Another week, another Playstation VR release that was previously available on Steam for PC users. Dick Wilde is the closest we’ll get to Duck Hunt for Playstation VR so far, but how does it play?
Genre-wise, Dick Wilde falls into the gallery/wave shooter genre – games where you’re stationary and targets come up and at you in waves. It’s been popular in terms of VR, because it sidesteps the dilemma of motion sickness by – literally – making sure motion isn’t a part of the experience. This makes these types of games fluid, functional and easy to enjoy – though also relatively basic in nature.
Dick Wilde is no exception. Thematically you’re looking at a mix of the NES classic Duck Hunt and what I imagine the TV show Duck Dynasty to be like. Dick Wilde himself is a redneck type of hunter, and mostly hunts the kind of animals you’d expert in the southern parts of the US: expect plenty of crocodiles.
The delivery of the game, both in terms of its gameplay dynamics and its audiovisual department, is cartoon/caricature-like. Dick has a thick southern accent, says all kinds of redneck stuff, and loves shooting animals. He’s an acquired taste, and people who can’t stand his type aren’t likely to get much enjoyment out of this game.
Look past that though, and there’s a competent shooter here. There’s a decent selection of weapons, which all have alternate firing modes to make matters more interesting. A shotgun can dynamically turn into a medium distance rifle using a laser. After each wave, you’re also presented with a choice of possible upgrades which determine how you go into the next wave – you can patch yourself up with some extra health, or you can improve your guns for some added firepower.
Gun diversity definitely adds some variety to the mix as well, because as one-dimensional as Dick himself might be he has a wide range of weapons to choose from. This makes it interesting to start experimenting and find out what you’re comfortable with – or replay the game while taking a chance on a new weapon. Diversity in enemy design is much like any other wave shooter (or tower defense title) – the game just keeps throwing more and bigger enemies at you every single time you complete a wave. It’s simple, addictive, and really evokes that “how far can you get?” feeling.
It can’t, however, hide the fact that it’s a fairly generic formula that we’ve seen before – even in VR. Playstation VR has several excellent shooters already and Dick Wilde will struggle to find its place among them. Games like Mortal Blitz, Rush of Blood, and Lethal VR are all better games, but none of them are wave shooters like Dick Wilde. That’s where it might find its niche, because wave shooter fans don’t have too much to choose from yet on Playstation VR. Oh, and it has support for the brand new Aim controller as well, which might also boost interest in Dick Wilde – a fun but unremarkable shooter that will be an acquired taste.