Basking in the ‘Arizona Sunshine’

by Killian Farrell • August 7th, 2015

The zombie survival shooter “Arizona Sunshine” is currently being demoed behind closed doors this week at Gamescom, and we were lucky to be one of the few to try this exclusive demo.

The game is currently being developed as part of a partnership between Vertigo Games and Jaywalkers Interactive for the HTC Vive, who were pleased to announce they are planning on implementing a multi-player co-op mode.

It is clear from the moment the demo starts that this game has been designed for room-scale VR from the ground up. The HTC Vive motion controllers directly represent your hands while your arms are fully modelled and attached to your outlined body. You also have a chest harness with two pistol clips protruding for quick reloading. All movement feels natural, and the inverse kinematics of the arm movement was on point – i.e. although your arms are not being tracked, their visual representation is close enough to your actual arm movements for it to feel natural.

The game feels like the next logical iteration of first-person shooter arcade games like Time Crisis and the House of the Dead, only in full immersive VR. Due to the nature of room-scaled tracked VR, the movement between areas is preplanned and on-rails, like its predecessors, except uses a fade out/fade in transition system to avoid any motion sickness inducing experiences. Arizona_Sunshine_6

The Arizona Sunshine developers insist that one of their goals in the game is to “make the player feel like a badass,” which they manage to successfully achieve within a matter of seconds of starting the demo. You start off by picking up a pistol using the side paddle of the Vive motion controllers, and use the trigger to shoot. Their reloading system is something new and intuitive. First, the player must click on the trackpad button to release the clip from the gun, then you bring the controller into your chest, with the protruding gun clips sliding into place by the time the controllers touch your chest. You also have the ability to holster your weapon on the side of your hip.

Before long you are grabbing a shotgun from over your shoulder, then dual wielding desert eagles from your gun holster, emptying all of your bullets into dozens of zombies running towards you, watching the clips slide out of the gun simultaneously, and then slamming the next clips into your guns – rinse and repeat. With a wide arsenal of weapons to chose from, we have yet to play another VR game that makes you feel more like Neo from The Matrix in that lobby scene.

This is about the level of badass you will feel.

Vertigo games are tight-lipped on Arizona Sunshine´s release date or if it will be available on any other VR platform, but with announcements on this coming soon – make sure to stay tuned.

UPDATE: Reddit Q&A

Can you blow heads and limbs off?

I tried messing with a corpse lying near me, and you can poke and push the corpse around (which was actually pretty funny) but I couldn’t blow the limbs or head off (trust me I felt like a bit of a psycho trying that with the demoer watching me!)

Does aiming down sites work well?

At first I thought it was hard to aim when I was shooting with my right gun, then I closed my left aim, aimed down sights, and it was actually super precise! I asked the demoer if I needed to line up my right hand with my right eye and left hand and left eye, and he told me no, despite it feeling like it made a big difference for me ¯_(ツ)_/¯

How is the room scale tracking used?

Room scale tracking is used to walk around the areas to pick up different weapons. I never even thought of using cover… the zombies weren’t shooting back!

Any melee weapons?

Not in the demo I had, but they seem to have loads planned so melee would not surprise me in the least. They mentioned they had grenades, and where you manually had to pull the pin and throw it… That sounded awesome!!

 

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