The Last Taxi Review – Leaving The Meter Running

The Last Taxi has an intriguing idea at its heart but, ultimately, you should keep the meter running. Here’s our The Last Taxi review.

Since the launch of Papers, Please in 2013 brought the concept of the darkly satirical simulation game to everyone’s consciousness, there has been a steady rise in the number of games experimenting with the concept. Developer ZenFri is the latest to attempt a VR spin on the idea, with The Last Taxi. 

The player takes the role of the only human taxi driver in a dark, dystopian mega city where widespread robot automation has left the remaining humans scrabbling to make ends meet. The player character buys a modified flying taxi from the slightly shady Buck, who also serves as a tutorial provider, informing the player of the various functions of the cab you are now responsible for. Buck also acts as our first fare, presenting the first chance to get to grips with the mechanics and learn the basics of how to make the customer happy. 

Sadly, the disappointments begin straight away. The cab drives itself down a pre-determined route for each fare. The player only needs to operate functions such as the windscreen wipers and horn, and most importantly respond correctly to your customer’s conversation, with the best responses bumping up your star rating and thus earning you more money. You can also choose to record any conversation that appears to contain evidence of illegal activity and dob them in to the police for a nice monetary reward. 

Clearly, this isn’t Crazy Taxi and, in fairness, it isn’t meant to be. But it’s strange to be put in the driver’s seat of a vehicle and not have at least some control over its direction. Even measuring subtle changes in driving patterns to affect your overall rating would have given The Last Taxi’s gameplay a bit more substance.

One underutilized mechanic is the power systems for the various cab gadgets and the mods you can acquire as you play. These are powered by your blood, using a vial which is inserted into the back of your hand. Extra vials cost money and you’d think that overuse of this unique power system would have some tangible effect on your well-being; perhaps a visual effect to show the player character getting woozy from blood loss. But nope – being forced into buying extra vials is the only downside. 

The world itself seems interesting; a highly stratified cyberpunk society with sharp divisions between the haves and the have-nots. There’s plenty of lore available, not just in the cab conversations but also in the various digital newspaper articles you can peruse when you have the time. It’s just a shame that this isn’t explored in more depth, or properly integrated into the gameplay. There are various moral dilemmas, but the only consequences seem to be with regards to your bank balance, which makes you feel oddly distanced and unaffected, even by some of the more heart-wrenching stories that pass into the backseat of your taxi.

The Last Taxi Review 2

There are no subtitles, so the only way to know what your customers are saying is to listen carefully, which presents some accessibility problems. The cab ‘console’ can be adjusted with in game, but even though it seems logical for a taxi driving simulator to be played sitting, actually sitting down makes it hard to properly see the cab monitors, no matter how you adjust the console. 

This highlights one particular concern with The Last Taxi – why did it need to be in VR? The game doesn’t seem to benefit from the additional immersion of the VR setup. Interacting with the cab gadgets is often fiddly, and the environment is only glimpsed through the narrow aperture of your taxi windows. Its difficult to determine what the VR aspect provides that a similar ‘flat’ game would not. 

The Last Taxi at least has a competently put-together world. The art style and animation is stylised and reasonably pleasing to look at, despite occasional lip-sync issues. Though the anti-aliasing on the borders needs to be tweaked, as the way everything fuzzes at the edges, which is very distracting. The general aesthetic seems to be going for 70s/80s throwback cyberpunk, as seen with tutorial character and his hideous knitted tank top or the dark mega city environments drenched in pollution only occasionally lit by flashes of neon. 

The music is oddly unfitting. The soundtrack veers towards melancholy piano tracks, which are fine for some of the sad stories expressed by your customers, but otherwise doesn’t fit the general feel of the world at all. The developers would have been better off taking a leaf from Bladerunner’s book and going for a Vangelis-inspired electronic/synth soundtrack. 

The sound design otherwise is fine, with the various cab functions providing reasonably satisfying clicks, beeps and other sounds. The voice acting is very good, which is just as well, since these conversations provide the majority of gameplay and interaction. Characters like the robot maid have an electronic modulation to make them sound appropriately artificial, while still retaining a significant degree of personality. 

