14 years ago I was mad into Call of Duty 2 multiplayer. It was back during the heyday of Xbox Live on the Xbox 360, when online multiplayer for home consoles felt like a relatively new thing. The amount of hours I sank into COD 2 multiplayer back then was probably bordering on the unhealthy, but time sure does fly when you're having fun and all that.
Playing it nowadays, Call of Duty 2 multiplayer seems so basic and quaint, comprising of simple kill or be killed game modes with none of this modern jet-packing, reviving and loot crating malarky. Even with today's advances in online multiplayer (I'm looking at you, lovely, lovely battle royale games) I often feel a twang of nostalgia for some old-school, WW2-based first person shooter action. That's why Honor and Duty: D-Day caught my eye when it released on the Playstation Store earlier in the week.
The VR multiplayer matches in Honor and Duty: D-Day feel like they come straight out of the COD 2 playbook and you can watch me try it out in this week's episode of Ian's VR Corner, which you can find just below these very words.
It turns out the amount of fun you can have with Honor and Duty: D-Day is proportionate to the time of day at which you're playing it. In the video above, which I recorded at 11am GMT, I struggle to find a proper game thanks to only a couple of barely populated servers being available.
I still had a good time with it but by the end of the video I'm lamenting the lack of players. However I went back to it later that night (around midnight) and was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of completely full lobbies, which obviously improved the game immensely.
When you can find them, full 16 v 16 matches in Honor and Duty prove to be a hell of a lot of fun. They're not without their issues, dodgy spawn points being one of the most prominent, but the thrill of playing a large scale, multiplayer shooter in VR was enough to drown most of the niggles out.
With a huge amount of VR comfort settings (remember to turn movement speed up to maximum!), Honor and Duty: D-Day caters to players of all skill levels. It also has support for all control methods including Aim, which had minimal controller drift when I used it and as such felt like a fantastic way to play the game.
Honor and Duty: D-Day fares the worst in the presentation department. Visually it's basic at best, but the lack of detail and the blocky characters does give it a toy soldiers feeling that occasionally borders on the charming.
The sound design is pretty poor though, with gunfire sounding especially limp. Also, ambient gunfire sound effects have been added to make the battles sound busier, but for some reason it's louder than the actual gunfire and I often found myself chasing ghosts instead of players as I followed what I thought was the sound of combat.
It's also worth pointing out that even at midnight, Honor and Duty's battle royale mode is a dead duck. No one is playing it at all, which came as a bit of a surprise to me. I figured people would be gagging for a new VR battle royale game, but the lobbies were empty whenever I checked. You can play the game with bots, as I do in the video above, but played that way it's more like a horde mode as the bots target you and you alone.
Honor and Duty: D-Day is scruffy and janky but at the same time it is also a lot of fun - especially if you play it at the right time. The best thing about the game though, has to be the price point. At on £7.39 on the UK PSN it's well worth picking up, if only to help populate the servers so I can have people to play it with on my lunchbreaks!
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've covered Valheim VR's motion controls mod, Doom 3 VR Edition and everything we know about PSVR 2 so far. You can also read our list of the best VR games.