Pixel Gear is an Arcade shooter made for PlayStation VR. The game has you stand in a stationary position and turn left and right and shoot oncoming enemies approaching using just one move controller. Using an art style similar to “Minecraft” and “3D dot Game Hero’s” this game has a lot of charm. For just £7 / ten bucks what could go wrong?
If you are looking for a story you will be disappointed however, since this is advertised as an arcade-like shooter, I wouldn’t knock it for that.
Like I said before the game uses a similar art style to “Minecraft”. The levels are detailed with the bright pixellated charm to play on the nostalgia of older gamers. When you kill an enemy it’s always nice to see the particle effects that are used for the death animations. As for the immersion of the PlayStation VR I would say it does a good job. Moving your head around and seeing the pixel world feels really good. My only complaint with it is you can’t actually move around in the environment, you are stuck in a stationary position and all you can do is turn around to track the various enemies down. Because of this it does hurt the experience of the VR a little bit. The nice thing about the VR is when an enemy throws a projectile at you it does feel like it is coming right at you, so that helps. For one of the early titles for PSVR I would say overall the immersion and graphics are really good.
The gameplay is simple, in each of the three worlds you must fend of 6 waves of oncoming enemies. You can do this using a variety of weapons. You can use the default pistol, a sniper rifle, sub machine gun, and a grenade launcher. All of which have the same basic controls, you use the move controller to move the gun around and pull the move trigger to fire. There is a laser pointer to show you where your shot will land. This is where one of my problems with the game occurs. While playing it can be really easy to get head shots but, sometimes the hit detection is off. What is clearly a headshot, or should be, ends up hitting a torso instead. One thing they did nail with the guns though, is they all feel great to use. Every shot you make feels powerful, there is no better feeling in the game than taking out a swarm of monsters with one shot. Another issue is spawn times of the enemies. Sometimes the spawn rate is a little too slow and it can end up killing your combo multiplier, making it more difficult to score higher ranks. The enemies, while nice in design lack significantly in variety. You fill kill the same creatures many times over, and in a game based on arcade shooters, it’s a shame more effort wasn’t made to include a more diverse lineup of characters.
The sound effects for the guns and the enemies in my opinion is good however, the stage music while decent, gets old fast. For all three worlds you will heard the same background music loop over and over, which can get old fast. This is especially true if you’re going after the trophies, because while they are not difficult to get, they are time-consuming. Which means of course you better get used to the music fast. One thing I did notice about the sound design is they will give you cues as to where the next ghost or other monster will spawn. You will often hear them before they spawn.
If you are the type of player who likes to beat your old high score, this might be for you. This game is REALLY short but it is designed to be replayed multiple times, especially if you’re going after the trophies. The trophies can attest to this, challenges like kill 1000 ghost can’t be done in a single play through. While the gameplay is repetitive, I can see players coming back to this one, at least for a little bit until better shooters are released.
This game definitely won’t be for everyone. The flaws in this game like slow spawn times, and sometimes poor hit box detection definitely hurt it. However this game does have its moments. From beautiful graphics(at least in my opinion) to fun, classic, arcade-like gameplay, Pixel Gear can be an exciting experience. My only wish is that it included more variety in the enemies and maybe an extra world or two. For ten bucks though it really isn’t too bad, although it could definitely be better. I would say pick this game up once it hits a sale or better yet, wait for it to possibly be free one day on PlayStation plus.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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