Gunjack is a spin-off title from the enormous EVE Online series, designed from the ground up for virtual reality.
EVE Online boasts one of the largest online gamer bases in the world, with over half a million users subscribing to the game. The game sees players participate in several different in-game professions from mining to piracy, where the goal is to create an online empire rich in resources. This deep-space themed game is the type of game that consumes hours of gamers days without them even realising, so moving to the most immersive gaming platform was a logical step.
Gunjack – EVE
Gunjack is a virtual reality (VR) arcade shooter, now available on Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. As the game might suggest, Gunjack sees the player take on the role of a turret gunner aboard a mining rig. You are responsible for protecting your ship from incoming attacks, carried out by pirates and other opportunists seeking to benefit from attacks on your resource rich ship. Here’s a quick clip of the game, followed by our review breakdown. Needless to say, we’re impressed. You can view some gameplay below just before we break the game down into what we look for in VR games.
What we look for in VR games
As the levels begin and your turret gets moved into place, you can’t help but feel you are about to face into a war. Looking around the turret you see notes from loved ones while looking from the perfectly positioned first person view. Pop on a set of headphones and the commander’s voice may as well be coming through loud and clear in your helmet.
You have to take a step back every now and then to remember we are gaming on our smartphones these days. Gunjack squeezes every last ounce of power from the Samsung platform and delivers amazing graphics, on-par with much more expensive VR headsets and games. Considering how responsive and quick the controls are combined with the details graphics, this is an immersive marvel.
As mentioned above, the commander’s discussions in between menus is great and really adds to the experience. Other audio from your turret loading to the cannon fire is perfect and adds to that Starship Trooper vibe throughout.
If you have the controller, this is a brilliant game. You can pepper enemies with cannon fire, happen upon power-ups to do even more damage and grab bits of old ships to protect yourself. The gameplay of Gunjack is at a certain level which will push your gaming time further than many other VR experiences to date.
The game provides one of the most impressive control experiences to date on the Gear VR. Where you look is where you are aiming your turret’s guns. The control is lightening quick and really adds to the overall experience. The game specs state that you don’t need a controller, which is technically true. To be honest, you will need fairly strong arms to comfortably play for any duration of time using the touchpad on your temple. We strongly recommend playing with a controller, even if it is just a cheap enough one.
Without a controller, Gunjack is enjoyable but you won’t be playing for extended periods of time. With a controller, Gunjack is arguably the best game on the Samsung Gear VR.
At €9.99, Gunjack is one of the more expensive games, similar to Dead Secret, but don’t let that put you off. It’s the early days and games are expensive to develop with this relatively new platform. What the team at CCP Games have done here is squeezed a PC style experience into a smartphone game and added the extra dimension of VR. It’s nothing short of remarkable. They have done all of this while ensuring to corners were cut on immersion, gameplay or graphics. Gunjack is one of the few must have Gear VR games that we recommend.