Warp Now

Review: Time Carnage (PSVR)

Shooter
7.5

Good

Since Back to the Future stole our time travelling hearts we have all had this dream of being able to hop back in forth through space and time. Video games have made this a reality in the past with games such as TimeSplitters, but Time Carnage is about to put you right in the middle of it all and you have one simple objective – shoot everything that moves.

Dino, zombie, robot and undead crisis

It’s been a hit and miss affair when it comes to Virtual Reality games. Titles that require you to be very active within the virtual environment have stumbled into hurdles when trying to combine everything you need to do with the ability to move your character. It’s these games that have been the cause of most gamers have dizziness and nausea.  Games where you sit in one spot and partake in an activity works, and Time Carnage understands this concept really well. In Time Carnage you are teleported to one of four locations that’ll have you mowing down zombies (3092 AD), dinosaurs (85 000 000 BC), futuristic robots (5000 AD) and an army of dead warriors (309 BC) that have been resurrected to cause havoc. Each location is made up of four stages with an onslaught of 10 waves you have to defeat. Simple? Yes, but it’s in this simple structure that all the fun lies.

Time Carnage can only be played using two Move controllers and it’s all the better for it. You have the option of choosing one of four guns, two located on the left and right of where you’re sitting. Reach out towards the gun and as soon as your in-game fingers tips light up press the Move button to pick up the gun and pull the trigger to shoot (duh). Now, ammunition is not unlimited and requires you to jump between your various guns. Once you drop your empty gun and switch to the other gun your bullets will slowly reload. It’s this time-reload system that makes it so incredibly entertaining as you’re constantly managing your bullets as waves keep streaming in. In total there are 25 guns on offer that you can mix and match as you please. At first you’ll have access to the bare basics to keep you on your toes. Play through the campaign mode and you’ll unlock new guns and perks once completing a level. Before you know it you’ll have access to flamethrowers, full-auto laser rifles, snipers, crossbows, mini-guns, grenade launchers and just about anything you can dream of – EXPLOSIONS R US!

There were moments that I felt like Robocop while I was looking in one direction but had my move controllers shooting in another.

At the same time you also need to keep an eye on your health and shield levels. As soon as your shield has been breached your health will deplete very quickly if attacked. Your shield does automatically replenish, but it’s always good to keep an eye on it throughout your battles. Once you hit the sixth or seventh wave things get really frantic. There were moments that I felt like Robocop while I was looking in one direction but had my move controllers shooting in another. If things get a little out of control, which it usually does, you will at times see a blue Time paradox appearing. Shoot it and it slows time down for you to get yourself in order. Use this time to reload your bullets or shoot everything that’s causing you so much trouble. Enemies stream in from all over the show, but I found the little flying objects to be the most annoying. They’re tough to shoot and distract you from the bigger enemies causing way more damage. The campaign mode will last you around five hours, but that’s not where your fun will come to an end.

An unfair advantage

Arcade mode mixes it all up by introducing perks you’ve unlocked in campaign mode. Some help you take on the hordes in the hard difficulty while others while just have you grinning from ear to ear. Adding a laser pointer to your guns will reduce the number of bullets you waste or the last three bullets can increase the damage done by 50% among other perks. Enemies have no gravity when they die? Yes, that’s a perk and is a real hoot when you see the big T-Rex you just nailed flying off like a balloon up into the stratosphere. In arcade mode, you can also have all the various eras mixing it up into one big shoot fest where zombies, dinos, robots and undead all work together to kill you. Lastly are the challenges. These are unlocked as you progress in the campaign and set distinct objectives in place for you to deal with. The Past and Furious, for example, will give you only shotguns to deal with bastard Raptors fast enemies along with perks to aid you in your mission. You have to last for two, five or eight minutes to be awarded a virtual badge of approval.

Is there a big enough market to entertain yet another shooter? Well, this one has dinosaurs, zombies and robots and I felt like a complete badass

There are a few minor things that did not sit well with me. The soundtrack is first quite exciting and builds some tension as the wave numbers increase, but it becomes a little repetitive before long. In each stage you can interact with some objects such as red barrels and cars. Blow it up and it might take a few foes down, but I found that it wasted my bullets more than anything else and feels like a pointless addition to the action. It’s also a bit of a bummer that the Dualshock 4 controller can’t be used at all, though I understand the obvious necessity to make it compulsory. It’s just that there are people who won’t get to experience it. Lastly, would it have been such a bad idea to perhaps include the option to throw a grenade or two? Perhaps it’s an improvement idea for a sequel or update to the game in the future.

Time Carnage is a joy to play. The only problem is that it finds itself in a genre that’s overpopulated in the virtual reality space. Is there a big enough market to entertain yet another shooter? Well, this one has dinosaurs, zombies and robots and I felt like a complete badass. Yes, there is always enough space and time for another shooter as enjoyable as this.

Good

  • The time-reload mechanic works so well
  • The move controllers fit the game like a glove... gun... thing
  • Not many VR games that make you feel like a badass quite like this

Bad

  • No Dualshock 4 support (for obvious reason)
  • Soundtrack can get a bit repetitive
  • Where are my grenades?

Summary

The time continuum shift mechanic has been done before, but it's the first time VR has taken the concept by the scruff. It's action-packed, frantic, makes you feel like a real badass and is just a joy to experience. A great reason to hold on to those Move controllers.
7.5

Good

Married to a gamer and she kicks my ass at most shooters. If the game is enjoyable I'll play it, no matter the format.

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