Preview: Dick Wilde 2 – Big and Bolder, but is it Better?
In 2017 Bolverk Games released its second virtual reality (VR) title in the form of first-person shooter (FPS) Dick Wilde. Placing you in the American Deep South with good old Mr Wilde coming out with some comedy one-liners and a bunch of handmade weapons to shoot some out of control critters, the first instalment was an amusing, yet slightly shallow experience. Now the studio is bringing Dick back for another round of gun slinging, just will it be enough?
The VR FPS space is very different now to what it was a couple of years ago. Wave-based stationary shooters are almost all but long gone, replaced by titles such as Borderlands 2 VR or In Death, where you have movement that can cater for all users and more dynamic enemies. Dick Wilde 2 on the other hand almost feels like a nostalgic look back at what VR once was, whilst at the same time expanding upon the originals gameplay design.
As mentioned Bolverk Games is certainly going bigger and better in a number of ways regarding Dick Wilde 2. Firstly levels and movement. You’re still fixed to a wooden raft stuck on a river, just this time it is moving, meaning all the enemies you need to kill don’t always have to come to you, you’ll float to them. And to make this aquatic journey that bit more troublesome the waterways are filled with cars, barrels, wooden panels and other junk which needs to be blasted out the way or else you’ll take damage.
There are six main levels, each featuring multiple routes. So depending on the guns you’ve acquired as well as the cash to buy upgrades, one route will be harder than the other, with the greater difficulty offering more rewards. Before choosing a path, another big inclusion is Dick Wilde’s store, full of weapons, and items to increase your health, critical shot chance and raft durability.
Gun wise the selection must be at least double the originals, with a selection of pistols, shotguns, automatics and energy weapons. They still retain that authentic Dick Wilde charm of looking like they were made in a barn, but they no longer have a secondary function. This means careful selection before you go into each stage, although they can be swapped if the stage is completed.
As for the action, things are relatively on par with before. Fish jump out the water at you or try to spitballs of nasty noxious gas. There are a few new enemy types such as rats on the backs of crocodiles and squid looking things which can protect themselves with energy shields. There certainly seems to be enough variety in the main levels that Dick Wilde 2 should provide a few decent hours of gameplay.
The studio hasn’t stopped there, however. To unlock some of the better guns there are four challenge levels to complete, each one offering a much more difficult and intense task than the main stages. These are much more confined shooting galleries on water, designed to not be easily completed on the first attempt.
Additionally, Dick Wilde 2 will also include an online co-op multiplayer, so you can bring a mate along to team up with on the more difficult levels. At this stage of the build, this option wasn’t available for VRFocus to try, when we do we’ll let you know.
Bolverk Games certainly seem to be cramming as much content as possible into this sequel, aiming to give fans of the first videogame that same core essence, just with more of everything. It’s a good tactic to go for, and most players should find the gameplay very comfortable. The real difficulty lays in tempting those who love their free-roaming shooters to go for a far more restricted style of FPS.