One problem with The Last Taxi is in regards to its loading times and stability. It can take well over five minutes to load, and will sometimes crash on start-up. There are other stability problems within the game itself, making for a frustrating experience and speaking of a need for further optimisation.

The Last Taxi Review – Final Impressions

The central premise of The Last Taxi is an interesting and solid one, and the world created around it has some potential, but it lacks the high stakes and desperation of Papers, Please, not to mention potential for any driving mechanics. Instead, the player engages with a competently made Uber driver simulator, trying to juggle your bank balance and say the correct soothing words to your customer to make them give you a high rating. The result is uncomfortably close to real life for those who have ever worked in any customer service role. 

The Last Taxi had such potential to create an interesting, interactive universe, but ultimately fails to properly capitalize on its premise. The game lacks depth, and its half-hearted attempts at political satire fall flat in an experience that lacks significant impact.

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NexiGo Meta Quest 2 Accessories Review: Headset Strap, Charging Stand

Lots of people use brands like VR Cover and Kiwi Designs when it comes to the best Oculus Quest 2 and Meta Quest 2 accessories, but NexiGo is a brand with some very promising products of its own.

Much of what this US brand makes is comparable to others. There’s a travel case, controller grips and even pistol-shaped controller add-ons for shooters. But some of the company’s other products actually stand apart from its competitors in some interesting ways. Each of the following products can be found on the official NexiGo store.

NexiGo Quest 2 Accessories Reviews

NexiGo S30 Headset Strap For Quest 2 Review

NexiGo S30 Headstrap Strap Quest 2 review

We’ve seen a lot of head straps for Quest 2. The base strap is fine for short sessions, but if you’re playing for anything longer than 15 minutes you probably want to invest in a more comfortable, convieniant alternative. Meta has its own Elite Straps that are clean and comfortable (though some are clearly prone to snapping), and Kiwi Designs has a very cozy alternative too. But NexiGo’s S30 Headset Strap is quite unlike other designs. It’s got two-point adjustment on circular hinges, one at the side of the Quest 2 itself and one right in the middle of its halo ring design.

This means you can not only adjust the angle at which the Quest 2 rests on your face but also where the back strap clamps to the back of your head. With enough tweaking, you can find a fit for the S30 that’s perfect for your head. I’ve found this to be easily one of the most comfortable and versatile options for Quest 2 thanks to the padded halo strap and added top strap. It even has more padded braces at the top to help you get it in the right position.

Not only that, but the two-point adjustment enables something I’ve forever longed for with Quest 2 – the ability to flip it up. Whilst you’re not really able to lift the device clean out of view, I can quickly push it upwards to get a quick view of the real world – perfect for grabbing a snack, checking my phone or typing on my keyboard. I honestly love this feature and will be keeping the S30 on my Quest 2 after this review for the foreseeable future.

Having said all that, all these options do mean you lose some of the simplicity of other head straps. The S30 does have an easy to use dial at the back for quickly fitting the device to the top of your head, but adjusting the hinges to get a great fit will take time. Even if you’re the only one using the device, I’ve found myself having to do a few minutes of adjustment each time I’ve put it on.

At $40, though, I’m more than happy to put up with the extra work for the added comfort and flip feature. That’s $10 less than both Meta and Kiwi Design’s basic alternatives, so anyone that spends a long time in their Quest 2 should seriously consider the S30.

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NexiGo S20 Enhanced Headset and Controller Charging Stand Review

NexiGo S20 Headset and Controller Charging Stand Review

Charging stands are a great way to combat the relatively short battery life of the Quest 2 itself, not to mention the controllers (though the Touch’s battery life on a single AA battery each is exceptional). For NexiGo’s part, the S20 is a solid option with some great features if you don’t mind the steep $90 price.

The stand itself puts the Quest 2 on a plastic pedestal with an optional insert to hold basically any Elite Strap-style setup (you can buy the stand without this insert for $80). A detachable magnetic USB-C cable allows you to quickly set the headset down and link up the wire and connector. That said it’s a little tough to actually remove the small USB-C part from the Quest 2 once it’s in.

