Lethal VR PC Review
Virtual Reality can transform even the most basic or sometimes monotonous tasks into exciting challenges by stripping out the mundane. Lethal VR shows us that weapons such as guns are one of the best examples as not only are they illegal (here in the UK anyway) but guns are also expensive, heavy, require a lot of safety precautions, and bullets being manually loaded into magazines etc. Setting up targets can be more annoying and even then there are only a few at a time, facing straight ahead; no movement or quickdraw options. VR can take the very essence of ‘target practice’ and push it to the extreme. Targets that appear 360º around the player in all directions and angles, moving targets, hostage situations, and much more – infinitely more. So when that outlook is used on a concept that is already thrilling it becomes something else entirely. This is partly why there are just so many shooting games in VR. The other part being that guns do exist and we’ve all probably held one, whether it be real or shoots water, so holding one feels completely natural. That feeling of familiarity juxtaposed with the impossible is when VR is at its best.
Lethal VR, though, does it better than most. The loud bang of the gun and perfect haptic feedback in the form of controller vibration work together to make something realistic. The first time I fired a shot I scared myself a little – other games usually muffle the sound for comfort but Lethal VR wants you to know what you’re holding is the real deal. Starting out in a large metal room with just a pistol to navigate the menus, the only option is to jump into the ‘Beginner’ section and start with the ‘Quick Draw’ challenge. The player must lower the weapon at their side, look ahead aaaaaand draw! 6 targets all lined up in the shape of human busts, each with red ‘critical’ zones at the centre of their head and chest. The goal – knock them all down as fast as possible, taking into consideration double taps offer more points but the gun only holds 9 bullets before needing a reload, which will axe the time score. Complete it successfully and the next challenge becomes available. After this happened to me I immediately it rejected so I could go back and do better. I did that a few times before receiving the best grade possible – Lethal.
That’s how just about every challenge went. I simply refused to move on until I had mastered it and therein lies the heft of the game as there are but 5 ranked sections from ‘Beginner’ to ‘Agent’, each with 6 challenges (not including the special final one). Accuracy, draw time, completion time, and headshot/bullseye streaks etc are all taken into consideration for the final score and whilst some stages seem overly easy to achieve a top rating on others take some practice. And although ‘practice’ can sometimes sound like work that is certainly not the case here. Every challenge just sucks you in with a unique twist on the standard. One of my favourites is the ‘Killing House’ which pits you in a room full of oddly shaped windows as targets move around outside. It uses room-scale heavily as the player is forced to move around in order to see the targets on all sides and at varying angles. It’s something that is simply unreasonable in real life but simultaneously makes for great target practice.
The change up of weapons also helps to keep the excitement and difficulty alive as the player must successfully handle pistols, SMGs, dual-wielding, knife throwing, the ‘golden gun’, and more. There is no choice, which forces the player to become better in all aspects, especially with knife throwing because I doubt anyone starts off being able to do that accurately. Though steadily, over time, it’s easy to notice your skills increasing until you finally start pulling off those double, even triple bullseye shots and damn is it satisfying. The one thing missing is online leaderboards so I can brag to the world about my across-the-board Lethal rating. I want to know how well I’m doing overall, compared to the best, but hopefully that will come with a future update. Until then I’ll be continuing to reel in unpracticed friends and family in order to mock them as they take a shot at my scores.
In all, Lethal VR isn’t an experience that will change your life like some VR games claim to do but it’s so easy to get lost in as it blurs the lines of reality, whilst being extremely entertaining. Having such simple core mechanics doesn’t mean it doesn’t use VR to its fullest and after starting out the first few challenges in a basic arena, only to move on and have the whole room open up around you leaving you on a singular, floating platform as targets descend into place looks incredible. It’s always walking that line between reality and impossibility. Mix that in with controls so obvious anybody can jump in and it’s easy to see what makes it a perfect ‘starter’ VR game. It’s certainly on my list of games to show to first-timers and I can only hope there will be a steady stream of DLC challenges to come. Releasing at a very honest price, I’d say Lethal VR is a must have and will be recommending it strongly.