Gunheart is currently in Early Access on Steam and Oculus, but it's getting a ton of attention, both positive and negative. Players are calling it a mix of Destiny and Borderlands, and for good reason. It's the creation of Drifter Entertainment, which is composed of former members of Epic Games, Oculus, and Microsoft. Not sure whether you should drop $35 on an Early Access VR title? Here are four reasons you should, and one reason you might not want to.
Gunheart has cross-platform, co-op multiplayer
One of the biggest attractions of Gunheart is the ability to play missions with up to two other people. Not only can you create an in-game crew and jump straight into games, it doesn't matter if the other players are using a Rift or a Vive. That means you're going to have a larger player base to team up with, and there really isn't any difference in performance between the two headsets.
If you're playing solo, you can jump in and out of games with ease. The built-in microphones in the headsets make it easy to communicate, and there is a gameplay aspect that promotes teamwork. If your shields go down and your core takes too much damage, you'll go into meltdown mode that only your teammates can stop with their multi-tool.
The player-base has so far been friendly and helpful, and it's been a ton of fun blasting squishy insects with pistols, SMGs, shotguns, and crossbows. If you're into PVP, there are arenas you can jump into for a free-for-all, or, if you're in a crew, for team deathmatches.
Gunheart combines locomotion types for something unique
Instead of having to choose between teleportation and standard locomotion, Gunheart lets you use both at once. On one controller, you can move using what they call strafe, which is essentially standard, smooth locomotion. When strafing, you can choose to have a sort of tunnel vision close in, supposedly making it more difficult to feel motion sickness.
On the other controller, the same motions will let you teleport and face different directions. While many would like to simply use strafe, the enormous levels are designed in a way that requires you to teleport around.
Gunheart has beautiful graphics and enormous levels
The introductory level of Gunheart is enormous, and they stay pretty much the same throughout. You're tasked with eradicating an infestation near an outpost that has many platforms moving to and fro, so teleporting really feels more like one of your added powers rather than a way to keep people from getting sick.
There are plenty of spots to take cover behind, and since each bounty is remixed differently, you'll find yourself in different places during individual playthroughs. Each map is different, so you can get a nice change of scenery whenever you want.
The scale of the levels is impressive, and so are the graphics. Even on high settings, everything runs smoothly. Player and monster models are detailed, and there are many different looks to choose from.
Gunheart has a ton of unlocks and upgrades
The point of running bounties in Gunheart is to accrue money, and there are already a lot of upgrades on which you can spend it. Throughout each level, there are hidden money barrels that award small chunks of change, and there are also achievements that award significantly larger amounts of money.
There are guns to buy, multiple upgrades for each gun, and multiple upgrades for armor, shields, and damage. When it comes to your appearance, there are plenty of options to choose from, many unlocked from the start.
Since this is Early Access, it's expected that items will continue to be added, and indeed there is plenty of room in the menus for those items to sit. If you love the way Destiny and Borderlands make you grind for your money and upgrades, you'll also love what Gunheart has to offer.
Gunheart doesn't let you aim down the sights of your gun
One thing that most first-time VR players comment on when playing a shooter is how you have to actually aim down the sights of a gun in order to fire accurately. This feature really ups the immersion level. Gunheart has no such feature.
It's understandable — you're dual-wielding weapons and it's difficult to look down two sights at once. Instead, there are two shapes that serve as crosshairs. They aren't attractive, but they're easy to see and get the job done.
A reason to get rid of the crosshairs and switch to ADS: When the action heats up and you're surrounded by enemies, you're hardly looking at those crosshairs anyway, and when enemies are far away, you're often only firing with one weapon.
If you don't mind not having sights on your guns (we got over it fast) you won't be too bothered, but we know there are some of you out there who would love the extra immersion that they bring.
Are you playing Gunheart?
Have you given this cross-platform, co-op shooter a try? Are you enjoying it? Let us know in the comments section!
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