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Drone Striker Review: As Simple As Shooters Come

Drone Striker Review: As Simple As Shooters Come

There are some on-rails shooters that go the extra mile, be it stylistically, mechanically or otherwise, to make you feel like a gun-touting VR badass. Then there are the shooters that just are happy just towing the line, keeping the player’s finger held firmly against the trigger for 90 minutes and leaving their brain outside the headset. Drone Striker belongs firmly in the latter category.

Just three levels await you in this rudimentary PSVR shooter, each of which will take you about anywhere between 20 to 30 minutes to see through. Playing as what the game describes as “truly the most elite soldier”, you use either a single Move controller, the DualShock 4 or PSVR’s shiny Aim controller to drag a reticle across the screen, peppering identi-kit mechs with machine gun fire before moving onto the next area along a sometimes uncomfortable path. Rinse and repeat.

At least you’ll get a laugh from the dialogue. One of my favorite parts of the game was the transition from your transport in the opening cutscene above to, suddenly: “Everyone’s dead!”

Missile attacks can be executed by taking your finger off the trigger, locking on, and then resuming fire, though you have to wonder why there wasn’t a separate button for this seeing as standard fire is assigned to both L2 and R2. You can also throw a screen-clearing bomb if you can be bothered to deal with the sheer amount enemies in front of you (though a limited ammo supply means you should probably store them for boss battles). Other than that you only have a bog-standard rapid fire gun; there are no changeable weapons of any kind for the entire campaign. The gun does at least look cool, though.

There’s nothing especially bad about it, but it won’t once manage to capture your interest and even your attention will go out the door before long. Bosses simply need to have their massive health bars chipped away at just like every other enemy, environments range from drab harbors to dank caves, and a scoring system fails to encourage any replayability. I found myself playing resting my Aim controller on my chest and tilting it towards enemies while I kept my free hand in my pocket. Chasing high scores and finding some semblance of challenge would be the only reason to revisit the Hard mode that unlocks after your first playthrough, but I doubt many will make the effort.

Drone Striker is a thrill-free, middle of the road on-rails shooter with absolutely nothing to offer anyone on PSVR. It could have served a mediocre filler content for a platform launch, but two years into the ecosystem there’s nothing to see here. Pass.

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