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Review: Naked Sun (PC)By Chris125 At 02.08.2018 19:20

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Sometimes, when it comes to VR, less is truly more. When physicality is introduced into gaming it tends to negate the need to have a slog through chunks of narration and exposition; the best approach being simply to get stuck into the action. Naked Sun certainly seizes this approach and the jump into the campaign is an immediate launch into a slow moving futuristic train (more reminiscent of some roller-coaster ride) through a dusty desert into a shining, minimalist and bright sci-fi city. Of course, as the story sets up, all is not well in this world and straight away the player faces legions of faceless machines intent on destroying at all costs.

To say the plot is not memorable would be an understatement. The boasted length of "1.5 to 2 hours" of story does nothing to build a world that could have anyone giving the slightest care about its fate; nor are there any NPC characters to latch onto. However, it is slightly unfair to use this factor to beat Naked Su with too much. After all, in the VR space, the more important factor is how it plays. In this regard, it is much more pleasing. The simple approach to gameplay means that there is not an overbearing arsenal of weapons and buttons to utilise. Rather, there are two simple pistols with various upgrades available, great tracking movement, and great aiming. There is also a shield and a kind of laser cannon to mix things up a little.

Enemies to shoot are abundant; however, even on the hardest difficulty it feels a little too easy and some may be disappointed by the real lack of challenge. Additionally, within the story mode, while there are some set piece moments to attempt to break up the same style, they are few and far between and lacking in scope or imagination.

Graphically Naked Sun does impress with a lot of bright and colourful locales in a sci-fi setting. However, it mixes things up well by travelling between indoor and outdoor sections, all the while maintaining an imaginative aesthetic. In additional, the sound effects are good quality with a satisfying thump to well-placed gunshots and a comforting click when reloading. The whoosh of large ships flying by and enemy robots really enhance the action.

Despite the warning to the contrary, it is possible that some people may still experience some motion sickness, which is disappointing. It ultimately depends on the individual, however, on more than one occasion the movement of the train the player is positioned on is jarring, with the fact that the brain is aware it is not moving. It's annoying but one of those things that can happen in VR.

Once the story is completed, really there is no incentive to return to it. Thankfully, there is an additional mode, which is arcade. This is where most people may get their money's worth from Naked Sun. The simple and effective shooting mechanics, mixed with a scoring system that rewards good kills and grants multipliers, means that it transforms into the kind of pick-up and play experience that works so well in virtual reality.

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Final Score
Ultimately, [i]Naked Sun[/i] is a good first VR effort by a small team. There is definitely a lot of potential here and a base to build on for future titles. Where it slips is simply a lack of content and imagination on the narrative front, with a lot of stereotypes employed within the setting. However, the gameplay fundamentals here are solid, with a fine shooting system and some impressive graphics. A bit more scale in terms of expanding from simply a linear on rails with only 180 degrees of movement stops [i]Naked Sun[/i] from really excelling over some of the competition which have done this genre a bit better.

6

/10

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