I'll be honest here - I've been playing a lot of games on PlayStation VR 2, and I haven't been too impressed with the launch lineup. Outside of Horizon Zero Mountain Climbing (which is beautiful, but kinda boring), I've played most of the other launch titles on other platforms. It doesn't feel great to shell out $550 for a new system and then play a bunch of old games that I played on the last generation's hardware, or on Quest 2. Sure, many of the games are great, and now they look a little better, but they feel the same. In fact, I was starting to feel like, for me, PlayStation VR 2 was kind of a wash. Despite all of its new fangled tricks, I couldn't help but feel that I had already done all this before. PS VR 2 was becoming a rerun for me, and it was making me a little sad.
But then I loaded up Pistol Whip for the first time in a couple of years, and it was like the world was reborn. My head cracked open and all of the magic of VR came rushing back in. PS VR 2 is now unleashing all of the promise and joy I hoped it would. It just took the right game to ping the pleasure centers in my head. Pistol Whip lit me up like a Christmas tree, and I spent a couple of hours happily dancing and shooting my way into a sweaty mess in my living room. Pistol Whip is the best launch game on PS VR 2, and maybe the best VR game period.
I reviewed Pistol Whip on PSVR for another outlet back in the day, and gave it a 10/10. At the time, Pistol Whip felt like the grand finale for PSVR, a platform that I played the hell out of and really advocated for. An explosion of light, motion, and sound, Pistol Whip puts players on a conveyer belt through a neon-drenched action movie, and asks them to John Wick their way through the chaos, shooting baddies that appear all around them. But the real hook of Pistol Whip is the fantastic music that thumps all around your head while you play, and the fact that you get more points if you shoot dudes to the beat.
Pistol Whip is an absolute joy to play, and on PS VR 2, it is even better. Now here is a game that brings out all of the great features of PS VR 2 and puts them at the fore. Trigger resistance that varies from weapon to weapon. Haptics that rattle your head when you fail to duck and catch one to the dome. The sound of bullets whizzing by your face, and the fact that you can actually hear them moving behind you. And of course, the pounding bass, and the spectacular, blazingly bright visuals that wrap around you and make you feel utterly immersed in the action.
Pistol Whip also has a fantastic new campaign that has been added to the game since the last time I played it, which gives me lots of new stuff to do while I dance, duck, and drip sweat onto my living room floor. There is so much more content in the game since the last time I played, and it looks like more is coming this year. I can see myself making Pistol Whip my new exercise program.
If you are like me, and you are sitting in a room with your new headset kinda shrugging at the offerings on the PlayStation Store, do yourself a favor and grab Pistol Whip. It did more than entertain me. It restored my goddamned faith.