Pistol Whip, the upcoming VR rhythm shooter from Cloudhead Games, is set to launch on November 7th. We’ve got a fresh batch of gameplay, this time showing off the game’s dual-wielding mode which amps up the game’s ‘gun kata’ feel.
As we talked about in our preview of Pistol Whip earlier this week, the game goes beyond merely shooting targets to the beat, it also forces you to dodge incoming fire. By default the game gives you a single pistol, but if you explore the modifier section you’ll also find a dual-wield mode. If the default single pistol mode makes you feel like an agent from The Matrix, the dual-wield mode will make you feel like you’re living a scene from Equilibrium:
Two pistols gives you more firepower but also requires that you divide your attention to independently engage targets with each gun while maintaining an overarching flow between shooting and dodging in order to stay on beat. Master this and you’ll be rewarded with an amplified sense of ‘gun kata‘ not found anywhere else in VR. To give you a sense for what it’s like, we captured 15 minutes of Pistol Whip gameplay using the dual-wield mode on the game’s hardest difficulty:
If it isn’t quite clear from the video above, at many points in this gameplay I’m practically down on my knees as I bob and weave to land shots while dodging incoming fire (and I’ll be feeling it in the morning). Especially on the hardest difficulty, Pistol Whip makes you move a unique and fun way. As we talked about in our preview of the game, this movement is crucial to creating a rich sense of embodiment:
With the incoming bullets, the game forces you to be concerned with your ‘near-field’—it heightens your sense of what’s immediately within arms reach. This leads to embodiment (distinct from mere immersion) which is often a component of the best VR games. It’s this bodily movement (the result of necessary near-field spatial awareness) combined with the ‘arms out and shooting’ gameplay which makes Pistol Whip feel unique and not just ‘another rhythm game’.
Check back for our full review of Pistol Whip when it launches on PC VR headsets and Oculus Quest on November 7th.