Content Type: Gaming Reviews
Date: July 25, 2018
Operation Warcade is an arcade lightgun action first-person shooter available from retail stores and for download from the PlayStation Store for PlayStation VR. Operation Warcade is not Ivanovich Games’ first foray into virtual reality as they have previously developed Final Soccer VR for Oculus and Vive and Perfect Angle ZEN VR, alongside numerous games on iOS, Android, PC and Mac such as Off-Road Paradise: Trial 4×4. Meanwhile, publisher Perp Games has brought some of the best VR games to PlayStation VR at retail including Moss, Theseus, VR Karts, Radial-G: Racing Revolved, Fruit Ninja VR, Perfect, The Assembly, Ultimate VR Collection and more besides. Can Operation Warcade recreate the feeling of being in an old-school arcade full of lightgun games?
Operation Warcade features six operations containing half a dozen missions per operation totalling to 36 missions, although upon starting the player will only be able to try the first mission of the storm operation. Each operation has three stars for successfully completing objectives such as completing the level without retries, killing a certain quantity of enemies during immersion points, killing a particular amount of enemies with grenades, headshots and more besides totalling to 108 stars. The first mission within the Rio operation is unlocked after earning two stars from the Desert Incursion mission. As the player progresses through missions; new gameplay elements will be introduced such as freeing prisoners contained within steel cubicles from the clutches of enemies. Classic 3D edition has subtle differences from the immersive edition arcade cabinet as the player gets to play the classic 3D edition within the arcade cabinet instead of immersive edition’s full screen display, while the classic 3D edition has a lot less continues after being defeated by enemies.
Weapon customisation is gradually unlocked through earning stars from completing missions such as laser targeting that changes the aiming reticule to highlight when the player is aiming at an enemy or an object of interest is unlocked after earning three stars, while the titanium uzi turns the uzi into a shield as incoming bullets can be reflected off it after earning five stars, alongside a higher quantity of grenades for earning seven stars and much more besides through to earning as many as 73 stars. Weapon power-ups with a limited amount of ammo can be gathered throughout missions such as a gravity gun that allows any enemy, vehicle or explosive object to be grabbed, brought towards you and then launched at other enemies in what is certainly the most impressive weapon in the game, while there are also dual-wielding uzis, a shotgun and more besides.
Enemy design is varied as enemy soldiers are accompanied by tanks, helicopters, boats, aerial drones and more. Environment design is varied with half a dozen sets of locations including a desert, Rio, Jafar and more besides. Immersion points play a big part in the diversity of environment design as they are mostly different from the usual side-on moving vehicle gameplay as enemies run towards the screen. Immersion points see the player taking cover behind defences, firing a bow and arrow from a guard tower, throwing knives at onrushing enemies and sniping at distant enemies from a sniper nest, while the player can also enter vehicles such as an armoured truck that can be driven along with firing an uzi at enemies, a fighter jet that can be simultaneously piloted while firing onboard weaponry or parachuting out to fire an uzi at nearby enemies, manning a machine gun mounted to the back of a boat and more besides.
The controls are appropriately mapped to two PlayStation Move controllers that represent your left and right hands with a control scheme consisting of pressing the trigger button on the right or left handed PlayStation Move to fire your weaponry situated in each hand; and holding start to reset head tracking. PlayStation Move’s gyroscopic motion sensing functionality is supposed to allow the player to aim the weapon in the respective hand and line up an arrow with the bow, while head tracking is utilised efficiently enabling the player to seek out enemies attacking from the left or right, alongside vibration reflecting the recoil of the weaponry being fired in both hands. However, gamers that have the PlayStation Aim peripheral may fair better than the PlayStation Move without the peripheral as both PlayStation Move controllers prefer to randomly wonder off in separate directions before and during gameplay.
I played Operation Warcade in light and dark conditions, short range, medium range and a far range from the camera, a little slanted to the left, centred and a little to the right and even had the fan turned off before and during gameplay to see if any set of conditions made a difference to the control calibration performance. However, the end result was always the same as the left Move controller would always be hopeless, while the right Move controller would behave on occasion before starting to infuriatingly venture wherever it wanted to. A brief gentle movement of the controller would bring the right Move controller back in line again before repeating the same excursion, while the left Move controller would even show the left hand facing inwards at times instead of aiming at enemies, but when it was facing towards enemies it would still be positioned so randomly, anything left handed or that required both hands would be unusable.
