‘Zombieland VR: Headshot Fever’ Aims to Reanimate the Wave Shooter Genre

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XR Games and Sony Pictures announced a new shooter that puts you in the world of Zombieland, and it’s coming to all major VR headsets soon.

Called Zombieland VR: Headshot Fever, the single-player game appears to be a standard wave shooter that’s designed around a shooting-based race course, aptly named the ‘Zombieland Invitational’.

There’s slated to be an emphasis on leaderboards, gun variety, upgrades, perks, and enough non-original voice acting to shake a stick at. The game is also said to include a bullet time feature so you can bump up those headshot combos.

Image courtesy XR Games, Sony Pictures VR

Ignoring the fact that Zombieland VR is set to launch nearly two years after the last film, Zombieland: Double Tap (2019), the game still feels a bit like a Johnny-come-lately.

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The promise of “no wandering around, no atmospheric BS” is just too silly to believe. Virtual reality has been plagued with low effort wave shooters since motion controllers were even a thing, and trying to sell the lack of user agency, story, and atmosphere as a positive is pretty suspect.

In any case, we’re reserving our judgment until we see it for ourselves when it lands on Quest, Rift, SteamVR, and PSVR sometime this Spring.

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  • Alex

    pass
    Already had my share of waveshooters. It looks outdated, if you really liked the movies, problably fun to play. But for me by the first look of it, it really feels close to Drop Dead but without the melee part, which kinda sucks

  • MosBen

    See, I feel like the setting is ripe for a co-op shooter where each player plays a different character from the films, and each character has different stats. And the group would progress through levels where they’re trying to traverse and area and get to an exit/escape. Like Left 4 Dead, but a different skin and in VR.

    • Adrian Meredith

      If that’s what it is then great but unfortunately no…

      • MosBen

        Yep, it doesn’t sound like what they’re going for, which is unfortunate.

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  • Adrian Meredith

    Shovelware

  • Weird how you choose to hype some stuff (ie Crisis Vrigade or some random PSVR or Oculus thing) and defame others of the same genre and yet pin the fault on the genre itself. I can go back and play lightgun shooters like Virtua Cop, Time Crisis, House of the Dead, L.A. Machineguns, Ghost Squad, Dragon Gun, Point Blank, etc., just fine and they’re fun as ever, take skill and have super precise and tight game design that shines through despite their age. Most VR games of the sort fail to deliver that quality and that’s their problem, not the genre. This sadly doesn’t look great. To me the VR games that get the closest are Drop Dead and Pistol Whip with the Deadeye modifier, the rest so far just don’t stack up. They’re still not quite as good (understandable in the case of Pistol Whip, it’s not even the main mode of play, it’s a rhythm game) but they show the premise fairly well. Still it’s much better to just fire up (sadly janky af) EmuVR and play the classics.

    • Baldrickk

      Crisis VRgade is a pretty old title now right?

      • Alex

        2 isn’t that old.

        • Baldrickk

          What I mean is, we’ve come a long way, fast, in terms of what VR games are providing.
          That has naturally meant that games that are behind the times can get left behind easily in a span of two years.

          Two years ago, we were just starting to tire of wave shooters. VRgade got in there just in time.
          This one missed the boat by a couple of years.

          The old arcade shooters are timeless because they had to be well polished.
          The early well polished vr titles are still worth playing.
          Beatsaber, SuperHot, to name a couple.

          • Alex

            That’s basically what I said in my first comment, not sure what’s going on.

          • Baldrickk

            What’s good or not is relative to what’s around it.
            With VR being a new medium, in the beginning, everything was an experiment, trying to find it’s feet.
            Most games were, by “modern” VR standards… Not very good.

            But then you have games that stand out as being great. Anything that doesn’t match up gets left in the dust.
            We get a new yardstick, a new standard for what is good.

            The Model T was revolutionary and fantastic.
            But if it were released as a new car today, you wouldn’t buy one.

