I started playing Onward – yet another VR game in the shooty genre.

A lot of VR shooters are… well, frankly boring once the initial ‘wow’ factor of VR has worn off. They feel like they would be 80% the same experience if played on a flat screen. The main difference being that you’re using an imaginary gun instead of a mouse to point at enemies.

“Onward falls into that same trap” is what I would say if it weren’t for one key ingredient that shapes the rest of the gameplay: time to kill. Everyone, including yourself, goes down with no more than two body shots with practically any gun. That simple detail changes a lot of how you have to play the game in a way that happens to really cater to VR’s strengths.

You’re not running around like an idiot, you’re cautiously checking corners and holding areas to give your team an advantage. Many people would find that boring in a flat game, but in VR that kind of gameplay actually means you’re moving more than if you were just running around. I’m often physically leaning around corners, ducking behind cover, and sometimes even going prone – all things I’ve strangely never felt the need to do in any other multiplayer VR shooter.

Because of that, Onward is automatically the most immersive shooter I’ve played. And that’s before I’ve even mentioned any of the other mechanics like team communication or gun handling. I expect I’ll be sticking with Onward for a while.

#games #vr