Front Defense is a war game that is based on the second world war. This game is full of flying bullets, attacking enemies, and the occasional grenade that is going to ruin your entire plan. This game is as close as you can get to a second world war simulation inside of VR, so getting immersed in this game, especially if you love the history of war, should not be a problem.
From the mechanics of reloading an old gun to the way your solider is going to travel across the land, we are going to cover this game head to toe. First-person shooters are one of the most popular types of games in virtual reality, but most of them are based in the future. Rarely you are going to find a virtual reality game take you all the way back to the mid-1900’s, but in this game from Fantahorn Studios and Vive Studios, you will take a jump back in time.
Getting Up and Running
This game is much bigger than the average VR game, especially for the price of $9.99. Coming in at 12 GB, this is going to be a painful game to download if you aren’t connected to a solid internet connection. It could possibly take up to two hours for this game to download if you are slow. If you are connected to crazy quick internet, then this is still going to take about 15 minutes at least to download. There isn’t much to do here except for wait.
The game is only available on the Steam Store for purchase, as it never made an appearance on the Oculus store or even the PlayStation virtual reality stores. The price was originally $20 on the Steam store, but the lack of sales and time have brought this game to an all-time low of $5 for the entire month of October. With that being said, it is likely to go back to $10 after the holiday.
Type of Game
This is a first-person shooter than is interactive and in-depth when it comes to the weaponry. The game isn’t the same as many other first-person shooters, but it is very similar to gallery shooing game, as there isn’t much movement inside of the levels. You are going to be stationary for your entire game too, so you wouldn’t be able to categorize this game as a strategy or even an experience like you would hope for from a WW2 game.
This game gives you a wide variety of weapons to use, but you lose the ability to be in a real war because of it. You are going to be in an unnamed European town, but you will get the sense that it is a WW2 experience. There aren’t any different game modes here, as your main goal is to shoot the oncoming enemies in what feels like an often repeated pattern.
This game is taking place in the first-person, but its an odd mix of what you are going to see. You will see your hands attached to the weapon of your choice, but you won’t see your chest and arms. Look a little further and you will see your utility belt and your backpack, and often times your shoes. This makes you feel invisible often, although you still are going to take fire as if you are a full body.
Theme and Story – Score: 7/10
As many know, the second world war is the most popular war of all time. Not only did most countries participate, but there are millions of documents, books, and pages of information out there. So we ask the question… how hard would it be to put some realism into this story? The theme of the game is strong and prominent, but it often felt like we were being left on a ledge with a story, and only inching further away when we were hoping to get even closer. The story was already written for the developers, all they had to do was included. A missed opportunity here.
Controls – Score: 8/10
The controls in this game were brilliantly done. Although the game itself doesn’t feel complete at times, the controls were the best part. The trigger was responsible for both firing the weapon and picking another one up. This lets our minds focus on the game itself and defeating the enemy rather than trying to remember which input button on the controller did what. Even on the newest Valve Index controllers, this game performed well. Rarely you would see the game glitch out with the controls, but it wasn’t anything so bad that you couldn’t continue to pretend you were a solider inside of virtual reality.
Music and Sound – Score: 8/10
Putting war sounds in a game may seem like a daunting task, but the developers performed perfectly here. They added enough to where we weren’t ever caught up on one sound. Even if there were repeating sounds throughout this game, we didn’t find them. There was enough to keep us entertained in the game, and they did good enough with what they had to get this game a very high score for the music and sound.
Player Movement – Score: 6/10
Not only is this game already limiting you by only being playable from a standing or sitting position, but there is no way to move inside of the game either. If you are going to create a game that doesn’t have any movement inside of it, there needs to be some type of way you can interact with objects that are out of reach. Whether it be your hand that floats to the object you need or it simply floats to you, there needs to be a mechanism in place to make this possible.
Kinetosis – Score: 9/10
Front Defense VR didn’t have any player movement. Like we said above, this game doesn’t incorporate any type of movement. Even when you are standing still, this game doesn’t let you move. This makes for a motion sickness experience that you will soon forget. When you rip your headset off after a long time in this game, you won’t even remember if you felt sick or not. You are going to be very satisfied with this section of the game.
Environment and Immersion – Score: 8/10
The environment in this game was not like most. The majority of virtual reality games are trying to show you what the future is going to be like, oftentimes not succeeding because of the lack of context. This game was set up from the start for a good experience. The setting has already been made in real life, and the immersion was taken care of in large part of the sounds and the realism of the weapons. If you are looking for a fun game to get lost in, this is the one. If you are looking to learn what it is like to have PTSD from WW2, this game will lack the realism you are looking for.
Overall – Score: 7.6/10
The overall score here is high, even though this is an older title and one that many aren’t too fond of with better titles out there. They nailed down the basics to make a virtual reality game feel fun, and they did with above-average success. This game is only $5 right now, and we truly believe it is worth your money. It is also a part of the Viveport Infinity subscription, so go download there if you have the chance.