If you’ve ever fantasized about going full Rick Grimes on a horde of zombies, the Arizona Sunshine series should already be on your radar. This VR zombie shooter franchise puts you right in the middle of the undead apocalypse with an arsenal of weapons and only your wits to keep you alive.
In the latest entry, developer Vertigo Games expands the Arizona Sunshine universe with a direct sequel that’s bigger, bloodier, and packed with even more guns and gore. Arizona Sunshine 2 continues the story of our wisecracking protagonist as he battles his way across a zombie-infested southwestern landscape, with a few new tricks up his sleeve.
This time around, our loner hero has a canine companion named Buddy to watch his back. You’ll direct this helpful German Shepard to rip out zombie throats and fetch weapons for you, building a bond between man and man’s best friend. The campaign features expanded levels alongside new modes like an intense Horde mode where waves of undead test your trigger finger. All the classic VR zombie slaughtering action is cranked up to 11.
If you’re hungry for a meaty VR shooter that blends scares, laughs, and lots of undead target practice, this is a must-play. Grab your VR headset and your favourite zombie whackin’ bat, and prepare to jump back into the apocalypse with Arizona Sunshine 2. Just watch where you step – these desert zombies are hungry!
A Man and His Dog Against the World
In the original Arizona Sunshine, our wisecracking hero found himself rescued by helicopter after battling hordes of zombies across the Arizona desert. But the end of that game doesn’t mean our protagonist got to ride off into the sunset.
At the start of Arizona Sunshine 2, we catch up with this lone survivor now living alone in a beat-up trailer, having lost contact with his rescuers. But his isolation comes to an abrupt end when he spots a helicopter crashing in the distance. After gearing up to search the wreckage for supplies or survivors, his plans are delightfully derailed.
Our zombie-slaying hero discovers the chopper’s sole survivor is not a person, but a German Shepherd named Buddy. This adorable canine becomes both a combat companion and the physical embodiment of our protagonist’s last shreds of humanity. Their bond drives much of Arizona Sunshine 2’s narrative beats.
And there’s definitely more heart and depth to this sequel’s story compared to the wisecrack-laden zombie shooter original. Over 15 hours, we learn more backstory about our protagonist’s mental state as he bonds with his new Buddy. There’s genuine emotion when he laments the loss of human connection amidst the apocalypse, showing cracks beneath the machismo.
Of course, just because there’s more heart doesn’t mean AZ Sunshine 2 skimps on the headshots. There’s still plenty of Army of Darkness-esque one-liners to delight horror fans while unleashing gory fury on zombies. Few games capture VR combat’s visceral thrills like lobbing hatchets into craniums.
The tonal balance between laughs and sincere moments is expertly handled. You’ll chuckle at the vulgar banter one minute then feel unexpectedly moved when our hero pours his heart out to Buddy the next. That said, the narrative isn’t always perfectly tailored to gameplay.
The story’s focus on loneliness and human connection gets muddled if you play co-op. Dialogue bizarrely pretends your human co-op partner doesn’t exist during emotional beats between the protagonist and his dog. It certainly feels narratively inconsistent, but the gameplay benefits from a second player are hard to overstate. Having a friend watch your back makes undead combat exponentially more fun, if slightly less poignant.
At the end of the day, blowing away brain eaters with an arsenal of creatively reloadable firearms simply hits different in VR. Arizona Sunshine 2 delivers those thrills in spades, with a healthy serving of heart on the side thanks to one very good boy. Who’s a good zombie-mauling canine companion? Buddy is! Yes he is!
Bringing the Pain Never Gets Old
At its visceral core, Arizona Sunshine 2 sticks to the same gameplay loop that made slaying the undead so addictive the first time around. You’ll explore quasi-open levels, blasting zombies with an awesome arsenal while scavenging for supplies. Rinse and repeat across a 15+ hour campaign. Yet while that loop remains highly satisfying, this sequel also adds some new tricks to keep the slaughter feeling fresh.
Chief among them is your new best friend Buddy. This helpful German Shepherd companions becomes an integral part of gameplay, able to rip zombie throats out on command. You can direct Buddy to distract or take down threats, order him to fetch items, and store extra guns in his handy combat vest. He’ll even revive you if you suffer an unfortunate (but delightfully gory) zombie demise.
