One of the most popular genres on PSVR at the moment is the immersive First Person Shooter [Wave-Based] genre, this is because the concept suits the medium perfectly. You take the role of the protagonist, you become a badass with both hands operating independently, and it’s a genre which most gamers can jump into and instantly be familiar with. However, every now and again a game comes along which stands out above the rest, Guns’n’Stories: Bulletproof VR is the best static VR shooter I played in 2018.
Now, that’s a bold claim as it only came out in December, but for me, this game stands proudly next to Shooty Fruity as one of my ‘must buy’ wave-based VR games. Let’s dig in a bit deeper and find out why…
With a game called “Guns’n’Stories” you’d expect two things; Guns and Stories. I’m happy to say that you get both with this title, and they are both over the top and crazy in an incredibly fun way! The main story revolves around an old man telling this grandson about his adventures in the Wild West. However, let’s just say that some of these tales may have a few white lies in them, lies which actually play out as part of the story. For example, because you’re such a badass and nobody can hurt you, you can literally hit bullets out of the air with your guns and you never have to reload.
Your ‘goal’ is to eventually track down the guy who kidnapped your beloved Charlotte and rescue her from whatever horrific torment her captures are putting her through. This sees you going through three chapters, each with three levels and their own boss at the end. Technically, the game isn’t very long, clocking in at around two-three hours to make your way through the story and save the day, but there is a lot of replayability and even some bonus chapters to play upon completion.
But, enough about the story and the point of the game, let’s talk about the reason people play these games – the guns!
Boy, oh boy; I came expecting a semi-realistic game like the cowboy segments in Cold Iron, I stayed for the sheer craziness we got with the weaponry! From long barrelled double-handed pistols to crossbows which fire TNT and Tesla’s electricity gun, the arsenal you’re presented with throughout Guns’n’Stories is quite imaginative. One thing to note, as the game is very much an arcade-style game, and the fact your character wants to appear as an immortal to his grandson, there is literally no reloading required for any of your weapons. This means you can shoot away without having to worry about not having a gun ready for use.
Now, some guns do have a cool-down in place, so you may not be able to fire a TNT round for a few seconds, but it’s still better than having to cock your gun or manually reload like we usually do. Another thing I really commend the developers for is implementing a way to keep the game fresh and interesting. In Time Carnage we were able to pick four weapons to come into the round, we could swap weapons by simply grabbing them off a pedestal – that was fun. In Guns’n’Stories, as the round goes one, our protagonist will start to talk about a new weapon he remembered he had, this then becomes your active weapon. This means you have a new toy to play with!
Half of the new weapons are double-handed ones, as in two guns, one in each hand – they’re usually the same, but ones like the TNT shooter actually gives you a normal shotgun in your other hand. The other half of the weapons are two-handed weapons – these ones can take a bit of getting used too. You have to hold your move controllers like your holding a real gun and aim like that – it all works perfectly, but it can get a bit fiddly if you’re sat down or don’t have much room to move around in. I prefer the ones where you get two weapons as you can pretend you’re Neo as you put your arms out wide and shoot multiple people at once. **Update** There is a patch coming which is making all guns single-handed
One of the stand-out aspects of Guns’n’Stories, which sets it apart from the other games, is its writing and style. Just like Shooty Fruity, which was my favourite PSVR game of 2017, we have a lot of comedic actions, funny characters and dialogue, wacky things happening, and over-the-top events. One minute you’ll be sat in a virtual cinema watching the cutscenes (whilst eating popcorn with your hands as it’s literally a cinema) and the next minute you’re trying to kill a big fat guy riding a segway in the Wild West. The one-liners our protagonist comes out with are borderline funny and cringy at times, although they are always fun to hear. Well, until the final missions where he seems to repeat himself a lot for some reason.
I personally really enjoyed the various locations you end up as well. Sure, there is technically only nine in the main story, with some of them being the same map but from different positions, but they feel different enough that you may not even notice. There’s always a way enemies can run up to you to melee you and places they can hide in the distance as they try to shoot you from afar. Luckily, you can dodge the bullets by literally moving, shoot the bullets out of the air with your projectiles, or you can simply slap the bullets…
This was the biggest attraction for me when I first saw the trailer for the game. Simply wave your gun at a bullet which is speeding towards you and you can knock it out of the way. This is such a cool mechanic and it makes you feel like you’re invincible (even though you can actually die). Obviously, things like TNT and rockets can’t be slapped with your hand – I’ve tried – but you can still shoot those as long as they are far enough away from you so that they don’t hurt you! It’s times like these where I’m glad I live alone though, I can’t imagine what I look like outside of the headset! People would think I’m chopping something, or waving a flag around!
Upon completing the main story you’ll gain access to some new bonus missions. These appear to be new maps as well or at least new viewpoints of existing maps. I tried out a few and they are more challenging than the main story as you aren’t just trying to stay alive to move onto the next story segment, you’re given a challenge. One of the ones I really enjoyed was the first one – you’re given the task of trying to stop as many fat guys from getting into the bar behind you. These enemies appear all around you as you’re also fending off standard enemies who shoot you.
Also, if you get five stars on all of the bonus episodes, you get a new weapon! Sadly, I’ll never see that as I get nowhere near five stars at the moment!
Overall then, I though Guns’n’Stories was a great VR title. The visuals are nice and sharp on the PSVR, the story is fun and engaging, the gunplay is perfect, the ragdolls and physics work as intended (emphasised but realistic most of the time), and the music perfectly gets you in the mood for rootin’ tootin’ shootin’! However, something strange did happen to me – I got a slight motion sickness judder. I never get sick in VR unless I’m spinning all over the place yet my body isn’t moving, I imagine this is why this affected me a little. When you die, the screen goes red and your viewpoint goes down as if you’ve fallen to your knees or something. It’s a slow movement and not a lot, but the first few times it happened, it knocked me off balance.
Arcade VR wave-based shooting doesn’t come much better than Guns’n’Stories: Bulletproof VR, a game about a story with guns! The one thing that plagues this genre is repetitiveness and monotony, this game eliminates that by changing your weapon mid-round as well as performing a few strange things based on the story being told. The story is humorous and fun, and I love the fact you’re sat in an actual cinema seat with popcorn watching the cutscene play out.
With no requirement to reload, the ability to dodge and punch bullets, lots of fun events to trigger, and a selection of wacky weaponry, Guns’n’Stories: Bulletproof VR is sure to crack a smile every time you play it.
Guns'n'Stories: Bulletproof VR£15.99
- - Great selection of guns
- - Lots of bonus content to keep you coming back for more
- - Funny story and narrative with good voice acting
- - Easy to play sat down or stood up
- - Perfect tracking in VR
- - The grandfathers phrases are repetitive in the final round
- - The two-handed weapons are a bit clunky (this is being fixed)
- - Dropping down when you die triggered a slight sense of motion sickness for me