First-person shooters are a dime a dozen on the Oculus Quest, with plenty of different ways on offer for players to get their fix of thrilling bullet-fuelled showdowns. Despite this, I’m always happy to see a new one release, especially when it brings with it a campaign that has multiplayer co-op support. That’s exactly what Zero Caliber: Reloaded promises with its military-orientated first-person romp, but is it actually any good?
Check out a gallery of screenshots for the game down below:
It’s worth noting that the campaign makes up the bulk of what Zero Caliber: Reloaded offers. Whilst other shooters on the platform have tried to introduce multiplayer elements, this is all about progressing through the campaign and facing off against AI foes across a range of different scenarios. Sure, you can do it in co-op with a friend, but competitive multiplayer action is absent. It’s something that drew me to the game to begin with though, so I’m certainly not complaining.
Players can expect to face an array of tricky shootouts during the game’s campaign, with over twenty missions of action taking place. The usual virtual reality first-person tricks are utilised in these missions too, with players leaning in and out of cover, manually reloading their weapons, and having to line up shots carefully to take out foes. It’s a surprisingly physical game too, with plenty of instances where players will have to climb objects or even swing their way across vertical obstacles – it might sound a little daunting, but it works really well in-game and adds a satisfying twist to progressing through levels.
When the game first released, it was guilty of being a bit easy. Now, developer XREAL Games has patched it to add more challenge to the experience, with some set pieces proving particularly challenging if players don’t take their time. There were more than a few instances where I had to stick behind cover and slowly creep out to pick my shots, with one wrong move leaving me vulnerable to incoming fire. It never feels TOO hard by any means, but it does add a satisfying sense of realism to the game where players will have to think their actions through carefully.
“It’s a surprisingly physical game, with plenty of instances where players will have to climb objects or even swing their way across vertical obstacles.”
Speaking of realism, Zero Caliber: Reloaded’s arsenal of weapons are some of the most impressive that I’ve seen in any virtual reality shooter. There are a decent selection of weapons to switch between, with the likes of pistols, shotguns, and machine guns used as you unleash bullets upon your foes, whilst each has to be manually handled in different ways. This is especially apparent when it comes to reloading, where it’s never simply a case of loading a magazine into your weapon, but priming it too. There’s also a big emphasis placed on weapon customisation, with plenty of new parts unlocked as you progress through the game. If weapon creativity and realism is your thing, you’re going to love Zero Caliber: Reloaded.
With the satisfying shootouts and the realistic weaponry, it would seem that Zero Caliber: Reloaded has it all. Unfortunately, the level design of the campaign could be a bit hit and miss, with some missions proving to be more enjoyable than others. Some featured genuinely impressive locales with some enjoyable action-packed set pieces, but others just felt a little open and bland with a reliance of shooting down waves of foes. Nothing is ever awful, but there can some disparity with the consistency of quality.
“It’s clear that some levels were designed with co-op in mind, so working together strategically to take out foes and cover each other’s backs was ALWAYS satisfying.”
You know what though? It didn’t stop me from having fun playing through the game, especially with a friend. Whilst Zero Caliber: Reloaded supports four-player co-op, I played through with one of my buddies and we had a really good time. It’s clear that some levels were designed with co-op in mind, so working together strategically to take out foes and cover each other’s backs was ALWAYS satisfying. There’s a decent variety of environments to fight across too, so you won’t grow tired of seeing the same things over and over as you battle through the campaign (even if they aren’t necessarily the most pretty that you’ll see in virtual reality).
I’d be remiss not to mention some of the technical issues I faced in the game, with a few tracking issues here and there when trying to grab a weapon or reload it. They were few and far between, but it could be a little frustrating when in the midst of the action. I noticed that enemies would seemingly freeze on the spot and spawn right in front of me at times too, which was just a little bit weird. It’s more of a case of them being imperfections as opposed to game-breaking bugs, but they were still noticeable when playing.
With its blend of realistic weaponry and satisfying shoot outs, there’s plenty to enjoy in Zero Caliber: Reloaded’s campaign-focused escapade. Heck, it’s even more fun when playing with a friend, with teamwork making the dream work when battling through some of the tougher levels. It’s tense and physical with its focus on popping in and out of cover, but it always makes for an exciting time.
There are some issues here and there, with some bland mission design and technical hiccups occasionally rearing their head, but they don’t cause enough problems to stop Zero Caliber: Reloaded from offering a heck of a good time. If you’re looking for a virtual reality shooter that doesn’t focus on multiplayer or just wave-based shooting, you really ought to check it out.
Developer: XREAL Games
Publisher: XREAL Games
Platform(s): Oculus Quest 2 (Reviewed), Oculus Quest