Buddy’s abilities let you strategize and manage threats in clever new ways. Sick of zombies rudely interrupting your stressful sniper headshots? Send Buddy to chomp their legs so you can focus. Need a molotov cocktail from the next room ASAP to beat back a horde? Buddy’s got your back. He’s the bestest life-saving-est boy.
And you’ll need all the help you can get when Arizona Sunshine 2 sends truly massive zombie mobs your way. We’re talking dozens of undead charging at once here. Few VR games capture the white-knuckle intensity of fending off a sea of zombies crashing towards you while struggling to reload weapons with frantically shaking hands.
When it comes to firearms, the sequel cranks things up big time. You’ll wield everything from pistols to shotguns, flamethrowers, grenade launchers, machine guns, and more. Every gun has unique reload mechanics you’ll need to physically mimic, keeping you fully immersed in the life-or-death action. [Insert sentence about cool grenade or molotov crafting mechanics]
If guns aren’t your speed, getting up close and personal with melee weapons like axes, crowbars, and machetes provides satisfyingly savage zombie splattering. Just know they’ll break after bashing a few heads in. These implements serve better as last-ditch backups than long-term strategies when the undead overwhelm your ammo supply.
While zombie types unfortunately lack variety, Arizona Sunshine 2 makes slaying the same enemies continually thrilling with sheer visceral gunplay. Dropping just one headshot with a pistol elicits a spectacularly wet splorch worthy of celebration. Chaining together double taps without reloading against an incoming crowd provides a true bullet ballet worthy of John Wick himself.
And while combat takes center stage, you’ll also spend plenty of time traversing the decently sized levels. Clambering up craggy cliffs and ruined buildings keeps movement stimulating, with zero fall damage letting you climb like Spiderman. Just don’t expect realism. Traversal leans more towards arcade-y flair than true-to-life physics, but that keeps the pace moving.
Arizona Sunshine 2 nails the VR shooting so key to the franchise’s appeal and then some. The addition of Buddy alongside even more guns and zombies cements this sequel as a must-buy ticket to gruesome undead gunslinging glory. Just try not to run out of ammo, or you might end up as Buddy’s next chew toy.
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Undead Carnage With Friends
Arizona Sunshine 2’s meaty main campaign will keep your trigger finger busy across 12-15 hours of zombie hunting. You’ll battle undead through a solid variety of locales, including sewers, train yards, airports, shops, apartments, and more. While a linear affair overall, levels have enough side paths and secrets to reward exploration without ever feeling confusing.
If plowing through the campaign solo doesn’t satisfy your appetite for undead destruction, the game serves up plenty of modes primed for co-op chaos. You can partner up with 3 other players to tackle the story from start to finish, allowing you to watch each other’s backs against zombie swarms that adapt to group sizes.
For pure horde slaying action though, the aptly named Horde mode steals the co-op show. You and up to 3 friends hunker down to defend a position against endless waves of increasingly difficult zombies. Each wave introduces new enemy variants and rewards better weapons to confront the evolving challenges. It’s a tense fight for survival where teamwork is mandatory once lightning fast zombies and massive hordes storm your location.
Overall, Arizona Sunshine 2 makes jumping into multiplayer with friends delightfully seamless. Connectivity works smoothly whether you game on PC or PS5. Simply drop into the host’s campaign to saddle up for story missions or switch to Horde mode for quick undead shooting galleries.
Horde mode provides breezy fun but lacks much replay value with just one map. It would benefit greatly from additional arena spaces and gameplay tweaks to accelerate the early waves. Slogging through slow zombie trickles before the action ramps up simply feels boring when you’ve already mastered headshots. Battling just a few basic enemies at once at the start fails to take advantage of VR’s presence.
Still, while Horde’s limited scope leaves room for improvement, co-op breathes wonderful life into Arizona Sunshine’s already stellar zombie shooting. Watching your friend fumble gun reloads when cornered by zombies or pulling off synchronized badass headshots amps up the game’s entertainment factor tremendously. Playing solo loses those golden moments of camaraderie amidst chaos. Why spill guts alone when you can bond by spilling them together?
