VR FPS Gunheart launches, headset no longer mandatory

You think these guys are scary now? Imagine them in VR.

Being a whole new frontier in games, I’ve been eager to pick up a VR headset, but still can’t quite justify the price. Of the games I put on my day-1 wishlist for when I got myself some space-goggles, Gunheart ranks pretty high. It’s a very slick-looking online co-op FPS with a sci-fi mercenary RPG-lite structure. It’s been in early access for a year, but launched in full this week, and while the game is still built for VR, it’s no longer mandatory, so mouse & keyboard-using folks are free to join in.

While Gunheart can be played solo, it’s designed for co-op. In shared online lobbies, players can meet up, pick out missions, or just shop for weird space-clothes to put on their cyborg body. It also boasts the holy triumvirate of loot, levelling and randomly generated levels, which should at least put a little more meat on Gunheart’s bones, compared to most other VR shooters at the moment, although from the gameplay streams I’ve watched it does seem like there’s not a great variety of environment types or enemies.

While the initial crop of launch user-reviews seem positive on the whole, there are some complaints that the mouse and keyboard controls are more awkward than they should be. It makes sense given that the game was built for VR from the ground up, and wild that we’re even getting to the point where some games just play better in VR but it’s not exactly ideal. It is one of the more technically fancy-looking VR games out at the moment, at least, and doesn’t look too shabby even by traditional FPS standards.

Gunheart is available for £23.79/$30 on Steam, minus a 10% launch discount. You can also find it a little bit cheaper on the official Oculus store, if that’s your headset of choice.

17 Comments

  1. Kefren says:

    “wild that we’re even getting to the point where some games just play better in VR”

    If the controls are implemented well, then VR is much easier and more natural to control. You don’t need a mouse to look round, you just look round (or turn, or duck). You don’t need buttons for holster, draw weapon, reload, pick up, examine, turn wheel, throw etc – you just do the actions (assuming something like Oculus Touch). It’s why Robo Recall is such a revelation – the game is limited, but the controls and their natural implementation (drawing weapons from holsters etc) immerses you in a way no keyboard and mouse can. And I say that as someone who uses keyboard and mouse for 99% of my games!

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      I agree – gotten to play around with VR a bit at friends houses and in an American arcade complex. It’s just impressive that we’re still figuring out basic control concepts for VR and already surpassing traditional controllers on a lot of fronts.

      • Kefren says:

        And it’s also interesting how many VR games get it wrong and miss the point – e.g. Skyrim/Fallout VR not letting you just pick things up, turn door handles etc with your hands. When done well it blows other control systems away. When done badly it is incredibly frustrating! :-)

        • Chaz says:

          I think the problem with Skyrim/ Fallout VR is that the engine just wasn’t built for that sort of interaction in the first place and making VR versions of those games was always going to be a little bit of a hack job. Personally I think they did a pretty good job of it, all things considered.

          Hopefully the next Elder Scrolls/ Fallout will be built with VR in mind from the get go and be a bit more interactive as a result.

      • PapaRonin says:

        It’s taking off, right now.

        The innovation and intuitiveness is hitting on all fronts.

        Stormlands is the perfect example of marrying multiple concepts entire games have been built around.

        There’s lots of budding talent and ideas. I thought it was a gimmick forever, and just got a set… I… Just… Can’t… Stop.

        I’ve played maybe 30 minutes on my monitor in the last 3 weeks.

        The “presence”, is simply incomparable. I’m seeing all these brilliant ways developers are coming up with for “UI”, which is becoming less “UI”, and just “more real” with every new innovation.

        Limited budgets, small teams, and lack of return has limited most of these great games potential into more achievable projects, but it seems like the perfect market RPS should be covering… Because there’s so much room for indie developers while the big guys wait for them to build it up into mainstream.

  2. LennyLeonardo says:

    You’re a whole new frontier in games?

  3. DoomBroom says:

    Yeah this game is on my wishlist. I have too many good VR games at the moment though to play trough. And then there’s all the endlessly fun Battle Royales and stuff for VR that takes too much of my time :p

    Oh and when is RPS going to report on the new big Oculus game by Insomniac Games? Looks pretty cool! It’s an exclusive though off course :/ link to theverge.com

    Rec Room also deserves a write-up. In fact lots of games for VR do. A bit more dedication to VR where you actually play the games would be nice.

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      I’d be happy to cover more VR stuff, but at the moment I can’t justify the expense, especially as UK VR prices to tend to be directly converted from US dollars. $500 or £500?

      Price is the only thing holding me back, as I’ve got the floor space and PC for it.

      • Cyda says:

        It’s £399 for a Rift, that’s not an obscene amount really, especially if you claim the tax back as a work expense… being a gaming reporter and all that. Most decent graphics cards cost more than that.

      • DoomBroom says:

        I’m looking forward to those in depth reviews by RPS! And some reporting on all that weird VR stuff hidden out there, should be perfect for RPS.

        Oculus might pull a new summer of Rift offer too. Start saving! And Pimax has just shipped some units of their lighthouse based steam VR headset out to testers, a more general release should come soon, at least after all the backers get theirs. HTC could use some competition with their overpriced headsets and bad customer service.

  4. Chromatose says:

    Watched a few videos and you can definitely tell it was designed for VR first. Which… it is what it is, I guess. I can never get enough of grindy co-op action games, but the combat and movement look really flimsy if you’re not all in on teleporting as your primary movement method :( I guess I was hoping that a game with a name like Gunheart might buck the trend of most VR guns looking, sounding and feeling like total pea-shooters, but it really doesn’t.

  5. Elric666 says:

    This was designed for VR? With all that “verticality”, Quake-level movement speed and jumping around, doesn’t sound like a game I’d like to play in VR. I was expecting something slower paced before watching the trailer.

    • PapaRonin says:

      There’s teleport locomotion, so if you’re unrest in VR, it’s still totally possible.

      There’s also the narrowing fov for movement comfort option.

      Snap turning as well if needed.

      Me, I like lots of fast movement in VR. It feels awesome to me and has never bothered me since day 1… But I sympathize for those who get sick, and support accessibility options everywhere appropriate.

      That said, it looks like half the fun is the movement, so the remaining half might not be as good as a dedicated teleport game perhaps.

      If you are prone to VRtigo, then I’d recommend doing everything you can to maximize play space for free move to allow more options between teleporting around

  6. Songbearer says:

    Wait, an RPS editor who isn’t immediately dismissive of VR? Dominic, no! Run! They’re going to put you in The Cell! Run, Dominic, ru-

  7. Stevostin says:

    “While Gunheart can be played solo, it’s designed for co-op” and will mainly be played solo if it’s actually played.

    It looks like the promise of shooter in VR though. It’s just sad that we shoot bugs. Shooters is about pretending to hurt people, hear their scream of agony, drink the tears of their kids, consume their widows (paraphrasing here).

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