50 Days Of PS VR #35: ‘World War Toons’ Delivers on the VR Shooter Promise

by David Jagneaux • September 8th, 2016

Only 35 days left before the launch of the PS VR! We’re counting down to the release of Sony’s VR headset on October 13th by highlighting one game a day for its anticipated release. Today we’re taking aim and setting our sights on the free-to-play first-person shooter, World War Toons!

When people think of a ‘serious’ gamer, they often conjure images of intense multiplayer gaming, shouting, and a competitive edge to be the very best. That’s why MOBA games like League of Legends, Dota 2, and shooters like Call of Duty dominate in terms of popularity and Esports prize pools. People love a good competition, so naturally, in order for VR to capture the type of players that enjoy competitive multiplayer gaming, a good first-person shooter is an absolute must.

Granted, the PS VR will have Rigs at launch too, which is developed by the folks behind the Killzone series, but that game requires a PS VR headset to even play at all. In the case of World War Toons, a game that offers a decidedly more whimsical interpretation of the shooter genre, anyone with a PS4 can download and play the game, for free, when it releases into Open Beta on October 13th. That should guarantee a large influx of players and ample cartoon bodies to soak up your bullets.

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At last weekend’s PAX West convention, I was lucky enough to try out the latest build of World War Toons in a live, multiplayer setting, on-stage, complete with bombastic Esports commentary. There were even people enjoying the game on the Virtuix Omni treadmill about 10 yards to my right. That’s when you know you’re definitely at a game convention.

For the purpose of this demo, we were engaged in a sort of capture the flag style game mode, that tasked us with stealing a statue and delivering it to our base to score points. It’s a classic shooter game mode that has seen few alterations over the years and that’s because it’s still fun and it still works.

The class I chose, from a cast of colorful characters, was a relatively standard soldier. I could sprint around while shooting an assault rifle and had the special ability to turn into a small tank to lay down extra punishment.

World War Toon’s core gameplay mechanics won’t be appealing to everyone, but it worked great for me when I played it on an Oculus Rift. You aim your gun by moving your head around and when you reach the edges of the screen, your view rotates in that direction. You can also compensate your accuracy with the thumbsticks of the Xbox One controller. I didn’t experience any sickness, nor did anyone else at the booth that I saw.

I’m not sure how many kills I racked up, but I seemed to be doing well. At the last second, just before the enemy team could score the game winning point, I killed their player who was carrying the statue, stole it for myself, and scored at our base. Everyone cheered and I felt like a hero. Moments like this — intense competition, followed by loud excitement — are the types of experiences mostly missing from VR devices currently.

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World War Toons is simple, silly, and fun, the type of game that any gamer would enjoy. Most people that are interested in the PS VR headset already have a PS4, meaning they likely play or have played shooting games. Give them the new device and download a free copy of World War Toons and there’s something engaging waiting for them on day one. I’m not sure if this is the kind of game people will come back to months down the road into next year, it all depends on how much content there is and how regular the updates are, but it’s a great foundation to work with.

World War Toons will be available in Open Beta on the PS4, with optional PS VR support, on October 13th, the same day the headset releases. Release dates on the PC version is unclear, but Closed Beta signups are live on the website currently.

50 DAYS OF PS VR COUNTDOWN

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