Sniper Rust VR Review: Minimum Effective Range

There's a cute puppy in your secret hideout. 

1

Sniper Rust VR is a single-player shooter from Zatun Game Studio with an arcade structure where you use your sharpshooting skills throughout snack-sized missions. What did I think of the game? Well, there’s a cute pup in the hideout. Please, allow me to tell you more.

There’s a very cute pup that will accost you when you’re in the Sniper Rust VR hideout choosing your missions and, honestly, I wish I could have interacted with him a bit more. The hideout features clunky full locomotion, which is strangely the only area that works this way. In the shooting range and in the missions I played, I was stuck in one spot and just took out targets from a static position.

The pup, who I’ve decided to call Shadowman, followed me around and barked, probably wanting me to pet and/or feed him. Alas, good pup, I can do neither. There are enemies that need slaying. It’s not a fun job, but it must be done. I’ll think of you out there.

The hideout serves as the game’s hub and feels like a shoddy attempt at immersion that gets by on the first effort, but is annoying beyond that. Whenever you return to the hideout, you must go to a file, open it, remove the disk, and insert it into the computer. This brings up enemy intel for your current mission and allows you to choose your weapon.

I can walk away from the computer and go to the shooting range, where you can try out the different guns, learn the shooting, zoom, and reload mechanics, and practice your shooting. Or, I can grab a briefcase that I assume held the many parts to my sniper rifle and walk to another exit to start the mission.

The shooting is responsive and the gun models are solid, but the gun’s clip disappears when you’re out of ammo and you just summon a new one with a button press. After inserting it, you must pull a bar to reload. The action is slightly delayed after your input, serving as the cherry on top of an immersion-breaking mechanic.

Visually, Sniper Rust VR looks loads better in the footage I captured versus what I saw while wearing the Oculus Rift HMD. Guns look pretty good, but the enemies and environment are difficult to make out as I look further away. As far as sound, the gunshots from your own weapon are impactful but enemy fire is subpar. There’s also a hype man that yells typical FPS-isms like “Kill Streak!!” but there’s no rhyme or reason to when and why he says the different phrases.

Sniping is about precision and Sniper Rust VR is not that. While I attempted to be pinpoint with my aim at first, I quickly learned that shooting in the general direction of an enemy registers a hit. Further, I learned that I was better at the game when not using the scope at all. The projectile you fire is pretty large and I was able to rapid-fire and reload quicker by just pointing and shooting with one hand.

Sniper Rust VR is a collection of things that make for an unentertaining experience, but a poor shooting experience is the final straw. The developers have created a VR game that doesn’t drop frames and didn’t induce any motion sickness, but that’s where the accolades stop. Sniper Rust VR is inexpensive and the experience, on paper, could have served as a solid way to try out virtual reality. Unfortunately, it misses the mark. That’s a pun. I hope someone feeds Shadowman.


This review is based on a Steam code provided by the publisher. It was played on the Oculus Rift with Oculus Touch controllers. Sniper Rust VR is available now for $9.99 on Steam. Check out our many other reviews from the Shacknews team and stay tuned for more.

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Filed Under
Review for
Sniper Rust VR
3
Pros
  • Puppy
  • No motion sickness
Cons
  • Blurry visuals
  • Clunky reload mechanic
  • Annoying hub/menu/hideout
  • Barely any challenge to the shooting
  • Annoying hype man
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