Pixel Gear (VR)
Top Critic Average
Pixel Gear is the first VR game I have felt underwhelmed by. Once the initial awe of looking around a voxel world wears off you’re left with quite a dull wave shooter that lacks any depth to it. The whole experience takes an hour to see and bar raising the difficulty or trying to beat a score there really is no reason to go back. Yet it has some of the most responsive shooting in a VR game which is one of the sole highlights, which other developers should take note of. It just feels like Pixel Gear needed more time and content before being available for purchase.
Pixel Gear is an example of a product that feels more like a demo than a full fledged game. The actual shooting mechanics are integrated quite well giving you a good feeling of control, but the slow pace and lack of content lead to an overall disappointing experience with Pixel Gear.
I can’t say I loved Pixel Gear VR. It works well enough and the shooting mechanics are fun, yet with the limited enemies and levels, I felt the repetition hitting fast and hard. It was the bosses that made me continue to work my way through each of the waves as they were the highlight of my time. The pixel effects of blocks exploding and the visuals work well with VR, but with the short playtime, lack of variation or substance of levels, really brings down the experience.
While the shooting mechanics are solid, the overall game just feels bland and repetitive.
Pixel Gear has the base to be something truly great, but it ends before hitting any real type of stride. With only three levels, and a strangely designed main menu, it feels more like a proof-of-concept that never was fleshed out. Hopefully the first-person shooter will get updated with more content and features in the future, but right now it’s just a whole lot of missed potential.
It takes less than a couple hours to beat the three levels on the normal difficulty. Of course, if you were looking for a challenge, you should try your hand at the harder difficulties. Starting on hard mode, enemies spawn faster, are harder to take down, and appear in greater numbers. Hard mode and beyond keeps the action moving during the waves with much less downtime than in the lower settings. The game is priced accordingly and is an excellent throwback to the days of light gun shooters.
Pixel Gear seeks enrichment from the path of least resistance. Its virtual shooting gallery is adequate enough to qualify as a game, but its vacant ambition prohibits sustained engagement or durability. The bare minimum is a discouraging target. Pixel Gear's gunplay is not capable of aiming any higher.
I had some fun with Pixel Gear but it is hard to recommend. There is about two hours worth of content here and before I’d even finished the first level on normal difficulty my mind was wandering. Higher difficulties are more engaging but this is a shallow, simple shooting gallery you would expect from a motion control minigame collection, adding a VR layer to expand it to 180 degree action isn’t enough and even if you are engaged there is no way to compete against yourself, let alone the world. Thoroughly mediocre.
Pixel Gear is another bright spot in the PlayStation VR’s lineup.
At this early stage, it seems that Oasis Games Limited might end up being the LJN of VR game publishing, releasing low budget games of questionable quality. Still, one could do worse than Pixel Gear, and it would have even been more highly recommended if it just had a bit more to do. Nevertheless, the game’s functioning controls and imaginative boss battles do place it a few steps above the more mediocre of PSVR launch titles.