High Noon VR
We sit down and review High Noon VR. An old-west shooting gallery in a VR setting. Here is our review of High Noon VR
When it comes to VR one of the staple genres that come to mind are the shooter or shooting gallery style game and this is where we find High Noon VR in the mix of it all. It is a bit more than just that out of the gate, but that is about the basics to get us all started here with Octobox Interactive‘s VR title that hit the PC through various means here not so long ago. Just like other platforms in the past, they needed something to fill a need and that is just what this game is aiming, pun intended, to do. We took some time to get in deep with High Noon VR and here we go with our review of just how the game holds up to our standards.
There is a new sheriff in town and that sheriff is you. You are here to dole out some justice to all kinds of Wild West bandits and characters that seem to be plaguing this little town and you have the six-shooters to do it. Or maybe it is the rifles… Or the harpoon gun… Or the mini-gun… So many guns, but you are here to put an end to them all and bring some piece back to the town. As long as you do not blow it to pieces yourself. Being a good guy can be so hard sometimes.
When it comes to shooters like High Noon VR mostly is, one thing you would expect to feel exactly right would be the shooting. The controls are not particularly wonky, but for a game that feels like it should not be taking itself too seriously, the aiming definitely does. It always felt like everything was slightly off when it came to aiming and shooting in High Noon VR. Not that you really have much time to aim as the action is pretty high during the waves, but when you could take the time it never felt like the sights were completely dead on or even close to being dead on. I had this issue even when playing with the rifle where even placing a target in the crosshairs would sometimes not register a direct hit. To that end, this became more of a frustration with playing than any indicator that it was more on the hand-eye side of things. With a bit of work there this could have fallen right off and aided the game, but targeting was too loose that it did push me to “giving up” and moving on more than trying again.
In a similar vein, the UI and general mechanics to help you defend yourself were also not as intuitive as one would hope in High Noon VR. I get that we should not have an indicator always present when there is an enemy near or specifically targeting us, but the little that was there seemed to distract more than help. Not only that, but they would flash once before vanishing again while I was in the middle of fighting multiple enemies on one side, get lost in the visual displays going on, and then leave me wide open to be attacked from behind. Again, not looking for any kind of hand-holding, but something that would have made it easier to catch when and where I had more enemies coming after I had dealt with the band in my current view. Maybe an “always on” indicator would have been preferred, but what we have here makes it so you need to be more on a swivel than indicated at all.
Ignoring the issues from above, when I dove into High Noon VR it became more fun as time went on. A lot more fun than expected even when complaining in my head about missing targets when I had them dead to rights. Maybe it was the cartoony nature of it all or getting lost in the virtual world, there is no doubt that High Noon VR was a lot of fun to play. In one session alone, I put in over four hours trying to collect all of the mini-quests per mission and barely thought an hour went by in the real world. There is something to say about a title that has some flaws in it but still keeps sucking you in to keep trying. I am not talking about the trying in terms of just beating the game but trying to beat yourself and your last performance. In fact, the above issues only popped up after truly thinking about High Noon VR after I finished playing and realized what could have made the whole thing a better experience. If nothing else, it was a fun game even if it was frustrating quite often.
Another amazing aspect of High Noon VR that seemed to shine was the variation of weapons that were available in this Wild West shooter. It would make sense that we would have a six-shooter, shotgun, and rifle but there were a few others mixed in that fit and were just fun to use. They may not have been the best to get high scores or clear waves and bosses with, but they added an extra spice to High Noon VR that also made the above gripes go away. There were no true tutorials on how to use them, but that also added to part of the fun when you realize that the Harpoon Gun could swing enemies all over the level or that the Dynamite could be rolled under a box toward an unexpecting enemy. There were some great choices here and they added well into the overall game. I doubt we will get to see any more, but what was there made it completely worth the price of admission.
So, High Noon VR definitely has its faults as I mentioned. Those looking for complete accuracy and extreme lack of hand-holding in a VR shooter can get behind it as long as they can overlook the silly and cartoony way of the game. Those looking for something fun will just need to get over a different hurdle with the shooting, but once they do they can find a whole lot of fun in High Noon VR. Especially at the price point it is currently at. Just know that there will be some learning curve issues on your end but if you keep at it a bit you will find that you lost several hours in the game as you were having more fun than frustration at the end of the day. If that does not sound like something you want to worry about, then you may want to save your cash.
I give High Noon VR an 11 Gun Salute on the Gun Salute scale.
High Noon VR — Launch Trailer
High Noon VR was developed by Octobox Interactive and published by Buka Entertainment for the PC with Oculus Rift and HTC Vive on November 14th, 2017. A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for reviewing purposes.