            The old games you’re remembering, they’re the pillars. The ones that stand head and shoulders above their brethren.
            There are many more other titles that just didn’t make the grade and are just forgotten about.

            The thing is, this game doesn’t add anything new that hasn’t been seen before.
            It’s not even incredibly polished.

            SuperHot remains great, if short, thanks to its understanding of what makes a VR game great. It has good interactions. You’re constantly grabbing, shooting, punching, slashing, throwing your way through the levels. It has interactions with the environment around you in the form of the objects around you that you can use as weapons…
            That it doesn’t have locomotion isn’t a huge problem because it encourages you to move your body. It’s a roomscale game, and makes use of it.

            This however is one of the ones that doesn’t do anything to elevate itself.
            Point, shoot, move to next wave location, repeat.
            You’re not even doing the movement yourself, and there’s no real interaction once you’re there.
            You don’t even interact with your weapon very much.

          • Alex

            Like I said, the author of the article had not played this game, nor have I.

            So I’m not arguing about the specific game’s quality, but the article’s insane notion that a whole genre, rail shooters in the lightgun esque way, is no longer good.

            You literally just agreed old lightgun games are still good in your previous comment. So how are you still trying to justify the above?

            Lightgun style games are still great if they’re great, one or 100 bad lightgun style games don’t justify bashing the genre itself as obsolette when there are enough games that are still fun to show the genre itself is still fun.

            You are doing nothing but obfuscate the topic with all that.

          • Baldrickk

            I said _good_ light gun games, the ones that stand head and shoulders above the rest are still good.

            The rest… They’re forgettable at best.

            Which is where this article is placing the game.

            As far as VR is concerned, wave shooters are a tired affair. There is a whole glut of them.
            Unless it does something to stand out, a wave shooter is just like the rest of the genre. Tired.

            It’s hard to innovate much past an arcade shooter. Time Crisis had it’s floor pedal, a few had guns other than pistols.

            VR however has mostly moved on to better experiences.

          • Alex

            I don’t care about this fucking game, I comment on the article’s notion that the genre it fits in, rather than the quality of the specific game, is obsolette. The author had not played the game to judge it on its merits and made sweeping generalizations about the genre. English MOFO, DO YOU SPEAK IT?!

          • Baldrickk

            No, you go back to play those games because they are not just generic wave shooters.
            They have something different.

            Generic wave shooters that don’t add something special are dead. Dead boring. Why would you buy one?

            To go back to your arcade shooter example, if someone came out with a generic one, it’d be panned.

  • Bumpy

    Wow, such innovation, so amazing visuals and omg the wave shooting.

    Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

    It doesn’t get any more been there done that folks.

  • Yeah, it seems like the old plain wave shooter… the quality seems good, but it’s a genre we have already seen a bazillion times in VR

  • DanDei

    So they picked a movie license that is a road movie at its core to throw all the traveling through a zombie infested world over board and make pretty much the opposite: a shooter where you stay put and let the waves come. That is not only in general an uninspired genre pick but also fundamentally wrong as an adaptation. Hard pass

  • gothicvillas

    Wow this looks real bad in 2021

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  • franksid

    I can’t see how it can be a wave shooter in those environments in the ad. Like rooms in buildings, seems like there might be an exploring part ? Seems low end visually but that makes good sense if its targetting the Oculus Quest, But it mentions shipping to all headsets which does confuses me! I love zombie games and there is a lot to be said for some casual arcade style shooting plug in and play VR games on the oculus quest i must say. some of most popular vr games have been casual play. i dont think the game should be compared to games that have story and user agency as it appears more arcade style to me, so should be compared to pistol whip and beat sabre. Anyway, I’m quite hopefully at the moment that this will be a different and fun game. certainly looks it so!

  • david vincent

    It’s ok, I know some people around there are liking wave shooters ;-)

  • If a wave-based shooter experience interests you, do yourself a favor and play the zombie shooter Dead & Buried I or II instead; although, like most multiplayer VR games, the active playerbase is slim pickings. Zombieland just seems like licensed shovelware.