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Gorgeous Vistas of Undead Hordes
Arizona Sunshine 2 makes slaughtering zombies more immersive than ever thanks to graphical leaps since the original. Detailed textures and enhanced fidelity (especially on PS VR2) make the sequel really shine. Zombies appear suitably grotesque in design while environments like desert vistas convey great scale. The visuals won’t compete with non-VR titles, but Arizona Sunshine 2 stands as one of VR’s best looking undead shooters.
Not that you’ll have much time to soak in scenic views when decaying faces come lunging at yours. In those fraught moments of holding off waves of biters, Arizona Sunshine 2 truly flexes its graphical muscles. Watching dozens of zombies pour towards you simultaneously with hungry growls and contorted faces sells the throbbing heart-pounding terror. This is when VR gameplay taps into fears no 2D game can match.
Sound design equally pulls its weight conveying nerve-fraying dread when the dead surround you. The wet rip of Buddy tearing a biter’s throat out or the whizzing bullet of an errant ally’s gunfire will make you instinctively duck on occasion. And few video games score headshots more satisfyingly. That thick, bassy blast coupled with violent ragdoll physics when you pop a perfect shot inspires pride and stomach-churning goosebumps simultaneously.
Of course, moaning zombies lose scare factor if you can’t stomach all the motion. Happily, Arizona Sunshine 2 offers ample comfort options like snap turning and vignettes to reduce VR nausea without neutering immersion. You can tailor the experience to find that sweet spot between realism and not revisiting your lunch.
The visual and auditory thrills come packaged with protagonist banter that mostly enhances the fun while making exterminating the undead feel more lighthearted than terrifying at times. One-liner enthusiasts will certainly appreciate his vulgar quips. Thankfully there’s an option to attenuate chatter volume for those who prefer less commentary with their carnage.
Arizona Sunshine 2 probably won’t convert VR skeptics, but for those craving to blast zombies with unprecedented immersion, both eyes and ears will feast.
Managing Manageable Jankiness
Given the scope of its campaign and mechanics, Arizona Sunshine 2 suffers some expected jankiness. Visual glitches like disappearing zombies or hilariously contorted ragdoll physics prove more amusing than problematic, but do interrupt immersion momentarily. Weapons also occasionally seem to vibrate or spaz out during intense action, particularly two-handed weapons.
Thankfully such graphical hiccups happen infrequently over the lengthy adventure. Stability in solo play remains solid, with only minor frame rate dips or pauses even when dispatching small armies of undead. The experience stays smooth enough to keep you locked in and focused on not dying horribly.
Co-op play expectedly introduces some added chaos that exacerbates issues marginally. Partners’ screens seemed to lag slightly behind the host’s game world more often. Hitting huge zombie crowds also generated occasional sharp frame rate drops, likely overload from rendering so many enemies across multiple players’ views. But such dips prove momentary and rare.
For the most part, playing with a friend unfolds just as smoothly as single player. Syncing issues rarely impacted gameplay enjoyment, although serious competitive players may find even occasional lag impacts performance. Casual zombie hunters will likely forgive the slightadded jank.
Overall, Arizona Sunshine 2 feels quite polished and stable where it matters most – zombie shooting action. The thrills and chills of fighting for your life against the undead translated flawlessly 90% of the time. That remaining 10% rarely ruins the fun, instead adding some unexpected laughs, like when your sniper rifle suddenly flies from your hands to orbit your head randomly mid-battle.
Considering the scope of everything this VR title tries to achieve, it feels marvelously complete. The jankiness around the edges doesn’t detract meaningfully from enjoying everything this buffet of zombie carnage offers. Just don’t expect AAA polish, and come ready to grind undead with a high tolerance for quirky glitches.
Undead Shooting Bliss
When the credits rolled on Arizona Sunshine 2’s epic zombie-laden saga, I basked in the glow of satisfaction that follows completing a memorable gaming journey. Alongside my stalwart companion Buddy, I’d explored numerous sprawling levels, donned dozens of gnarly weapons, and most critically, decimated enough zombies to fill a small city. Now I surveyed the carnage left in my wake.