The controllers, meanwhile, get two rechargeable AA batteries and a new battery cover that can then sit in their corresponding slots. Orange and blue lights indicate when the devices are charging and when they’re full and reflect off of the plastic stand, making it easy to tell from a glance.

As for the controller battery life itself, it’s hard to say other than that, by the time I’d run the Quest 2 headset battery from full to flat, they were still near full charge. Given you should then be placing them back to charge with the headset itself, it’s difficult to see this ever being a problem.

When it comes to issues, I do wish the USB-A port to power the device had been located to the side of the kit rather than the back, as I like to unplug the device over long sessions rather than needlessly using power. It’s a bit of a hassle to get around the back, though by no means a massive problem. Still, this doesn’t detract from the kit’s major upsides, and I’d say this is an easy recommendation if the $90 price tag doesn’t bother you too much.

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Mothergunship: Forge Review – Riduclous, Riotously Fun Roguelite

Mothergunship: Forge isn’t a roguelite revelation, but its central hook makes for an outrageous amount of fun. Here’s our full Mothergunship: Forge review.

I named him Goliath and I loved him. He was fitted with a chaingun at the front that ripped apart any that dared stand in his way. He was powered by chain lightning that bounced between enemies on contact and acid mines that polluted the air over time. Sitting at two 45-degree angles to either side were a devastating — and largely impractical — blaster and shotgun respectively. With a simple squeeze of a trigger, hell was let loose. He made health bars vanish within seconds.

For a time, it was perfect. Movie love, even. And then I died, condemning my creation to the archives. The loss extracted a heavy toll.

Such is the loop of Mothergunship: Forge, a game about building increasingly ridiculous weaponry over the course of a run of its roguelite dungeon, getting as far as you can and then starting all over again. It’s a wave shooter that helps rejuvenate a genre I’d long thought redundant.

This being a roguelite, you’ll be familiar with the core structure. You move between randomized rooms, unable to progress until you’ve defeated every opponent in the given area. At the end of each encounter you’ll be given a reward, be it money, upgrades, or new weapon parts, and then choose which door to walk through based on the next reward they offer. Make it far enough and you’ll meet bosses that block the way to new, harder areas with three levels in total.

Mothergunship: Forge Review The Facts

Platforms: Quest, PC VR via Steam
Release Date: Out Now
Developer: Terrible Posture Games
Price: $19.99

It’s also a bit of a bullet hell game. Your head is the only area that can take damage, so you simply need to lean and duck out of the way of incoming fire, though that’s often easier said than done (there is a smooth locomotion option within a small area too, for those that want/need it). Die and it’s all the way back to the start, though grabbing purple crystals (which the game makes a point of not properly naming) will contribute to optional starting upgrades like more health or ammo.

None of this is especially new and, in fairness, anyone that’s tired of VR roguelites like Until You Fall, In Death, and Sweet Surrender likely won’t be won over by this formulaic setup. But it’s the game’s unique approach to weapon customization that really sets Forge apart.

Alongside weapon powerups and money, you can also get new gun parts between battles. This includes connectors that let you snap one port to either of your wrists, giving you access to yet more ports. To these, you can attach different weapon types; single-shot rail guns, grenade launchers, standard blasters, or even a pizza box that fires out razor-sharp slices. You can also take up slots with run-altering upgrades like increasing health, or even just add more connectors to provide more ports at different angles.

Developer Terrible Posture Games already spent time perfecting this mechanic with the original Mothergunship for PC and consoles, but it really comes to life in VR. Snapping parts together is both a mad science and utterly seamless, taking moments to reorganize. You could have a gun that provides a consistent barrage of bullets at the front, but covers other angles with rocket and grenade launchers. Or gather a swarm of shotguns that spread over a huge area. You can even slap together shields to become an impenetrable fortress. And, because this is in VR, you can utilize whichever side of the gun you want with just a twist of your wrist.

Mothergunship Forge Screenshot 2

I find it hard to overstate just how fond I am of this system and the way it enticed me to keep playing to see whatever insane inventions I could bash together next. There’s an endless amount of combinations, especially when you consider you can build out weapons on both arms.

