Arizona Sunshine on PSVR is a nightmare to control with Sony’s Move controllers. The game, originally released for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift late last year, is a VR zombie shooter that allows the player to wander around a dusty desert landscape blasting the undead in the head whilst dual-wielding a large number of real world weapons.
Unfortunately the Move controllers lack one simple thing that make this experience intuitive – analogue sticks. Without them, forward movement and full body turns have to be controlled by the face buttons of the Move, which is an aggravating, confusing experience that hinders your ability to navigate freely.
When you’re in a virtual world you’re aiming for full immersion and for that to happen, movement needs to be a reflex action. Nothing pulls you out of an experience quicker than a terrible control scheme, and having to pause and fumble with the Move controller when a horde of zombies is baring down on you is as far from satisfying as you can get.
Thankfully, Arizona Sunshine also supports Sony’s Aim controller and it includes a new, rebalanced version of the campaign that offers players a large selection of two handed weapons to play with.
Using the twin thumbsticks of the Aim controller you can sprint, strafe and even retreat backwards while shooting. With the Move I found myself having to rely on the teleportation control scheme and would often stand rooted to the spot when under attack so a controller fumble didn’t put me in harms way.
The Aim allowed me to play with full free-move enabled, giving me the ability to freely zip around the levels, kite hordes or side step attacks – all things I found impossible to do with the Move. Obviously free-move is a little bit intense for those unaccustomed to VR but it’s the best way to play if you’ve got a strong stomach.
Much like Farpoint, aiming two handed weapons with the Aim is a fantastic experience, let down slightly by jittery sights – something that can’t be improved due to the lack of any configuration options.
Where the aim controller falls down is on the contextual events, like opening doors, drawers and – the worst offender of all – turning crank handles. Each one of these actions has been programmed with one handed controllers in mind and as far as I can tell, the way you operate them hasn’t been altered with the Aim in mind. It makes interaction with them seem clumsy and unnatural.
It’s worth pointing out that you can also play through the standard campaign with the Aim controller (although you won’t be able to dual wield that way), but you can only play through the two handed weapons campaign with the Aim or a DualShock 4. I also tested the Aim controller on the horde mode, and while it’s limited to single handed weapons only, the scores I achieved were greatly improved over my runs with the Move.
As a side note, Arizona Sunshine on the PS4 is much uglier than its PC counterpart and comes with a drastic graphical downgrade that includes plenty of single colour textures and bits of scenery that regularly pop into existence when only a couple of meters away from the player.
Despite its rough production values, Arizona Sunshine is the closest you’ll come to starring in your own episode of The Walking Dead. There’s a cheesy but enjoyable 3-4 hour campaign which supports two player co-operative multiplayer and a basic horde mode that you can mess around in with up to three friends once you’re done with that.
Whilst it’s nowhere near the PSVR high point that is Resident Evil 7, it is one of the more involving and lengthy games out there for the system. That in its own is enough to make Arizona Sunshine worth a purchase if you own Sony’s headset and are starved for games, but do yourself a favour and play it with the Aim for a much improved experience.