Many games have tackled what a fictional World War 3 would look like, ushering gamers into various conflicts between fictional and real entities. Naked Sun uses the next step in gaming tech, virtual reality, to take us into an even more far-flung future by thrusting us into the tail-end of World War 4.
Naked Sun is an on-rails shooter by Door Z Studio with a minimalist design but solid production. It’s only somewhat entertaining as a personal purchase, but feels like a solid arcade experience to ease VR amateurs in. Here's my full review.
Classic Arcade Style
Naked Sun immediately took me back to the popcorn experiences in my earliest days in arcades. The story is essentially filler to get the ball rolling, tossing me into the middle of a mission that goes wrong immediately. The entire game is on-rails on pretty large moving platforms and there's no locomotion to speak of. Thus, the opportunities for motion sickness are limited and the game doesn’t drop frames too often. There were a couple moments, but they didn’t persist.
There aren’t any other characters that you see or directly engage with other than shooting the many enemies that appear, but the voiceovers for your partners are solid. One introduced later into the game teases a semi-interesting character that I’d like to know more about.
The city I rode through while shooting has a minimal design. It also doesn’t resemble a place where people or robots actually live, which impacts the story being told. Beyond the entrance, it feels like a place entirely set up for this game’s events to take place.
Weapon of Choice
There are three weapons available in Naked Sun, but two are the ones used regularly. Technically, it’s one that transforms into two different forms and it’s my favorite part of the game. With a click of the analog sticks on the Oculus Touch, the pistol I carried in each hand transforms into an automatic sub-machine gun. It’s very well designed and even the sound effect for the transformation is crisp. Occasionally, I caught myself hitting the button just to hear it in-between shootouts.
While the gun’s physical model is wonderful, the aiming felt slightly off. In other VR experiences, looking down the sights felt natural, but the angle in Naked Sun never felt right so I stopped attempting to use them. Because of this, I wanted to use the automatic fire more but the damage is lower. You also have a rocket-launcher as a cooldown ability on your right-hand and locking on with rockets works most of the time. The shield that you can use on the left-hand, unfortunately, didn’t feel as natural. Instead of feeling like I was summoning a shield with the arm, the shield appeared as a projection in front of the gun.
To Be Continued?
Naked Suns VR is set at a value price and it is a pretty short game. I completed the campaign in under two hours and it seems like the development team will be continuing the story with additional episodes, assuming this entry does well.
The length of the game is another reason I feel this is better executed in an arcade environment. Snack-sized VR games are ideal in
Naked Sun does get a couple things right, especially so for those with limited space for room-scale VR. I’m one such person with limited space and had no problems staying in my play area, as the action was constantly right in front of me. I also didn’t experience any tearing and I was comfortable from beginning to end.
While a solid way to ease players into VR experiences, that doesn’t give Naked Sun a pass for everything. The minimalist design gives it a distinct, futuristic style but doesn’t excite. There are a lot of repeated assets as well and they’re certainly noticeable. I’m not particularly excited to add future Naked Sun games to my library, but I would be excited to see them in a VR arcade near you. If this particular game earns dev team Door Z Studio more funding and higher production values, I’m curious to see what they can deliver in the future
- Main gun's design is wonderful
- No motion sickness
- Would be ideal in arcades
- The sight aiming is rough
- Not very memorable