The two-man team at Sumalab probably hear “Crisis VRigade is basically just Time Crisis in VR” in their sleep. I think you are legally obligated to mention it, in fact. That being said, both Crisis VRigade original and the sequel … are basically Time Crisis in VR. But I mean that in the best way.
If you haven’t played the original Crisis VRigade or the Steam or PSVR version of the sequel, you play as a member of a Swat team with nothing but your trusty pistol and unlimited ammo between you and level after level of bad guys. It’s reminiscent of Time Crisis because you don’t move. You stay in one place until you clear that section of bad guys or die.
Each level is broken into sections that have you and your team outmatched, outgunned, and clinging to safety behind some type of cover. Whether you’re behind a vehicle, an overturned table, or around the corner of a building, staying safely out of the line of fire is your top priority. The original had a famously punishing difficulty and this is still the case here, however, there is now a rookie setting that is noticeably easier. It’s still not easy and I’m afraid to even think about how hard the highest difficulty setting is. It is probably still the most realistically chaotic shootout experience in VR.
If you want to have the most fun with Crisis VRigade 2, you’ll want to clear plenty of space, because you’ll need to be ducking, dodging, and literally crawling on the floor to remain safely behind cover. But don’t get too comfortable, because each level has a time limit, so you can’t cower behind that trash dumpster forever. Plus not all cover is created equal. Some of it will crumble under the constant barrage of gunfire, so you’ll need to work fast.
And don’t forget to look up. You’ll want to take out all of the gunmen above you quickly. Depending on the level, they’ll be hiding on balconies, second-story windows, fire escapes, and more. As Anakin could tell you, it isn’t easy winning if you don’t have the high ground so take those guys out first!
As this isn’t an official Oculus Quest App on the main store, consider it early access, with many features yet to come. For instance, the shooting range from the first game is listed in the background but isn’t playable yet. But the most glaring omission right now is the ridiculously fun co-op mode. I’m not ashamed to say that playing co-op with the Pure Games media czar himself Christopher Harding was the only way I was ever able to complete the first Crisis VRigade. But it was always fun trying, and Crisis VRigade 2 is even better.
I really enjoyed the cartoony art style of the original and the often hilariously dry dialogue. It felt good to yell at the snarky voice chiding me to reload after I suffered another frustrating death. Well, that same voice is back to offer more of his subdued but still stinging criticisms. Some of them are the same from the first game, which is cool because all of my favorites have returned. But they will grow old eventually. While the sound design is almost identical, the visuals are completely revamped. Gone are the cartoony and comical art style, replaced with a surprisingly realistic approach. The guns, locales, and all of the criminals and hooligans you’ll be shooting have all seen a massive visual bump.
It looks fantastic on the Quest 2, and much like the first one, it plays great too. It currently only has two playable levels, with one coming soon, so hopefully, Sumalab has more for us coming very soon. Without co-op and only 2 levels currently, it is indeed light on content. But what is here offers a real challenge and is a blast to play. The boss battles are difficult but fun, and the gunfights feel truly chaotic and dangerous. They’ve added a bunch of new upgrades that you can purchase between levels, such as consumables like machine guns, health, and laser sights. Or permanent upgrades like new pistols, riot shields, weapon skins, or human skins. In addition to all of that, you can still scavenge all of the time-sensitive upgrades during battle.
Crisis VRigade 2 is a blast to play and does a great job in getting me as close as I ever want to be to a real firefight. The new easier difficulty settings are a nice option for those looking for a more casual experience, but it does, unfortunately, highlight how quickly you can get through the game. Especially since the third level isn’t finished yet. But that is the point of App Lab, really. It’s a place for games that are fun but may not be 100% ready for the big time, and may need a little cash flow to get across the finish line.
Crisis VRigade 2 Quest Review
Overall - Very Good - 7/10
Crisis VRigade 2 is better than the excellent original in every way except one: the amount of content. Without the fan-favorite co-op mode and the third level, a $20 price tag is a little steep. Although, once those additions are finally added, that price point will fit perfectly. I personally don’t mind buying a game a little early when I know the developer is still working on it, but I understand why many don’t.
- Upgraded graphics look great
- The gameplay is smooth as glass and mostly bug-free
- The simple Time Crisis like gameplay is addictive and fun
- Feels light on content in its current state
- Most of the audio feels exactly like the original
- Did I mention it doesn’t have the promised co-op mode yet?
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game bought at the expense of the reviewer. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using Oculus Quest 2.