A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Arizona Sunshine is a downloadable, first-person shooter game for the PlayStation VR. The game, previous released on the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, puts players in control of survivors of a zombie apocalypse, fighting against the undead in the backdrop of the harsh Arizona desert. The PSVR version of the game features a host of control options, including support for the DualShock, Aim, and Move controllers, as well as enhanced support for the PS4 Pro. Violence is persistent in the game, with players using realistic weapons to fend of waves of undead enemies, many times resulting in graphic splatters of blood and gore. There's some mild profanity and reference to drug use in the game's dialogue, plus the online co-op opens up players to potential offensive language from other players.
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What's it about?
In ARIZONA SUNSHINE, players wake up in a cave in the middle of the Arizona desert to a world that's gone to hell. It's a post-apocalyptic landscape in an already harsh environment, but that's not the worst part. It seems that the dead have decided that they don't feel like staying that way. But all hope isn't lost yet. Over a radio, you make out a voice … another living soul that might be the key to finding a safe haven. Of course, standing between you and your potential sanctuary are a few hundred zombies, more than eager to take a bite out of you. You'll have to fight your way through the hordes, armed only with your wits and whatever weapons you can scavenge. With a good aim, a quick trigger, and a whole lot of luck, you might just live long enough to find a way out from under that harsh and deadly Arizona sun.
Is it any good?
This thrilling, engaging shooter is a must for mature VR fans that can handle bloody, gory combat. Zombies are scary enough on their own. Zombies in a post-apocalyptic wasteland are even more so. Now, zombies in a post-apocalyptic wasteland that surrounds your senses? That's a formula for a fantastically frightening and frantic experience, and that's what Arizona Sunshine delivers. Most zombie games are dark and creepy, using the dead (or rather "undead") of night to add to the creepiness. Arizona Sunshine, like the title suggests, eschews this formula by tossing players in the middle of a Max Max like desert wasteland under a scorching and unforgiving sun. Things are generally bright, colorful, and still terrifyingly fun. That doesn't mean there aren't shadows to sneak through, though, particularly with some of the abandoned mines littering the landscape. Either way, you need to keep your wits about you and always be ready to, literally, look over your shoulder.
With a lot of VR games, control can be a sticky situation. Players usually have to sacrifice fluidity for realism or vice versa, and most players are split over which is most important. Arizona Sunshine solves this issue by letting players decide how they want to control the game. On the PS4, using the DualShock or Aim controller gives players more freedom of movement, while using two Move controllers sacrifices that freedom for a unique dual wield feature. No matter how you choose to play, the game is surprisingly responsive. Admittedly, the story falls a bit flat, feeling more like an afterthought than a key element. Co-op play can be a little frustrating as well, especially in some of the more cramped quarters, but it's still good to have someone watching your back. No matter how you cut it, when the sun sets on Arizona Sunshine, the game is a must have title for anyone interested in checking out just what the PSVR has to offer.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. How does a more immersive experience, such as VR, affect the impact of graphic violence in video games?
Talk about the evolution of gaming. How have games progressed over the years, from arcades of the past to VR and augmented reality experiences today? What are some ways gaming might continue to change in the future?
- Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PlayStation 4, PlayStation VR
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Vertigo Games
- Release date: June 27, 2017
- Genre: First-Person Shooter
- Topics: Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Strong Language
- Last updated: November 2, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.