Review: Operation Warcade (PSVR)

Review: Operation Warcade (PSVR)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Oculus Rift
  • HTC Vive
  • Windows Mixed Reality

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • Blu-ray Disc
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • PlayStation VR Required
  • DualShock 4 Optional (1)
  • Move Optional (2)
  • PS VR Aim Controller Recommended
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Title: Operation Warcade
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (4.09 GB)
Release Date: April 11, 2018
Publisher: Perp Games
Developer: Ivanovich Games
Original MSRP: $19.99 Digital (US), $29.99 Physical (US), £15.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: T
PEGI: 12
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Audio Review:
The audio review for this game is available on Episode 592 of the podcast at 118:25.
Episode 592 - Telling Tales From the Arcade

Operation Warcade was released on the PSN last April and has now been repackaged as a physical disc.

I’m all for physical over digital but the question becomes, is the $10 price difference worth it for this particular game?

Gameplay:
Operation Warcade is a throwback to the old arcade light gun games with one important distinction. Unlike the arcade games where you generally faced waves of enemies then moved to a different location, Operation Warcade employs a side-scrolling gameplay mechanic where you’re set further back from the action.

As the action slowly unfolds along a standard left to right scroll, enemies will run in from either side of the screen or pop up from behind objects. You’ll start with a machine gun and grenades but along the way a few limited use weapons will become available such as a shotgun, bow and arrow, throwing knives, and even a gravity gun.

Set in a virtual arcade, depending on your control scheme, either one or two arcade cabinets are available. The Classic 3D Edition feels like a standard arcade cabinet with limited continues. The Immersive Edition is where the real fun lies, and it’s where you can actually be transported into the game itself for brief periods of time.

These immersion points are designated by yellow icons on the screen. Shoot one and you’ll be pulled into a first-person mode within the game itself. You can skip them by not shooting the icons but where’s the fun in that? How these all play out depend on your controller setup with some working better than others and some feeling flat-out broken.

Review: Operation Warcade (PSVR) Review: Operation Warcade (PSVR)

It’s a little surreal and a lot of fun but the irony here is that the immersion points actually feel more like the old light gun games of the past. You’re suddenly in a first person mode with enemies coming at you from all around the screen and it will be quite familiar to anyone versed in those types of games.

In a wink and a nod to the absurdity of the situation, turning your head can reveal the screen of the arcade cabinet in a Wreck-It Ralph kind of way. You’ll even see “yourself” on the outside represented by the floating head and hands of a soldier matching your moves.

As for the control schemes and their issues, the DualShock option is slower to move around the screen and less immersive and the grenades can be problematic. With two Move controllers, the bow and the knives are all but useless, while the Aim Controller also has problems with bows and grenades. For any control option, the sniper rifle is atrocious. I found the Aim Controller to be the best all-around option since it was easier to target enemies and handle the Immersion Points.

There are more than one hundred missions spread across a variety of environments and the Immersion Points change things up often enough to keep things somewhat fresh. You’ll also need to complete specific objectives to unlock levels making replays quite common and weapons upgrades come along with higher levels changing up the gameplay a bit.

Review: Operation Warcade (PSVR) Review: Operation Warcade (PSVR)

I did run into a number of small bugs along the way but nothing too egregious. The real problems in the game came from the controls. Beyond the issues with various weapons, the helicopter flight mechanics are essentially unusable and what little explanation is given is actually incomprehensible. It’s a shame because a little more work in these areas could certainly make the game that much more fun.

Visuals:
I can’t quite decide if the visuals were meant to emulate arcade games of the 90s or not. I’m guessing not, because it tends to look more like a late PSOne or early PS2 era game. On most levels, the enemy soldiers are simply black silhouettes that disintegrate when shot. It’s not very exciting for a VR environment.

I did also run across a number of graphical glitches and bugs throughout my runs and even though they were somewhat infrequent, they were still pretty annoying.

Audio:
The audio also feels like a throwback, with a limited range of sounds overall.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only with no online component.

Review: Operation Warcade (PSVR) Review: Operation Warcade (PSVR)

Conclusion:
Operation Warcade is an interesting title. I give the developers full marks for their creativity and their vision, the execution just tends to fall a little short in some areas.

That being said, I still think it’s an enjoyable title and I found myself going back again and again to try to open up new areas and see what else it had to offer, so that has to mean something, right?

So, is the $10 price difference between the physical and digital versions worth it? It really depends on whether this is your type of game. It doesn’t quite match up with any of the old arcade “gun games” that I remember, but it’s certainly a fun lo-res arcade shooter.

Score:
6.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Josh Langford

Josh Langford

Josh has been gaming since 1977 starting with the Atari 2600.
He currently owns 26 different consoles and 6 different handhelds (all hooked up and in working condition) including all consoles from the current generation.

Josh is currently the US PR & Marketing Manager for Fountain Digital Labs and has recused himself from any involvement on PS Nation arising from posting or editing any news or reviews stemming from FDL.

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