Vankrupt Games have released their 2017 hit Pavlov VR but onto the Quest platform. Pavlov Shack brings the 5 v 5 gaming of yesteryear. With obvious nods to Counter Strike it gives you an experience that I haven’t had on the VR yet.
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With a multitude of modes in Pavlov Shack there is something for everyone. From the basic 5 v 5 attack/defend the bomb modes, through to an infection mode seeing you jump large heights to get the jump on enemies.
On the run-up to the game launch from App Lab to the main Meta store, I was invited to spend a couple of evenings playing with the Dev team at Vankrupt Games. It was easy to see how much they loved working and playing the game and their influences.
Having some experience with Pavlov on the PCVR I knew how to buy weapons. However, you do get walked through that in the game’s tutorial. Once you are familiar with the controls it’s time to head out into the battlefield. If you have ever played Counter Strike you will know how the buy system works. You start off with a minimal amount of cash, this can either get you some armour or a new pistol (among a few other things). If you get kills or win a round you get rewarded with money that you then use to upgrade your weapons and purchase a helmet as well as armour. All this is done with the controller thumbstick, a quick press in opens the buy menu and then different directions navigate the menus. It’s Easy.
Being shown around the maps on the game was great, some of the maps are close quarters, whereas others are more long distance with plenty of sniping opportunities. Whilst playing the game, at no point did I ever feel that the map was wrong for the game mode.
Playing the Gun Game mode around the train station was one of the standouts for me. Running around this train station trying to get the jump on your enemies was an experience. Although I did end up being shot in the back far too many times for my liking.
Then heading out into the King of the Hill mode we were transported back to World War uniforms and all of a sudden there was a tank on the battlefield. Having that extra element to deal with made the buy mode slightly interesting, do I purchase an anti-tank mine or just stay away?
Being a VR game you are always going to have some adjustment time with regards to holding the weapons, it’s really hard to envisage holding an imaginary rifle and staying accurate. However, Pavlov Shack felt incredibly good when it came to this. The controls felt intuitive and I cant imagine how much more immersive the game will be if you own a gun stock. Unfortunately, my gun stocks were for the Quest 2 and weren’t compatible with the latest headset from Meta.
Needless to say, we will probably end up updating this review if we happen to get a Quest 3 gun stock in the future!
Graphics & Audio
I’ll be entirely honest here. Personally, I didn’t really see the graphics whilst I was deep playing the game. Concentrating on whether the opposing team was going to come around the corner took up more of my brain power. However, when you die you are able to spectate the rest of the round and whilst in this state you can zoom up into the air to give an overview of the map and wow. The maps are incredibly detailed with so much going on. Lots of things to hide behind, lots of verticality going on as well and the actual textures were top-notch!
Audio-wise, the game delivers accurate sounds where you need them. Gun shots, and even the telltale sounds of killing an enemy. It’s all there delivered straight to your ears.
Honestly how long is a piece of string. Being a squad based shooter you can potentially spends weeks playing this game. I know I will! With the variety of game modes and maps on offer Vankrupt Games have brought something you will keep coming back to time and time again.
So did Pavlov Shack take the jump to the Meta store well? Personally, its a resounding yes. With its nostalgic feel in a squad based shooter, along with the variety of maps and modes. Pavlov Shack can be the gold standard in shooters. With a consistent user base it could break records.
Pavloc Shack receives the Thumb Culture Platinum Award
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.