Released: Dec 14, 2018
As virtual reality begins to enter new territories and possibilities, game developers are creating new ways to innovate that light gun familiarity as well as full-body mechanics to bring fresh experiences to a whole new level. The team at Caveman Studio bring forth Contractors, a realistic tactical shooter with focused human physics to match what a military FPS would be like in VR.
Taking hints from the Arma games, CS:GO, and Tom Clancy military titles, you get to select from a few levels of armor, determining how many weapons and items you’re permitted to carry with a budget to base your loadout on. Choose from a variety of weapons that work very uniquely and singular to their classes, from pump shotguns to dual-wielding SMGs, or rather a blustering and hard-hitting assault rifle with a machete on your side. Once you’ve got your three loadouts configured, you can immediately begin training in the opening warehouse, where silhouette targets can be shot at and mini-training courses can be commenced to provide real move-and-shoot practices with hostages and criminals. You’re also free to roam amongst the premises.
But the real action starts with the menu you activate with one of the controllers. Through here, you can play against bots in a custom match or other players across several regions. With eight maps to play from and three different modes, players will be challenged by angles and playstyles that may not favor them in every match. The fighting is both engaging and intense, as bullets are fired from unsuspecting sides after you slide behind a car, raising your weapon over the hood to sustain position, up until you’re knifed in the back from a laughing punk. The handling of the weapons feel fantastic, and they respond quite effectively to the recoil and stock that you control and attach. And the majority of body movement mechanics and activity from just your headset and the controllers are pulled off competently with exuberance results. There’s also a fun basketball mini-game in Extraction (one of the three modes in the game, alongside Team Deathmatch and Control) when you’re waiting for the next round to start that is probably my highlight from this whole game.
With great weapons come great sound, and this game is no exception to that. Not only do the weapons feel and look impressive, their respective sounds to reloading and shooting is literal magic to your ears. They all pack a punch, even the simplest of pistols can make you feel like you’re in a John Woo movie on the battlefield. In regards to music, though, there isn’t any, except for the small drum roll at the end of every match, yet it’s appropriate for this particular VR title. Some other tunes would be ideal and a great addition to the experience, but it’s not a huge notice when you’re hearing all the rapid gunfire and grunts from the other players. The walkie-talkie feature works and sounds great, too, putting more emphasis on teamwork and communication since the maps are a little big to navigate through. Or to just mess around with your mates because you’re at the bottom of the leaderboard.
The graphics sort of replicates that PC shooter online aesthetic with its graphics giving great attention to detail and surfaces. It looks retro but updated in a very smooth way. Character models and level design look amazing at ultra settings, but you’ll definitely get a classic vibe with lower settings if one chooses to switch it up a bit. For a title still in Early Access from an indie developer, the whole notion of VR military shooting from these guys is impressive. With more to come, I’m certain the future content will be promising.
I see myself going at a few rounds here and there every week now that this game is in my library. It’s addicting, and the replay value is extremely high, even at my 50+ hour game time. Despite not having many modes to play from, each round made me forgive all of that just because I was merely having so much fun. And it helps that the player base is respectable since the game is still somewhat fresh in the gaming world. I highly recommend this game to anyone who loves VR and shooters. It’s nearly the perfect mix and a gift to the library; an essential title to possess that brings out the best in virtual reality.
The true aesthetic from this great title comes through when you’re rushing into a building with a teammate and you empty your magazine on a squad of enemies, all through the lens of a VR headset.