Previously known as Crisis Vrigade 2, Sumalab’s VR arcade shooter has a long history across PSVR and PC VR. After releasing on Quest last year via App Lab and SideQuest, Crisis Brigade 2 Reloaded is now available on the official Quest Store. But how does the Time Crisis-inspired shooter fare? Here’s our full review.
Light gun shooters are an old favorite of mine. Ignoring the time I blue-screened a Time Crisis 4 arcade unit, I’ve fond memories of jumping between Wii ports of Ghost Squad, Deadstorm Pirates and House of the Dead. You rarely see them on modern consoles anymore (the recent remake of House of the Dead aside), yet I’ve long believed that VR’s immersive nature makes it a natural home for the genre. No game better exemplifies this than Crisis Brigade 2, but don’t come in expecting an easy time.
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_cta h2=””] Crisis Brigade 2: Reloaded Review – The Facts
Platforms: PC VR via Steam and Meta, Quest Pro, Quest 2, PSVR (Review conducted on Quest 2)
Release Date: Out now
Price: $14.99 ($19.99 on Steam and PSVR) [/vc_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Playable alone or in three-player online co-op, Crisis Brigade 2 only has a few main levels, backed up by a time-attack mode and a shooting range. As a SWAT team member, you’ve got seven minutes to finish each level, and there isn’t a story; you’re killing every nearby enemy, choosing which direction to take, or taking down a boss. Time Crisis fans will find a familiar gameplay loop here that’s both shallow and not entirely original, yet remains compelling.
Those committed to sticking it out will be here for a while. Partially, that’s because Crisis Brigade 2 focuses on replayability with online leaderboards, multiple mission routes and four difficulties. More accurately, it’s replayable because even on the easiest difficulty, this uncompromising shooter will repeatedly kill you. You’ve only got three lives. A single bullet is all it takes to lose one, so don’t get caught napping. Enemies can quietly sneak up from the sides and landing that fatal blow becomes all too easy.
Pay close attention to the scene and react quickly. Crisis Brigade 2 doesn’t have a crouch button, requiring you to duck for cover physically. Unfortunately, there isn’t always much to hide behind, so I’d suggest equipping the riot shield. The difficulty doesn’t just ramp up by adding more enemies either. Rookie (easy) includes a danger indicator from enemies and aim assistance whereas Cadet (normal) only includes the indicator. Beyond that, you’re on your own. Blindly firing from behind cover rarely works, even with aim assistance, and with that ticking timer, you can’t just wait it out. You’ll need to take risks when peaking over and chance some shots. Luckily, some enemies also drop item pickups like new weapons and additional lives, giving you an extra boost.
The difficulty will likely prove off-putting for some but Crisis Brigade 2 nails the most important aspect – it’s still great fun. Beating these levels is such a rush. It’s a shame it doesn’t last long, though that’s unsurprising for the genre. That being said, the progression system provides customization options that bolster replayability even further. Crisis Brigade 2 also awards coins based on performance in each level, even if you fail. You can use them for an immediate continue after dying, but you’d do better in the long run by unlocking new equipment. Between laser sights, M16s, a dual wield option and more, there’s plenty of upgrades to suit different playstyles.
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_cta h2=””]Crisis Brigade 2: Reloaded Review – Comfort
Every shootout in Crisis Brigade 2 takes place in a fixed location, so the game doesn’t use any form of artificial locomotion. Instead, each scene gradually moves you to new areas automatically with faded teleporting. Nausea risk is minimal but be careful – the gameplay has significant physicality. You’ll often be ducking for cover or leaning over virtual shields to fire shots, so expect to work up a sweat.
With the game making its debut on the official Quest Store with a new ‘Reloaded’ title, you might be wondering if much has changed compared to previous releases. Beyond the move to wire-free gameplay and improved tracking on Quest 2, the answer is no. I didn’t spot any significant differences otherwise. By adopting more realistic visuals than Crisis Vrigade, it’s also one of the better looking games on the Quest 2 platform. However, while the original release on App Lab and SideQuest was compatible with the original Quest headset, this release on the official store is Quest 2 (and Quest Pro) only.
Crisis Brigade 2 Reloaded Review – Final Verdict
As someone who misses those old arcade shooters, Crisis Brigade 2 provides some welcome nostalgia but doesn’t quite capture the spirit of Time Crisis. It’s a familiar premise that isn’t incredibly original but defines itself through surprisingly challenging levels. Though you won’t find much to do, what is here feels satisfying. If you’re okay with that, then Quest 2 is arguably the best way for fans of the genre to play Crisis Brigade 2.
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