Of the genres that have made a successful transition to virtual reality (VR), wave-based shooters have thrived on the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Without a need for hugely complex movement, a satisfying feeling of motion-controlled weapons and a simplicity to movement, these action titles are a perfect fit for headsets. And following somewhat of an abundance of these titles a year after launch, it's getting harder than ever for these releases to gain traction.
Gappo's Legacy is a new wave-based shooter to hit SteamVR, throwing players into a desert world as a member of the Makina Resistance Army. Where overseeing "technological pirates" have taken control over the makinæ, players must prove their skills as a fighter to take down hostile forces. And while on the surface its simple premise leaves much to be desired, some unique mechanics make for an interesting take on the genre.
In a somewhat uncommon move for wave based shooters, Gappo's Legacy puts a narrative-driven edge to its gameplay, driving home some minor storytelling elements. Although the game isn't something to play solely for the world, several elements establish a strong sense of presence, with traits that add context and character to the experience.
After completing the relatively brief tutorial to get familiar with the starting gear, Gappo's Legacy throws players straight into the barren desert wastelands, on a continually elevating platform. With an onslaught of flying enemies approaching on your position, you'll need to fight the incoming waves of forces while ascending to the heights.
Setting itself apart for other shooters, the heart of Gappo's Legacy lies with its "gappo" system – chips that can be inserted into the player's wrist, to unlock new abilities and equipment to use in the heat of combat. Gappos are sorted into three main categories; attack, defense, and special augmentations, each with their own various possible enhancements. Genetically modifying the player, these abilities supposedly become integrated into the body themselves and can be quickly switched out in the heat of combat.
Gappo's Legacy is showing the foundation for an enticing shooter.
From the outset, players will use a blaster to deal damage at range, while repelling incoming enemy projectiles with your deployable shield. When certain enemies get up close players can also throw and punch enemies by switching to their SteelHand gappo, however, you'll be losing access to your main gappos in the process. This makes for an interesting layer of gameplay where you'll be switching gappos rapidly on the fly with the touchpad, to adapt abilities to the situation. For more advanced players, further augmentations, such as Bullet Time, shake up gameplay with unique styles of play.
By using this elevating platform, this also introduces some unique angles to Gappo's Legacy's combat. With enemies approaching from various positions, players must take full advantage of room-scale to fight the onslaught of robots, while considering attacks from both above and below. This vertically not only adds further difficulty to enemies but adds variety to the traditional wave-based format. While at times the game can get excessively hectic with a swarm of foes on-screen, some quick movements can normally get you out of the situation.
Gappo's Legacy is still in its early days and with a full release a few months out, it appears the developer still has a lot in store for the project. Later down the line, players will gain access to new gappo abilities, enemies and other additions to flesh out gameplay, while improving on some already sound mechanics.
In its current state, for $8.99 Gappo's Legacy is showing the foundation for an enticing shooter for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. At the current price, you'll be picking up the game cheap for the promise of content to come, which should hopefully continue to leverage the more defining aspects of the experience going forward.
- Strong shooter gameplay
- Engaging "gappo" system
- Great value at $8.99
- Lack of content in its current state
- Sometimes can feel a little hectic