If there’s anything to fault in the approach it’s that I wish Terrible Posture Games had gone further with it. The vast majority of builds will let you assemble straight-forward weapons and it’s a shame you’re not forced to be more dynamic and adaptable; limited ammo could have meant suddenly switching arm directions in the middle of combat and weirdly-shaped connectors would have been great for piecing together Frankenstein firearms.

There are also some hiccups when it comes to enemy design and placements. Forge has a good variety of enemies to deal with that have you juggling your priorities, but some are a little overpowered or simply broken. There’s a health bot that recharges enemies in a flash but, if another spawns in the same room, you basically can’t kill them with anything but the most destructive build. There’s also shield generators that can protect others and, if they shield an enemy sitting in front of the unit, you won’t be able to take it down with anything like the speed required to survive.

But every death in Forge is simply an opportunity to start anew, and the game ticks that boxes of giving you enough permanent rewards between runs to keep you coming back. That includes new starting upgrades, extra weapon parts, and even different modes like easier and harder difficulties as well as challenge-based runs and much more. Granted it’s as much padding as any roguelite has, but it pulls it off as well as you could expect.

And all of that’s without even mentioning the game’s co-op mode, though it’s admittedly not a starring role. It’s fun to tackle the gun-building together but the game doesn’t really feel designed for two players, and more like this mode was included to tick a box.

Mothergunship: Forge Review – Final Impressions

Structurally, Mothergunship: Forge is a familiar VR game in an oversaturated genre. But its central feature that lets you endlessly customize a massive arsenal of weapons is so well realized that you can easily brush off any sense of deja vu. Bringing that original hook from the flatscreen game to VR completely revolutionizes how the mechanic works, and you’ll find yourself coming back for runs time and again not just to progress further in the game but simply to see what weapon of unparalleled destruction you can whip up next. Much of Mothergunship: Forge is a tried and true VR shooter, but when you bolt-on that extra grenade launcher and power it up with a fleet of lava mines, what’s old is new again.

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Review: Barn Finders VR

Playing Barn Finders VR feels a bit like one of those reality TV shows you watch when there’s nothing else on, or you’re stuck at home ill, with only daytime TV to get you through. There’s a sense of being watched by cameras as you pick through old barns looking for value, or bidding on a storage unit which contains a valuable item. Half the time I was playing I wanted to look directly into a camera lens and raise my eyebrows at the audacity of those trying to outbid me.

The Barn Finders, that’s the player and their redneck relation, operate a store which seems to sell bits and pieces pulled out of random barns. At first, the store is barren; every shelf holds only dust, floor displays are broken wooden pallets. Utilising the store’s handy (and ancient) computer, customers will get in contact asking the Barn Finders to search a property for a particular item – we can keep everything else we find and sell it in-store.

I went out to the first barn looking for a taxidermy deer. I seemingly had superhuman strength as I could pick up huge wooden crates, vehicle tires and myriad large knick-knacks. At first, I wasn’t sure what I was looking for. At one point I picked up a taxidermy… I think it was an otter (it was bad taxidermy) and when I placed it down a countdown timer appeared with no other prompts. Eventually, I worked out that when the timer hit zero, I had to pick up the item again which would package it into the truck out back.

Using the controllers I pointed at cans, bottles, and random rubbish which could be recycled with the press of a button. Now I knew what the timer meant I began picking up everything to see if it could be collected. Eventually, I found the deer we’d come for, threw it into the truck and headed back to the shop.

Around the store are areas designated for cleaning items or repairing them. Of course, these took cash to unlock, so I began placing the items I found in the store. The shelves still looked bare, so I chose to bid on a storage unit next. After driving out, and watching one of the many bizarre cutscenes which feel as if pulled from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, it was time to bid. Of course, I won the unit, bidding seemed a bit pointless as I assume clearing the unit is part of the campaign.

I repeated everything from the barn, this time finding more mechanical parts and an entire truck which could be sold in the yard of the store. I was quietly enjoying the concept of the game, it’s not going to win any awards, but there was something oddly relaxing and satisfying about roaming these cavernous spaces looking for potential treasures.

Also oddly pleasing is the shopping experience offered to the customers back at the store. Patrons enter and stand by the item they want, sparking a conversation, which leads to some haggling over prices. Using a slightly wonky UI, you can hold out for a better price, refuse the sale or let the item go for the offered amount. 

