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Under Cover Review: Enjoyable But Barebones Lightgun VR FPS

Under Cover review screenshot

Under Cover offers an enjoyable lightgun-themed VR FPS, though there's not much to keep you returning. Read on for our full review:

Time Crisis-style VR shooters are nothing new with Crisis VRigade and its sequel, though Under Cover's '90s-themed presentation feels like you've stepped inside a PS1-era shooter. Structured like a buddy-cop film, you play as either Magnum or Redeye, undercover agents taking down an evil corporation. What follows is a suitably cheesy narrative poking fun at this deliberately cliched premise.

The Facts

What is it?: A 90s-inspired VR arcade shooter that supports two-player co-op.
Platforms: Quest 2, Quest Pro, Quest 3 (reviewed on Quest 3)
Release Date: February 15, 2024
Developer: Sigtrap
Price: $24.99
Under Cover screenshot

Playable with a friend in two-person co-op or solo with an AI partner, Under Cover splits this campaign into four missions with three chapters. Letting you choose two pre-determined routes, it's closer to Crisis Brigade 2 than Zombieland: Headshot Fever, automatically moving you to new areas once every enemy is killed. Reminiscent of stepping on pedals in Time Crisis, physically ducking both automatically reloads your weapon and puts you in cover.

Once the mission begins, Under Cover's satisfying gunplay becomes immediately apparent, and it is incredibly satisfying to shoot an explosive barrel or device with enemies in range. This of course takes out multiple targets while activating a slow-motion sequence which makes you feel like an action movie hero. You can rack up numerous kills in seconds despite facing overwhelming odds, and those set pieces are complemented by the destructible environments.

Though you always begin with one of two guns, Under Cover's environments hide various weapons hidden in boxes. There's a nice selection of machine guns, dual-wielding pistols, rocket launchers, and even a balloon gun, and these all have limited ammo before disappearing. As such, you've got to carefully consider when you want to pick them up and who to use them against.

Under Cover screenshot

You won't find much enemy variety, and I wish bosses were more interesting than repeatedly shooting the same giant mechs with minor variances. What's here for your more standard enemies is usually sufficient, and the campaign gradually introduces trickier foes like tanky machine gun-wielding robots. This kept me on my toes by creating a decent but never overwhelming challenge, and I adopted a more cautious approach later on since you only get two continues.

There's also a focus on high-score chasing, and each stage area awards you an 'Area Score,' which helps determine your final ranking. Your multiplier grows with quick consecutive kills, earning extra points for headshots and shooting dead enemies again. This adds some nice replayability; after the mission ends, you're also ranked on accuracy and speed. Unfortunately, Sigtrap didn't add online leaderboards, a surprising omission that could've given Under Cover a more competitive edge.

Comfort

Under Cover moves you across on-rails stages through automatic teleportation movement. Standing mode requires you to physically crouch to reload, while seated mode lets you do this by pressing A or X. Otherwise, you can turn off flashes in the user interface alongside setting comfort vignettes to off, low, or high.

Under Cover screenshot

The bigger missing piece here is that once Under Cover's story is complete, that's it. There are no difficulty settings for a harder challenge, no gameplay modifiers like removing the aim from your gun, and the campaign takes roughly 3-4 hours to complete. Replaying previous missions only goes so far, and though the stages aren't exactly bite-sized, they're short enough for quick pick-up-and-play sessions.

Under Cover Review - Final Thoughts

Under Cover is an entertaining VR FPS that lacks staying power due to its limited content. Repetitive bosses, the lack of online leaderboards and no additional modes leave it feeling bare, though there's plenty to like thanks to a nice retro presentation, satisfying gunplay and enjoyable campaign. If you're itching for more Time Crisis-inspired VR shooters and you've already played Crisis Brigade 2, Under Cover pays homage to 90s lightgun shooters well and feels like walking into a PS1-era game. Just don't expect to be here for long.


UploadVR uses a 5-Star rating system for our game reviews – you can read a breakdown of each star rating in our review guidelines.

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