Zero Caliber: Reloaded has finally landed on Oculus Quest, but does it do enough to stand out from the crowd?
The Quest has no shortage of shooters. If you want to shoot something in VR, you have more than enough options. So why should you choose Zero Caliber: Reloaded over the many existing shooters already out there? Well, it depends on what you’re looking for. If slow-paced tactical combat is your thing, Onward is a better fit. If fast online multiplayer matches tickle your pickle, you’ll want Contractors or Pavlov VR. But if you’re looking for a single-player game with the option for co-op, Zero Caliber: Reloaded is a fine choice without a doubt.
Rather than letting the flow and fun of the game rest on the actions of its players, Zero Caliber: Reloaded presents a Call of Duty-ish campaign for you to shoot and blast your way through, either alone or with a mate, or with a couple of mates; the game has support for up to four players in co-op, which is a nice touch.
You won’t find any competitive game modes here, though, as it’s purely you – or you and your mates – against the A.I. That’s fine by me because I’m one of the weirdos who tends to buy Call of Duty to play the story mode and I don’t really bother with the multiplayer.
I’ve compared Zero Caliber to Call of Duty, but in truth, the similarities are not that many. Zero Caliber: Reloaded has a campaign with lots of bad guys to shoot and it’s fast-paced, arcadey action, and that’s where the similarities end. It doesn’t have the polish or the spectacle of a big Call of Duty campaign, the writing is poor, and the voice acting is even worse; for some reason, swear words are bleeped out in the game, which is a little weird, but whatever.
What it lacks in polish and production values, it makes up for in its gameplay which is really good fun. I played a few missions with my colleague Jeremy and we had a blast. I even shouted over the gunfire “Jez, mate, this is class!” and he replied “what does that mean, dude” because he’s American and doesn’t always get my lingo. It means it’s a class act of a game, which means it’s damn bloody good and I can only recommend it. Sure, it has its flaws; the gunplay can feel a little erratic and the enemies can feel like bullet sponges, but whatever. It’s still damn good fun and there’s more than enough to do. In fact, it’s got more meat on its bones than an actual Call of Duty campaign as there’s plenty of weapons to unlock so that you can build your perfect loadout for every occasion.
Graphically, Zero Caliber is actually quite good looking for a Quest game, even more so on the Quest 2, though the differences between the headsets are few – the Quest 2 gets higher resolutions and a bit more stability in chaotic moments, but the original quest handles the game really well, too. Is it the best looking game on the quest? No, but it’s far from the worse, and at least the enemies don’t look like N64 characters at a distance, a la Onward.
If competitive multiplayer sends you into fits of rage, Zero Caliber is the game for you. It has a robust single-player mode that can be expanded upon with the co-op missions, which is really good fun with a mate or two.
Zero Caliber: Reloaded Oculus Quest Review
Overall - Fantastic - 8/10
Zero Caliber: Reloaded plays it safe with a simple but fun campaign mode with the replayability coming from fun with friends. It’s rough around the edges but its core is solid as a rock with many hours of shooty-shooty fun.
- Fast and fun arcade-style gameplay
- Plenty of missions, both for solo and co-op play
- Looks and sounds great, so long as you don’t look too closely…
- The writing is quite poor
- The voice acting is worse
- Enemy A.I can be a bit dodgy at times
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using Oculus Quest.