Frustratingly, a moving bar must be stopped in the right zone to trigger a successful haggling attempt and the motion controls just aren’t good enough. In fact, anytime I had to ‘physically’ press a button it took a few attempts. Several times I sold an item for lower than I wanted because the sensitivity is skewed.

Otherwise, I was enjoying my time in this faux TV entertainment. The attention to detail in the environments and items is quirky and the developers have committed to the redneck family stylings in a wonderfully ironic way. The idea of rooting through these spaces is always appealing, but like many similar games (House Flipper I’m looking at you) it’s enjoyable but gets repetitive quite quickly.

There are odd driving forces aside from the core concept – the store can be upgraded visually, there are comic book pages to discover and hidden items which require revisiting areas and exploring again. Your mileage will vary depending on your patience.

It’s hard to say whether VR really offers anything to the concept here. There weren’t really any moments where I marvelled at something I was manipulating in virtual reality; the whole experience could be played with mouse and keyboard and affect nothing within the game. While that’s not a major detraction, it would be nice to have some features that justify the need for VR.

Green Hell VR PC Review: A Brilliant, Brutal VR Survival Game

Green Hell VR on PC offers a much more authentic and demanding experience than the Quest edition, though that won’t necessarily make it better for everyone. Read on for our Green Hell VR PC review!

You know that Green Hell VR is getting something right when I say it’s a really frustrating game. It turns out that getting lost in the jungle, shrouded by endless vegetation, covered in leeches and dying of thirst is no walk in the park. Your mileage with Incuvo’s mostly excellent port of the Creepy Jar flatscreen game is going to depend on how much you enjoy that punishment.

But first, let’s recap the rather unique situation with Green Hell VR. This is actually the second edition of the game to be ported to headsets from Incuvo. The other, Green Hell for Quest, released earlier this year and presented a stripped-back edition designed specifically for the standalone headset. It was a logical move that made for a much more accessible and welcoming game ideally suited to the platform.

Green Hell VR on PC, meanwhile, is near enough the full-fat experience; a one-to-one conversion of the original game with the full map, story and set of items to craft. The only thing that’s missing is co-op support, though this is set to arrive in a future update.

Green Hell VR PC Review The Facts

Platforms: PC VR via Steam
Release Date: Out Now
Developer: Incuvo
Price: $24.99

Without question, this is the more demanding of the two ports. Green Hell VR on PC has more threats to confront and the larger world makes it far easier to end up walking in circles. It’s much more common to spend long gameplay sessions feeling like you’re not really getting anywhere as you wonder where you’re meant to go next and scavenge for scarce sources of water and food that won’t poison you.

But this, in fairness, is the original Green Hell experience, and anyone disappointed with the streamlined Quest version will be happy with just how closely this edition of the game matches the flatscreen one. If you give Green Hell VR on PC the time and dedication needed to master its overwhelming systems you’ll be richly rewarded.

Green Hell VR

The basics of any survival game apply here. Stranded in the rainforest, you’ll need to search for food and water to appease ever-depreciating meters, build initially simple structures that allow you to safely cook and sleep, and explore more of your surroundings, defending yourself from various threats. But Green Hell isn’t just about surviving for as long as possible – there’s a full story here that sees you search for a means of escape and anyone that doesn’t go for the more generic, last man standing survival approach will appreciate this option (and, for the latter camp, there’s a standard survival mode too).

Judged on the pacing and complexity of its systems alone, Green Hell was already a success. Creepy Jar nailed the survival loop the first time around, and the same grueling sense of reward you garnered from gradually discovering new crafting recipes and expanding out a comprehensive list of threats and remedies is alive and well here. It’s also a meaty game with well over 10 hours for the main campaign.

When it comes to the VR integration a series of smart UI choices, physical interactions and that touch of immersive magic really help lift the game. Green Hell VR correctly borrows features from other VR games, like The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners’ body-based inventory and backpack system, combined with just a dash of the weighty handling of Boneworks. Axes need to be swung with force to chop trees, for example, and spears can be hurled across the jungle with enough power.

