Vibrant, violent, and riddled with varmints, Dick Wilde brings wave-based survival shooting to PlayStation VR, his extermination business having previously taken him to Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Terrorised by an infestation of crocs, piranhas, giant bugs, and other beasties, our titular marksman marches into the lagoon, weapon in hand.
Split across a handful of stages and environments, it’s a very basic setup Bolvërk Games has going. You select a level, select a weapon, and see how long you can hold out against increasingly tougher hordes of enemies.
Each locale has an open body of water that targets will either fly or swim across to reach your rickety little platform. Naturally, your goal is to hit them with everything you’ve got, surviving as many rounds as you can.
The shooting feels precise, though ultimately varies depending on range and which of the game’s weapons you have equipped. Obviously the shotgun packs a punch up close, but the revolver and rifle fare better when picking pests off from afar.
There are two control methods when playing Dick Wilde on PSVR. Hunters can either opt for PlayStation Move or, if they’re feeling proper high tech, an Aim Controller – Sony’s DualShock 4 is off the table. As in Farpoint, the Aim has an actual gun-like feel to it, the PlayStation Eye tracking its movement one-to-one. Looking down the sights and lining up shots is by far the most engaging way to experience Dick Wilde.
There are certain advantages to using the Move instead, however. By doubling up with a pair of motion controllers, you get the power to dual wield. Being able to cover two areas at once with single-handed weapons is a boon few players will pass up on. Those wanting to using Dick Wilde’s bow will also find this option unavailable when using the Aim or a single Move controller.
One thing you’ll quickly realise is just how punishing the game can be. Typically, the first couple of waves gently ease you in with the occasional curveball here and there. However, it really isn’t long before a menagerie of enemies swoop in, unloading a barrage of projectiles and leaping attacks at you. You’ll need to act fast and with deadly precision, blasting away as you move your head to avoid screen-obscuring missiles. It’s pretty overwhelming and after a few of hours I still couldn’t get past the tenth wave on even the easiest stages.
It’s a massive shame, as toning down the difficulty would make for a much more enjoyable game. In trying to simply stay alive I always felt constricted, unable to exert any kind of flair or mess around with weapons. PlayStation VR games such as Lethal VR and Fruit Ninja VR are both similarly points focused, but they strike a far better balance between challenge and freedom.
A colourful and silly VR shooting gallery, Dick Wilde is simply let down by being too difficult. Stick with it and, over time, you might start to see some progress. But those players wanting to kick back, throw on their headset, and have a shoot up in virtual reality may want to reconsider.
Version tested: PSVR