Disappointing shooter shows off guns for sport, competition.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Lethal VR is a realistic downloadable gun-range game set in virtual reality. Players grab hold of virtual pistols and submachine guns using a motion controller; physically point them at targets including wooden human cutouts, bull's-eyes, urns, and statues; and press a trigger to fire. Some activities involve making throwing motions to fling knives and shuriken at targets. Both guns and knives are depicted as tools for sport and competition (there are no living targets), but the game provides no safety or cautionary messaging on firearm and knife handling. Parents should also be aware that virtual reality equipment makers don't recommend VR experiences for kids under 12 due to the potential impact the technology may have on younger players' physiological development.
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What’s It About?
LETHAL VR is a virtual reality gun-range game where players take on a series of challenges that involve firing pistols and submachine guns at static and moving targets, including human-shaped wooden cutouts, bull's-eyes, urns, and statues. Some activities also involve throwing bladed weapons, including knives, shuriken, and even -- in a nod to Goldfinger's Odd Job -- a bowler hat with a razor brim. Weapons are controlled by motion controllers, meaning players must aim virtual guns with physical hand and arm movements and make a realistic throwing motion to toss bladed weapons. All the action takes place in a circular gun-range chamber that plays host to occasional props, such as building facades that force players to carefully aim at targets through windows. Challenges gradually grow in difficulty, with players eventually forced to wield two weapons at a time and aim at smaller targets obscured by cutouts of civilians.
Is It Any Good?
Simple games are often the most rewarding, but that's not the case here. Gun simulations don't get much more basic than Lethal VR, which has no pretense of story, only a single (but dynamic) shooting environment, a small arsenal of weapons, and challenges no more sophisticated than "shoot this stuff while taking care not to shoot other stuff." It can also be completed in around an hour, with the only reason to dive back in being to try to get faster and more accurate to achieve a higher score.
Making matters worse, the knife-throwing activities prove extremely frustrating. Reliable accuracy proves nearly impossible, the blades often flying in directions 20 or 30 degrees off what the player intends. And these sections can't be skipped if you want to progress. Players will likely burn through most of the gun-only challenges on their first tries, then be forced to attempt many of the blade activities five or 10 times before successfully completing them. They act as bottlenecks keeping players from the only faintly satisfying parts of the experience. If you must play a gun game in VR, look elsewhere. There are plenty of better options.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the impact of violence in media, particularly in regards to firearms. Playing games with guns does not train or qualify you to handle real weapons, but should games with guns contain warnings about gun safety?
Talk about guns as a tool for sport. Do you think real pistols and rifles should have a place in recreational activity? Do the potential dangers of handling weapons -- injury and death -- make the risks of recreational firearm use advisable?
- Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Team 17
- Release date: December 20, 2016
- Genre: Simulation
- ESRB rating: T for Violence
- Last updated: October 25, 2021
Our Editors Recommend
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Intensely immersive adventure with scary, disorienting play.
For kids who love virtual reality
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