The best ideas, though, are the ones that Incuvo’s had itself. You could take the entire rest of the game away and just leave me with a spear to fish in rivers and lakes and I would have told you this was one of the best VR experiences of the year. There’s something utterly hypnotic about patiently standing like a statue as water rushes past your ankles, ready to plunge your spear into an unsuspecting stingray as it nears you. It’s an alive, electrical moment that really gets to the heart of why you should play a survival game in VR, and there’s plenty of similar instances throughout.

Not every element of the VR experience is to the game’s benefit, though. While I appreciate the desire to bring the entire original game into headsets, the port doesn’t seem to acknowledge that traversal on a flatscreen and in VR are two very different things, and trekking through the jungle with a sea of giant leaves and grass obscuring your view is much more tedious here. Combat, too, is hard to get a grasp on and often ends with you mindlessly swiping away at a predator without much sense of if you’re having any effect.

But, when you catch the first sight of the morning mist winding through the bamboo as the rays of sun pierce onto the riverbank, it’s tough not to view Green Hell VR as something of a miracle.

Green Hell VR PC Review – PC vs Quest

The differences between the two versions of Green Hell VR are nothing short of staggering. The Quest version scales back the map, ecosystem and even just the types of structures you can create. Visually the game is far more complex on PC, too. If you want a hardcore, demanding survival experience, then the PC VR version is unquestionably the way to go.

I will say, though, that some of the Quest’s revisions do actually speak to VR better than the PC edition. Crafting, for example, is a much more physical process, requiring you to mash items together and then tie them with rope, or hammer logs into the ground when creating structures. The PC VR version keeps the simple crafting table, which doesn’t feel half as intuitive. I’d also argue that, while the PC edition’s map stays true to the original, the Quest version’s pared-back plant life makes it much more navigable and less tedious to explore.

Ultimately the answer to which version you should buy depends on what you want out of a VR game. If you want a deep gameplay experience akin to a flatscreen game with smart VR controls, PC is the way to go. But if you want something that’s more thoughtfully designed for VR, less frustrating, arguably more immersive and you don’t mind the difficulty trade-offs, the Quest version is for you.

That is to say the game is gorgeous – diverse and lush in all the ways you’d expect, with its beauty often serving as a lure for dangers lying in wait. This has always been a game of gruesome delights and never has that been more true in VR as you inspect sickly-red blotches lining your legs or wrap bandages around oozing gashes. It’s a technical beast, too, with every tree ready to be cut and item waiting to be picked up. If you’ve been looking for a new VR game that goes beyond the performance possibilities of standalone hardware, this will more than satisfy.

Green Hell VR Gameplay

Having said that, it definitely feels like much more could have been done to help with performance for those that need it. Even on Low graphics settings with a 3070 Ti I’d still get some hitches and slowdown in this version of the game, but it never makes any concessions in terms of the sheer amount of interactive items and vegetation around you. This is fine for those with the rigs to handle it but it would also be great to get a mode that reduces the number of superficial items like leftover bottles and vases that have no actual use. At the very least I’d welcome the ability to remove these from the game world yourself for the sake of performance.

Green Hell VR PC Review – Final Impressions

Green Hell VR is easily one of the most impressive VR conversions we’ve seen and sits alongside the Quest edition as Incuvo’s best work yet. It’s an uncompromising experience that retains the masochistically moreish survival gameplay whilst smartly translating a lot of the original’s core features to VR. If you want the closest translation of Creepy Jar’s brutal experience in VR, this is the way to go.

But adhering so closely to the original doesn’t necessarily make the PC VR version of the game superior to the Quest edition. Dense jungles might be easy to trek through on a flatscreen, but it’s far more tedious in VR, and some of the concessions Quest makes in this regard ultimately suit the platform better. The great news is that, whether you want a deep, demanding survival game with complex systems, or a more welcoming conversion that’s more considerate of VR design, there’s a version of Green Hell VR for you.

