Crossfire: Sierra Squad aims to bring arcade and realistic shooting to VR

Smilegate's venture into VR looks to have something to offer both arcade shooters and those looking for something a little more real.


The Crossfire series hasn't caught on in North America as much as other more well-known first-person shooters. Smilegate's FPS series is something that has caught fire more in Asia-Pacific regions, specifically in South Korea. The developer is still hoping to spread the word of Smilegate across the seas and its latest effort is a VR effort called Crossfire: Sierra Squad. Shacknews recently had a chance to take a first look.

Crossfire: Sierra Squad is among the games initially listed on the 2023 PS VR2 lineup. While the recent CrossfireX was hyped for its Remedy Entertainment-developed campaign, Crossfire: Sierra Squad is more about a simpler arcade experience in VR.

The shooting gallery in Crossfire: Sierra Squad

Source: Smilegate

While there are 13 single-player missions, Sierra Squad's main draw will be 50 squad missions that can be tackled either solo or with an online co-op partner. Sierra Squad's atmosphere can be felt from the moment players step onto the firing range, where users can try out any one of 39 weapons. Weaponry is handled by holding down each VR controller's buttons and lining them up with each individual grip. Different weapons are held in different ways, whether it's an assault rifle, sniper rifle, dual pistols, or rocket launcher. Likewise, weapons have their own distinct perks and ways to reload.

While my exposure to the Crossfire series has been limited, I know an arcade shooter when I see one, and Sierra Squad feels like a throwback to simpler coin-op days. Enemies come out of various ambush points and require players to find cover, aim with the visor, and fire away. Many enemies are susceptible to headshots, but shielded foes can be taken down either from behind or by trying to take out their legs. Some enemies will be armed with RPGs or sniper rifles, which will require more defensive tactics.

Here's where it should be noted that Smilegate does attempt to tackle the issue of VR motion sickness by dimming the user's peripheral vision while they move. On the one hand, it helped because I didn't experience VR motion sickness a single time. Given that I'm prone to that, that's a pretty big win. Having said that, it creates an entirely different issue where it's hard to determine where enemy fire is coming from. It turns out that when incoming shots are coming from all sides, peripheral vision is important, especially when trying to find cover.

While I mostly stuck with the standard arcade-style gameplay experience, Smilegate hopes to turn some heads with a realistic mode. When the game is set to realistic mode, only one or two shots are all it takes to down a player before they bleed out. Of course, actual war goes both ways, so enemies will also operate under those rules. The idea is for players utilizing this setting to exercise more caution and tactics instead of clumsily charging in like a wannabe Rambo.

Smilegate hopes to reveal more about Crossfire: Sierra Squad in the weeks ahead, but the game's release is not far away. Look for Crossfire: Sierra Squad to release on PlayStation VR2, as well as Steam, on Tuesday, August 29.

This preview is based on a PS VR2 demo played on-site and may not be representative of the final product.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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