Developer: Wales Interactive
Publisher: Wales Interactive
Release Date: Out Now
Format(s): PlayStation VR (Reviewed), HTC Vive, Oculus Rift
Following on from their horror exploits in Don’t Knock Twice, Welsh developers Wales Interactive have returned to PlayStation VR once again with their latest release Time Carnage.
In Time Carnage, you’re tasked with going through four different periods of time in wave-based shooting action as you look to gun down the likes of dinosaurs in the past and zombie mutants or robots in the future. It’s a neat premise and the game certainly has some enjoyable moments throughout, though unfortunately it also suffers from the repetitive grind that comes with the wave-based shooting genre.
Time Carnage’s gameplay plays like your typical wave-based shooter, which is both a good and a bad thing. It’s good because it does everything right in the shooting department, with the weaponry proving to be fun to use and the range of enemies and locations very creative in design. The tracking of the Move controllers is always on point and gunning down enemies is fun, especially when there’re so many of them surrounding you.
However, it also suffers from the flaws that come with the genre, with the game design itself feeling incredibly repetitive and unimaginative – the player barely has to do anything other than aim and shoot. There are a good few levels to work through in the game, but outside of the aesthetic there isn’t much of a difference between them all. It’s certainly not the kind of game you’ll want to play for long periods at a time…
It does try to throw in some unique ideas of its own though, including the ‘time paradox’ ability which allows you to slow down time to land some quick and clean hits on any incoming foes, though they don’t really end up making the game feel any less repetitive. It’s a shame, because it’s a good example of a wave-based shooter – there are just too many better fleshed-out shooters available on the PlayStation VR headset now that it doesn’t really do enough.
At least there are a decent selection of weapons on offer, with Time Carnage offering twenty-five in total. You unlock more as you progress through the game, with each one feeling more powerful or unique than the last – you might start off with basic weapons, but eventually you’ll have powerful shotguns, machine guns, grenade launchers, sniper rifles, flame throwers, and even lasers. Using each of these weapons actually feels satisfying, and the game deserves credit for offering an arsenal that you’ll genuinely want to play around with. You’re able to take four into a level at a time too, so there’s flexibility in providing the player the perfect means to take down their enemies.
Outside of the main campaign, Time Carnage has two additional game modes – Arcade and Challenge.
In Arcade, enemies and environments will mix themselves up to create levels where anything can happen. It might be zombies running around in prehistoric times, dinosaurs in a futuristic city, or just a mixture of both hunting you down at once. Naturally, this adds a neat twist to the game, but it still suffers from feeling a little bit repetitive.
Challenge on the other hand was a bit more fun, with it giving the player goals they have to complete with specific prerequisites. This might mean killing enemies with a certain weapon, killing them with headshots only, or maybe killing them all within a time limit. There are three tiers of success to the mode too, so there’s quite a bit of replayability to be found in getting those higher scores.
I wish they’d fleshed out the Challenge mode a bit more, because it really has a lot of potential and differs from the grind of the standard wave-based shooting mode. Being forced to play in a specific way made me think more and in the end proved to be more entertaining than just blasting away at myriads of enemies time and time again.
Visually, Time Carnage actually looks the part with some detailed and well-designed environments joined up with some creative enemy designs. Seeing the likes of huge dinosaurs stampeding towards you always looks great, whilst the variety of time-twisting locales you venture across all offer something fresh to see.
That being said, there were also a few instances where the game would just look a little bland and blurry. Enemies come at you from all directions and distances, but they’d often just be a blurry speck until they got a little closer to the player. It’s not game-breaking stuff and it’s the sort of thing players have come to expect with the lower resolution of the PlayStation VR headset, but it was still a little disappointing when other areas of the game managed to look so good.