, you’ll be thrust into three different locations and tasked with hunting the fauna throughout the uniquely stylized low polygonal scenery.
Part of the charm of Frontier's art direction stems from watching hawks, snowy owls, and flocks of birds spread across the sky as they dash towards the sunset. The sign-board menus in the game also allow you to adjust the lighting and time of day as you stand in each room scale scene. The experience is presented without locomotion options, leaving you confined to your central camp in each scenario. It’s interesting that the core mechanic of interaction is shooting guns at animals, as it’s worth noting that it’s completely optional – and this experience largely allows you to just enjoy the scenery without any core objective whatsoever. If you DO decide to shoot some adorable furry critters, rest assured, this is a blood, guts, and gore-free presentation meant to help the player casually experience a virtual environment.
There isn’t a whole lot more to do in Frontier VR, and that may be an issue with many players looking for more depth in a VR experience set on the wild frontier. It can feel as simple as a casual shooting gallery without a scoring system or waves of animals coming at you. Some may find this to be refreshing, and perhaps given that you aren’t forced to pick up a gun at all, some may enjoy visiting this environment for the virtual escapism and scenery, perhaps making for a great place to relax and mediate. There are plenty of virtual shooting gallery games on Vive, and more than a few VR relaxation environments, but Frontier VR doesn’t seem to really commit to being one or the other. As a result, it can feel more like the amount of content is lacking and come across as more of a technical demo than a fully-featured game to explore.
Even still, the visual appeal packed into the experience by Gaugepunk Games really goes a long way, and for something without objectives, it surprisingly manages to maintain your curiosity as the animals continue to pour in from all directions. It’s entirely up to you if you’d like to slay them or not, but the physics on each of the objects around your camping grounds will keep you curious enough to play around in this sandbox until you’ve seen everything across the desert, woods, and great plains environments.
Frontier VR may not be the most in-depth gaming experience on Vive, but as long as you’re curious enough to spend some time in a vibrant and lively frontier environment for some whimsical western escapism, this one is worth a look for those who are simply looking for… less.