Arizona Sunshine 2

Review: Arizona Sunshine 2

VR has grown from a gimmick to a tangible space in several years. I have shown the tech to many friends and family who found the headsets fun but limited. In recent years, technology has shifted to be much more immersive and lifelike thanks to the support from Meta, HTC, Steam, and PlayStation.

It’s entertaining seeing how far Arizona Sunshine has come, as it launched half a decade ago and was one of the earliest titles I remember playing. A sequel, Arizona Sunshine 2, picks up shortly after and doubles down on what made the original so good. Vertigo Games knows how to keep players on the edge of their seats with a zombie game that plays well.

Arizona Sunshine State of Mind

Being caught between a horde of zombies and your next objective is this game’s bread and butter. You have a series of missions to complete that might not be the most engaging missions you’ll play this year, but they do well enough to move you between missions. The protagonist is more like Duke Nukem than Rick Grimes and needs to keep talking to himself and quip to keep sane. And I mean, he quips a lot to keep himself from losing his mind because who wouldn’t in their right mind begin to slip away from reality when your neighbours attempt to eat your brain? In small doses, I can deal with this constant talking, but we get a protagonist who will talk over anything, which is constant.

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Gameplay in VR might feel like the console experience, and in some cases, it can be. Arizona Sunshine 2 gives you access to a series of pistols and rifles. Pistols are holstered to your hips, and you can use them with the controllers to grip and raise them before you. A rifle is on your back, so you must reach behind and bring it to your front. These actions also require you to be mindful of ammo and reload as necessary, an action you’ll have to complete periodically. This process is much more involved than on a console, as you’ll need to remove and add new magazines to your weapons manually.

Thankfully there is a good variety of weapons at your disposal, so you’ll easily be able to swap between starter and more exciting weapons like a flame thrower. I prefer keeping it simple with a pistol and assault rifle. However, you can pick three weapons that resonate with you and stick with those. You can’t go wrong because there is enough variety to have a blast. You also have access to melee weapons that’ll break after a set number of uses, like machetes, but the main draw is the guns.

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You also have a dog named Buddy available to assist. Buddy adds a layer to the gameplay throughout the campaign, which is probably my favourite addition. He’ll come through in a pinch when going against zombies; frankly, any game with a dog as a companion will get bonus points from me. Buddy can attack zombies, grab items for you, and even help you finish puzzles you’ll encounter.

Arizona Sunshine 2’s campaign is more than double the size of its predecessor, and it took me around 10 hours to finish it. You’ll spend most of your time working through hordes of zombies, and it works to sell how gone this world is. If you have a second headset, there is the option of adding co-op to your game, and it makes a world of difference if you have a partner at your side in any game.

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Verdict

Arizona Sunshine 2 has a lot going on, and it’s an excellent zombie game that will keep you on your toes. Featuring some of the best shooting mechanics I’ve used in VR space, you can’t mindlessly waste bullets and need to ensure you’re methodical with your approach to the various hordes of zombies. This sequel smartly improves on its predecessor while expanding the narrative.

Recommended

[The publisher provided a copy of the game for review purposes.]

Reviewed on: PlayStation 5

Arizona Sunshine 2
Review: Arizona Sunshine 2
Summary
Arizona Sunshine 2 has a lot going on, and it's an excellent zombie game that will keep you on your toes.
Liked
Fun gunplay for a VR game
Adding a dog is a big win
Didn't Like
The protagonist... sucks
Predictable story beats