Winter 2023 is littered with some excellent-looking VR games for all headsets. Some have stuttered at launch – looking at you Ghostbusters – whilst others including The 7th Guest VR haven’t disappointed. There are also some titanic sequels on the way, with Vertigo Games’ upcoming zombie shooter among them. It’s been a long time coming but here’s why all VR fans should be excited for Arizona Sunshine 2.
Now don’t get me wrong, if you’re not interested in blasting the undead to smithereens then Arizona Sunshine 2 might not be for you. However, I’m betting that that group is fairly small, considering how popular the original Arizona Sunshine was. Make no mistake, 2016’s Arizona Sunshine was a titan of its time, supporting most VR headsets and selling well for years. Seven years on, and several hardware generations in, to say the next instalment is highly anticipated is an understatement.
Every day I’m shuffling…
Arizona Sunshine was a single-player adventure – to begin with – and as such needed a narrative to flesh out the whole experience. As the name suggests, the game is set in a desolate Arizona, where the people are few and the zombies are many.
Its sequel strikes a similar tone, with the dark-humoured protagonist of the original returning once more. While the game will feature a new story-driven campaign, gorgeous-looking environments and carnage aplenty, story specifics have yet to be unveiled. You’re still looking for answers to this apocalyptic situation you’ve found yourself in. Thankfully, this time around you’re not on your lonesome, accompanied by your four-legged travel companion Buddy.
Vertigo Games has confirmed that Buddy will play an integral role in Arizona Sunshine 2 in terms of gameplay. But we also suspect there will be an emotional connection as well. Zombie shooters can get grizzly, becoming an emotionless bullet fest. So it’s great to see Buddy’s addition. The pooch serves several gameplay uses, being able to attack enemies on command or retrieving items.
There’s no danger, they’re completely ‘armless
While Buddy may be there to help in a tight spot, most of the time you’ll be laying waste to zombie hordes by yourself. In true apocalypse fashion, you’ll be able to equip yourself with an arsenal of weaponry. From standard pistols, rifles and shotguns to keep your distance to machetes, crowbars and other melee weapons for that personal touch.
Arizona Sunshine 2 is going to be even gorier than before. One aspect of the gameplay Vertigo Games has been keen to mention is the new “next-gen mutilation and gore system”. Yes, that’ll mean a well-aimed shotgun blast will tear through a zombie’s head in a glorious shower of claret, but there’s more to it. As the most recent gameplay video showcased, putting those melee weapons to good use will provide varied options for taking out the undead. Or get creative with grenades to remove a limb or two.
What’s plain to see is that Arizona Sunshine 2 is going to be a lot more brutal, encouraging players to get stuck in and embrace the chaos.
It takes two baby…
So you’ve got Buddy by your side, snarling at danger and ripping the shuffling masses apart. But what about another buddy, or more precisely a mate to talk to and share the glorious slaughter with? Until the recent gameplay reveal Vertigo Games hadn’t confirmed whether Arizona Sunshine 2 would feature a co-op mode. That question has been put to bed, with a co-op mode supporting one additional player to share your campaign escapades with.
We’d expect voice chat as a basic given but there’s been no indication as to any major gameplay advantages. The studio is very well-versed in co-op and multiplayer modes thanks to games like After the Fall. So we’d hope you might be able to chuck a grenade to your cohort in arms or something similar. We’ll have to wait and see on that.
Arizona Sunshine 2 release date, pre-order goodies and more
Arizona Sunshine 2 is scheduled for release on 7th December 2023. It’ll support Meta Quest 3, Quest 2 and Quest Pro, PlayStation VR 2 (PSVR 2) and PC VR headsets. Pre-orders are already available in Standard and Deluxe Editions. The Standard edition includes the Biker Bark Vest, Worker Watch, and Ducky Weapon Charm. While the Deluxe Edition includes a 10% pre-order discount, the exclusive Freddy Hands Skin, Doggy Weapon Charm, and Undead Buddy. That’s correct, even when surrounded by zombies you can turn Buddy into a ravenous undead killing machine.
Are you excited about Arizona Sunshine 2? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.