Arizona Sunshine 2 gets so much right building on the original’s foundation of VR zombie shooting excellence. Clever new additions like the loyal dog Buddy and even more guns to collect amplify the undead slaughter tenfold. Traversing this wasted southwestern landscape festooned with monsters to kill makes for a visceral, addictive experience that horror fans and VR enthusiasts shouldn’t miss.
Boasting nearly triple the playtime of its predecessor, Arizona Sunshine 2 will keep your ammo supply strained for hours on end. Thoughtfully designed levels encourage exploration without frustrating backtracking. Shambling corpses always lurk right around the next corner, from desolate small towns to crumbling highways to a literal carnival stuffed with zombie clowns. There’s plenty of creepy sights to behold behind every blood smeared door. The scope feels ambitious even by non-VR standards.
And of course, the arsenal on offer keeps massacring the relentless zombies perpetually thrilling. Every bullet fired satisfies thanks to gloriously grotesque damage modeling, where well-placed headshots send the undead violently pinwheeling. Plus, creatively reloading pistols, shotguns, flamethrowers, sniper rifles and more by manually mimicking real-life actions immerses you like few non-VR shooters manage. Toss in brutal but short-lived melee weapons like axes and machetes for tactile zombie dismemberment, and murder has never been so multifaceted.
This outstanding progression system rewards exploration with yet more implements of monster destruction, provided you don’t fatally fumble reloads under pressure first. The stakes feel consequential; Arizona Sunshine 2 truly captures VR’s unique capacity to raise heart rates through presence. When the dead encircle your position just as you hear the awful empty clicking of an emptied clip, transcendent panic washes over you. Few zombie games old or new rival that sheer terror Arizona Sunshine 2 inflicts, amplified exponentially while playing on harder difficulties that limit resources and health severely. This is truly world-class virtual survival horror.
Some minor grievances do hinder the experience, although none meaningfully detract from Arizona Sunshine 2’s greatness. The undead diversity leaves something to be desired over a 15+ hour trek, with few novel zombies beyond tougher or faster variants. It’s a testament to the stellar combat when plugging the same five basic zombies never loses luster, but additional freaks would spice up gameplay further.
On the technical side, Arizona Sunshine 2 suffers intermittent visual bugs from glitchy zombie animations to awkward physics freakouts that interrupt immersion briefly. Such jankiness stays rare enough to ignore, but might frustrate those desiring AAA refinement. Thankfully the action stays smooth and consistent during actual gunfights.
And any fans of Arizona Sunshine’s original protagonist will enjoy even more wisecracking wit this round, alongside unexpectedly poignant story beats centered on human connection amidst apocalyptic tragedy. Just be warned – that narrative unravels awkwardly if you opt for a co-op partner, where the plot oddly ignores their existence entirely.
But story plays second fiddle here to sensation – the gut-churning glory of battling in blood soaked mud against biologically impossible odds. To that end, Arizona Sunshine 2 delivers one of VR’s finest and most compulsively playable zombie sandboxes. This is an easy recommendation for any virtual reality owner itching to get trigger happy inside the zombie apocalypse’s fetid embrace.
Arizona Sunshine 2
Arizona Sunshine 2 delivers a must-play VR zombie shooter that achieves rare greatness. Clever additions expand the intense undead slaughter well beyond its predecessor across a 15+ hour experience dripping with VR immersion. Satisfying combat carries you through the campaign’s occasional narrative inconsistencies or light bugs for a wholly memorable virtual reality blockbuster. This sequel cements Arizona Sunshine’s legacy as a genre gold standard in VR zombie games.
- Satisfying and visceral VR gunplay with huge variety of firearms
- Cumulatively 15+ hours of content across campaign and modes
- New Buddy mechanic adds creative gameplay elements with loyal canine companion
- Excellent sound design and graphics fully immerse you in the action
- Protagonist banter and story beats add unexpected emotional depth
- Zombie enemy variety is quite limited over the long campaign
- Narrative focus on isolation is inconsistent with full co-op compatibility
- Occasional visual bugs and physics glitches interrupt immersion
- Horde mode map could use more arenas and accelerated early waves