VR rhythm shooter Pistol Whip is getting another free update this week come Thursday. The ‘Encore’ update will add two new levels, a party mode for local pass-and-play, and new modifiers for even more ways to tweak each level to your liking.

Initially released in late 2019, Pistol Whip continues to go strong. Developer Cloudhead Games has given the game a series of updates over the years, including two major patches that added mini-‘campaign’ experiences: ‘2089‘ and ‘Smoke & Thunder‘.

The game’s latest update, ‘Encore’ isn’t quite as ambitious but will add some fresh content and new ways to play.

Set to launch on Thursday, the free update promises to add two new levels to the game—The Way Home by Magic Sword and Fist Fight by Devora—bringing the total level count to 30.

Both new levels are based on music that’s actually already in the game; each were heard in the credit sequences of the ‘2089’ and ‘Smoke & Thunder’ mini-campaigns, but didn’t actually have their own level until now.

In addition to the two new songs, Cloudhead is further expanding the ‘Styles’ system in Pistol Whip with new modifiers. Adding to the existing options, the ‘Encore’ update includes three new modifiers:

No Beat: Take the rhythm out of the equation with this modifier. When enabled, your scores are determined entirely by the accuracy of your shots – no musicality required!

Rhythmic: Lose yourself in the groove—scores are determined entirely by shooting to the beat with this modifier!

Targets: Is target-shooting more your style? Select this modifier to swap the enemies in any scene with new abstract Targets (Arcade and Party Modes only). Combine Targets with other modifiers to completely change the feel of the game. For example, try Targets plus Threatless and No Beat to change any level into a true shooting range experience!

Combined with the existing modifiers and the ability to pick weapon type and whether or not you want to dual-wield, the new choices mean Pistol Whip has more ways to play than ever before. What’s really cool is that your unique combination of options even gets its own leaderboard, allowing you to compete with others playing the same way. Cloudhead says that since the introduction of the ‘Styles’ system players have created over 100,000 unique leaderboards.

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Speaking of competing with others, the Pistol Whip ‘Encore’ update is also adding a new party mode to make local pass-and-play more competitive.

With party mode you’ll be able to play through a level with your chosen modifiers and then input your name to be saved onto a local leaderboard. Then you can pass your headset to your friends to play the same song and post their own score to the board, making it easy to keep track of who is racking up the most points when you’re playing with a handful of players.

The Pistol Whip ‘Encore’ update will launch this Thursday, February 24th for free on all available platforms.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Looks cool! I was anyway expecting a multiplayer mode…

  • ARC333

    The altered enemy graphics is a major step backward. Their movements look unrealistic, firing stance non-threatening and generally not an improvement. Were they altered for the “target” addition?