There's something oh-so satisfying about the sound an exploding zombie skull makes in Arizona Sunshine. One well placed shot to a rotten noggin and SPLURTCH! The meat-melon bursts open, releasing a fountain of gore-balls that pepper the surroundings with blood and brain matter.
It's a sick thrill that's enhanced quite a lot by the physicality of virtual reality. Sitting on your sofa popping Zed-heads with a controller in hand is one thing, but raising a virtual rifle sight to your eye and squeezing off a couple of rounds is on another level entirely.
That's why I was very happy to return to Arizona Sunshine and try out its new Dead Man DLC for this week's episode of Ian's VR Corner. You can watch me getting up to my normal brand of nonsense with it in the video player above.
The Dead Man DLC is a prequel chapter to the events of Arizona Sunshine and it's been out for a couple of months already on the Vive and Oculus. PSVR owners however have had to wait until this week to get their hands on it. Or some of us have, at least.
For unspecified reasons the Dead Man DLC has been delayed in the UK, Europe and many other regions around the world. "We are just as keen as you are for the DLC to release in your regions", Vertigo Games said in a statement issued on the Arizona Sunshine Facebook page. "Sadly, the situation is not in our hands. The DLC is ready to launch and we expect this to happen any day now."
So is the Dead Man DLC worth the extra wait time? Or indeed the hassle of creating an alternate PSN account and buying it from the U.S store like I had to?
Well, if you previously enjoyed the arcadey thrills of Arizona Sunshine's undead shoot-outs then I'd certainly say it's worth revisiting the game. There are a few negative points that you might want to consider before you shamble to the store though.
For a start nothing has been done to mix up the formula of the base game in any way whatsoever. Aside from the addition of a few new guns to shoot, all you're really doing is going through the same motions as before, but this time in the dark depths of a military base rather than the baking heat of the Arizona desert.
And it's short. Like, super short. The whole chapter takes 40 minutes to an hour to complete at best and that's if you take your time with things. This is offset slightly by a very low price point (I paid $2.49 on the U.S. PSN store) but still, the abrupt ending caught me off guard and left me thinking "Was that really it?!"
It's also pretty rough around the edges which is a problem that the main game also suffers from. While recording the video above I encountered more than a few glitches that ranged from the comical (anti-gravity cans) to the aggravating (a death caused by clipping through scenery).
Playing with the Aim controller like I did elevates the experience a huge amount though. The physicality of holding a two handed weapon is, as I mentioned earlier, extremely satisfying and this makes combat an absolute joy.
The addition of the two analogue thumbsticks on the peripheral is probably the biggest bonus of all though. It makes your movement around the environment almost effortless, which is something that cannot be said for the locomotion controls of the standard Move controllers.
To resort to a lazy analogy to finish this up, if Arizona Sunshine was like watching the whole of Dawn of the Dead, the Dead Man DLC would be the equivalent of watching up until the group reaches the shopping mall and then turning it off. It's OK, but ultimately the low price point doesn't make up for the fact that you feel like it's ended before it even got started.
If you enjoyed this episode of Ian's VR Corner, you can catch up with my previous adventures over on YouTube in our VR playlist, where I get silly with Kona VR, Salary Man Escape, The Exorcist: Legion VR, Killing Floor: Incursion, The Persistence, Detached, Pixel Ripped 1989 and Rec Royale.