Developer: Ivanovich Games
Publisher: Perp Games
Rating: T for Teen
Ivanovich Games is a Barcelona-based studio which has a passion for mobile and VR games. VR is still a new and blooming market and has great potential for years to come whether VR’s future is in video games or elsewhere. I was an immediate fan of the PS VR and have loved most of my experiences. For a VR game to work, it needs to be fluid, immersive, and most importantly, fun. Take away any one of those essential elements and the player will be left feeling sick, bored, or both.
As a child of the 80’s, I have fond memories of going to arcades with a couple of rolls of quarters and plenty of time to kill. Generally, my first stop was Time Crisis, an immersive on-rails shooter with a light gun pistol and a realistic kick back. Other arcade patrons may remember Operation Wolf, a game where the player handles a realistic arcade Uzi and journeys through jungles and prison camps. For me, Operation Warcade is a great combination of those two games.
Violence: Operation Warcade is an on-rails military shooter featuring a variety of weapons including machine guns, shotguns, rocket launchers, throwing knives, and grenades. During missions, the protagonist will face several enemies on screen at a time and to survive, he must eliminate all enemy threats. Upon death, enemies will yell out in pain. Likewise, when the player dies, bullet holes will appear on the screen. However, while the game is violent, Operation Warcade is not overly graphic. There are no bloody body parts flying across the screen.
Positive Content: Operation Warcade is simply a fun game. This is a great game to sit down and play after a stressful day.
When I first saw the trailer for Operation Warcade, I was not sure what to expect. Initially, my thoughts drifted towards Devolver Digital’s Broforce, but, boy, was I wrong. Surprisingly, I found myself enjoying this game. Whether I am trying to earn in-level medals or replaying to earn even more medals, Operation Warcade is a great experience. Ivanovich Games set out to bring back the classic arcade shooters from the 80’s and 90’s and they have succeeded at that task.
In this game, you play as a camouflage-wearing unnamed protagonist who sets out to destroy enemy bases, liberate captured villages, and free caged P.O.Ws. Similar to any great action movie from the same era, like Rambo, Commando, or films with Chuck Norris, the protagonist is armed with an Uzi machine gun in one hand and a grenade in the other. The protagonist’s journey takes him through 36 levels and 108 missions.
As I mentioned above, for a VR game to work, it needs to be immersive. To tackle this feat in VR, Operation Warcade has two different ways to play the game. The first way to play is through Immersive Arcade mode—how I primarily played. Here, the players take an up-close, first-person view of the action. In this mode, the player is on-rails, but the action is closer to you, much like a first-person shooter. This view makes the environments easier to see and spot enemies hiding in tree lines, buildings, or vehicles.
The second mode is Classic Arcade. In this mode, the player feels as if they are standing in the arcade shooting at a screen and pumping the arcade cabinet with quarters to continue the game after the protagonist dies. Either way you play, whether Immersive or Classic, there are a few similarities. Each mission has up to four immersion points where you can take control of a vehicle like a jet, Humvee, or helicopter, or take possession of special weapons such as throwing knives, explosion tipped arrows and sniper rifles. My favorite special weapon is the gravity gun. This gun allows you to grab hold of enemies, vehicles, and towers and launch them across the screen, into the sky, or at other enemies.
The mission and advancement structures are Operation Warcade’s strengths and weaknesses. Each level has mission-based objectives and these objectives act like an in-game currency to advance further in the game. The missions are quite short, lasting anywhere from two to seven minutes. The objectives, for the most part, are relatively easy to accomplish, but certain tasks seem overwhelmingly unfair, especially if a feature does not work as well as it should—I am looking at you, sniper rifle and bow and arrow! When this happens, it is impossible to advance in the game and until you have enough completed mission objectives, you are stuck. This becomes frustrating as it forces you try to achieve all three objectives in each mission. In full disclosure, I did use a DualShock 4, so this may have worked better with PS Move or PS Aim VR controller.
Visually, the game is a little rough around the edges. I played Operation Warcade with a PlayStation Pro console and experienced constant frame rate dips, items dropping in or out of the background, and certain things looking fuzzy or jagged. However, this game is fun, and I feel the visual issues are not so distracting that they ruin the game.
Operation Warcade also has a pulsing soundtrack that never gets dull or annoying. I feel it keeps the game moving forward and helps fuel the player with adrenaline as they take out the forces of evil. The sound design and effects are well done and really shine in the weapons themselves. Every shotgun blast, rapid fire of an Uzi, or explosion sound top notch.
Overall, I was happy with my time playing Operation Warcade. If you are looking for a new experience with PS VR or VR in general, pick this one up. There is a massive amount of content and replayability value in this package for a decent price.
PHYSICAL review copy generously provided by Wonacott PR. Physical and digital retail copies are available in North America!
The Bottom Line
If you enjoy arcade shooters, cool VR games, and 80's nostalgia, check this game out.