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Review: Mothergunship: Forge

They say that variety is the spice of life and videogames epitomise this with their almost endless customisation options; if they have the of course. Being able to chop and change equipment, tools, and clothing, nay your entire loadout and inventory can mean spending hours fine-tuning everything before you’ve even started a mission. Doing away with all that faff whilst staying true to the joy of perfecting an absolute beast of a gun is Mothergunship: Forge, a roguelite shooter that has the spirit of Doom and the versatility of Inspector Gadget.

Mothergunship: Forge

Mothergunship might be a familiar name to those of you who love a good roguelite as the title originally arrived as a PC and console videogame a few years back. Now it’s had a virtual reality (VR) makeover, keeping all the ludicrous gun options whilst adding all the physical interaction you’d expect in VR. That means no menus to swap components, simply grab them and move them almost however you please.   

You’re fighting a bunch of aliens and their mechanised creations because, you know, nothing makes for a good shooter than an attack on Earth by some nasty extra-terrestrials. Standard sci-fi narrative aside, whilst there are several characters to give a bit of life to the whole experience with some mildly humorous dialogue, uncovering some deeper plot isn’t what you’re here for. So don’t expect a deeply rich adventure because there really isn’t any.

Mothergunship: Forge centres on its single-player modes, running through each one trying to collect as many upgrades and useful items along the way. That being said, there is a co-op multiplayer mode where a mate can join in the frenzy but with that mode unavailable prior to launch this review is based entirely on the solo modes. Of which there is a selection. Starting with the catchy titled Main Mode, you can unlock Recruit Mode, Nightmare Mode, Challenge Mode, Megaship Mode and Ironman Mode by fully completing previous ones, adding a nice replay factor to the experience.


What we’re all really here for though are the guns, or more specifically what you can build with the components that become available to you. The variety on offer is such that it’s easier to say the combinations are almost limitless, as each run you’ll never make the same loadout twice. To begin with, you’re given a couple of components, usually a weapon part and a connector. These connectors are crucial to each build as they’ll only have one way to attach to your arm cannon yet 1, 2, or 3 additional sockets to build upon. These can face forward – great for weapons – or upwards and left or right, all of which make for ideal placement of ammo upgrades or other perks.

Make each of your guns taller, wider, and shoot a range of projectiles with different ammo types like chain lightning or poison. Pop on a Railgun, shotgun, machine gun, or pizza slicer, each hand can have an entirely different setup to mix and match your strategy. Or you can recombine the parts in between levels should the loadout need a slight tweak.    

Half the fun is seeing what you can build but there’s also plenty of strategy involved if you want to make it through to the end. Like any roguelite, all the levels are procedurally generated, with the waved-based gameplay throwing dozens of enemies at you in each room. Afterwards Mothergunship: Forge gives you 1-3 random doors to choose from, these can be anything from health and armour to the shop and, of course, gun parts. Keep choosing gun parts and you’ll build an awesome setup yet you might not have enough health to survive a boss encounter. Most of these are lost upon death, with only the purple crystals remaining. These unlock new items to choose from during your next run, making them the most valuable items to select when they become available.

The boss fights are where Mothergunship: Forge shines, there big, brash and the kind of old-school battles that arcade games were so well known for. There were times during the normal levels when the enemy repetition and lack of diversity did become noticeable, especially where the attack patterns were concerned. This is made slightly worse due to the lack of freedom you have, unlike the original Mothergunship in the VR version you’re fixed to a particular roomscale supported area, so there’s no environment exploration.

On the plus side, this does make for a very comfortable experience. You can smoothly walk around the area to dodge projectiles or physically duck and move, making for an energetic experience. Developer Terrible Posture Games has also ensured that Mothergunship: Forge is accessible to all players by including a seated mode, this adjusts enemy’s attacks to suit seated play. This option isn’t available in the multiplayer mode, however.

Mothergunship: Forge is a classic wave shooter just like Blasters of the Universe, taking the ability to swap out weapon components to a whole new level. The variance in parts is almost like stepping into a Lego store to build your ideal model. Get far enough and the guns can get ridiculous, filling the screen with components. Then again, that’s kind of the point. It would’ve been nice to have a sandbox gallery to experiment in, even so, the variety of gameplay modes keeps the gameplay entertaining. Just don’t go in expecting a slick, tactical shooter, Mothergunship: Forge is 100% an absurdly frantic FPS.