The DualShock 4 controller maps firing of weaponry to R2 and L2 for the right and left handed weapons respectively, while the calibration of the gyroscopic motion sensing functionality is better than that of the Move controllers, but it still wants to move around, although it is a little easier to be on target most of the time, aim a bow and arrow and throw grenades in the vicinity of a group of enemies as both hands are grouped together rather than on separate ends of the room, although strangely it was still very difficult to man the mounted machine gun on the back of a boat with the DualShock 4 controller.
Graphically, Operation Warcade has a retro arcade cabinet charm to its style, although it still has room for improvement. For instance, there is a noticeable amount of pop-in from enemies and enemy vehicles that only appear when they are a certain distance particularly on the left of the screen, enemy vehicles disappearing after destroying them and flat textures on some terrain surfaces.
Operation Warcade’s presentation is immersive as the player is situated in an arcade with people in the background playing other arcade games. Menus are navigated by aiming the lightgun at the relevant option with the use of the gyroscopic motion sensing functionality and pressing the trigger button on the Move controller or R2 on the DualShock 4 controller.
Voice-overs are styled in a classic arcade tone such as informing the player when an operation is about to commence, that the player’s performance is of a high standard by exclaiming “Awesome!” and when a player has completed a level. Sound effects include shooting weapons and throwing grenades at enemies, enemies firing back, vehicles such as tanks, helicopters, boats and drones arriving to join in the battle and explosions. A selection of dance music or epic instrumental music is available or to alternatively turn the music off in order to focus on voice-overs and sound effects.
The trophy list includes 21 trophies with 6 bronze trophies, 6 silver trophies, 8 gold trophies and 1 platinum trophy. Easier trophies include the Chiken gold trophy for hiding in the arcade until time passes without defeating any enemies and the Titanium Uzi gold trophy for getting the titanium uzi. Harder trophies include the Master 500k bronze trophy for getting 500k points and 100 Stars gold trophy for earning 100 stars in story mode. It is estimated that depending upon skill and a good trophy guide to provide some helpful tips that it would take between 15 to 25 hours to platinum the trophy list.
There are no difficulty levels, although the difficulty curve in the immersive edition gradually increases as the objectives that the player is required to achieve in order to unlock more missions, operations and weapon upgrades become harder with every mission. Classic 3D edition has a separate difficulty curve as the player is only provided with one continue after being defeated the first time which results in the player having to react immediately upon seeing an enemy or vehicle.
For family and friends situated in the same room; the TV presents what the player is experiencing, albeit without the same quality of depth in comparison to virtual reality. There is no social screen multiplayer which is a missed opportunity to introduce local multiplayer through having the VR player taking on the role of the lead character attempting to defeat enemies, while the TV player controls the enemies situated within each mission of every operation in an attempt to prevent the VR player from defeating every enemy to progress through each mission and operation by deciding the approach and formation of each enemy wave in a competitive multiplayer battle.
Online leaderboards focus on high scores with each leaderboard containing each player’s rank; name (PSN ID); and their total high score for each of the half a dozen operations, while players can compare their positioning on the leaderboards with global players within any given leaderboard.
Operation Warcade’s replayability stems from a multitude of weapon upgrades and temporary weapon power-ups, immersion points increase gameplay variety, immersive edition and classic 3D edition arcade cabinets with subtle changes in gameplay, 108 stars to collect through 36 levels in the immersive edition and online leaderboards that will keep players returning for hours for as long as players have a PlayStation Aim controller to perhaps improve the poor control calibration.
- Title: Operation Warcade
- Developer: Ivanovich Games
- Publisher: Perp Games
- System: PlayStation VR
- Format: PS4 Blu-Ray Disc/PSN Download
- Cross-Buy: No
- Cross-Play: No
- Players: 1
- Hard Drive Space Required: 4.08GB (Version 1.01)