After 8 hours of playing Dead Effect 2 VR, I feel enough grasp on the game to really write my opinion down. Although, sadly, I “ragequit” the game more or less after encountering yet another high HP boss that requires me to either replay or grind out higher damage weapons. Here’s my story of Dead Effect 2 VR.
Things started rough for me playing this game. I really disliked the locomotion control but eventually was explained by a dev how to setup locomotion from my hand rather than vision(the way I was playing Serious Sam : First Encounter). The “special ability” also was incredibly not obvious to me. I thought it was pressing the trigger on my empty hand as I saw a little zap emit – but no, this was something else. To use your special ability, you had to hold down the menu button and then press either your trigger or side button. When an ability can trigger or not, is also not obvious while playing the game. I find myself constantly trying to use them and failing without any message(“low energy” or “ability is on cooldown” message would be great.) There was other issues on that first part of the game that I found such as knowing how to manipulate the “fields of energy”. My instinct was to touch the wave and move it but instead there is arrows on the side of the panel you press. Once I figured that out, I found myself once again frustrated with the shotgun and two handed guns. It is such an awkward way to play and difficult to move, reload, etc. I swore off two handed weapons very early in the game.
Once I finally got a grasp on the rougher edges of the game – there was actual enjoyment to be found. I found myself using the special abilities with competence while moving around the battle field ala Serious Sam. The balance felt right at these early levels as headshots felt rewarding and enemies weren’t overtuned. The first time I started using an Area of Effect weapon – I never looked back. The balance of these seem too strong(although they can have a little kickback if you get hit by your own explosion). Knocking an enemy down(or group of enemies down) makes taking out a lot of the enemies a piece of cake.
When a level ends, you are presented graded results and rewarded a bonus item. Speaking of items – the game has no shortage of these. There is body parts, implants, ranged weapons, melee weapons and consumables. On top of that, you can upgrade yourself through skills – both passive and active. This part of the game reminds me a lot of Borderlands/Diablo style drops complete with “rare”, “legendaries”, “mythic” type items. Compared to these games, I don’t find Dead Effect 2 VR to be quite as satisfactory. Maybe its just me but I just look at the number and if I see a higher level , I take it. I feel a lot of this problem is due to the fact that you can upgrade individual weapons. It’s hard for me to really comprehend the value of keeping – say, a fully upgraded level 12 pistol vs keeping a level 13 unupgraded pistol. I personally wish the weapon upgrades were removed (besides the augments) and just balance around unupgraded weapons.
This brings me to my main gripe of the game and why I quit – HIGH hp enemies. And I’m talking – ridiculous, end of the game style bosses but scattered throughout normal chapters. Without spoiling much, I won’t explain which enemies in particular bothered me but needless to say – it’s an exercise in patience, and less skill. In one of my Lets Plays, for example, I put the speed at 400% and it takes forever to destroy an enemy. The “weak spot” damage feels negligible on bosses – even when using the slowdown and focus firing upon the face. Sorry but 16 pistol shots to the face of a boss – with an equal level weapon – should be at least 10% of that enemies health. How it works out, however, is its more like 1-2% of that total HP. Meanwhile, when he counters, I’m looking at 10-15% of my HP. To counteract this war of attrition, you basically can carry many consumable health packs which makes it possible to defeat even the biggest and baddest with solid patience.
So how do I feel about this game? It might sound like I am a hater of the game but I’m not – for the non-discounted steam price – I’d still say its worth it. The 8 hours I got out of it felt worthy of the price – especially compared to other titles. I liked it better than Doom VFR which completely lacked motion options out of the box. The game isn’t too scary to me at this point in my VR playing experience but it still has a few jump scares when you’re not expecting it. The variety of weapons, mission types and actual “rpg” feeling to a shooter makes it rewarding to stick around and play longer than other shooters. It’s an actual, true full-length VR game that feels near polished.