Dick Wilde 2 Review: Longer, Harder, But Not Quite Wilder
At the start of a level in Dick Wilde 2, the titular protagonist proclaims, "Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit!" This should tell you just about everything you need to know about this wild river rafting ride of a sequel.
Dick Wilde 2 knows exactly what it is, and it never tries to be anything else. That's actually a good thing because, right now, these kinds of games simply play better when working within the confines of VR's limitations. With a solid combo of southern fried humor and fun shooting mechanics, there's really not much to lose by trying out this budget PSVR title.
River Rafting Rampage
The setup to Dick Wilde 2 is incredibly simple: you move down an on-rails track while dodging projectiles, blowing up obstacles, and firing like mad at everything from angry birds to killer rat men. I'm not quite clear on exactly what happened to turn all of these animals both sentient and homicidal, but I'm glad that it did.
A wide range of enemy types and the cartoonish color scheme are some of the game's highlights. You'll fire wildly at deadly mollusks, kamikaze moles riding drills straight at your raft, poison-shooting snakes, jellyfish who generate an impervious electrical barrier, projectile-flinging beavers, and even fireball-spitting frogs.
There are quite a few similarities between the gameplay in Dick Wilde 2 and Blasters Of The Universe, and if you like that style, you'll probably love this game. The games do differ though, in that Dick Wilde 2 has significantly more levels than Blasters, although only a handful of scenery types (wilderness, subterranean, and concrete) are reused across these levels.
Despite these repurposed settings, Dick Wilde 2 still ends up with far more variety than Blasters, as there are multiple routes to take through each level. That means you can replay them in different ways, using different guns, and you will have to if you want to gather all the gold keys and unlock everything.
Unfortunately, Dick Wilde 2 features significantly fewer weapon types than Blasters, one of the bigger strikes against the game. However, you can change your loadout at different check points in a level, which is a nice feature not included in Blasters.
Additionally, you'll quickly notice there's no reloading and you have infinite ammo in this shooter. This could be good or bad depending on your preferences, but these small elements can make all of the difference in a VR title.
For example, in Blasters Of The Universe you have to physically grab a pack of ammo and jam it into the side of your gun. While this is a little detail, the mechanic vastly increases immersion when playing the title. This element is completely gone in Dick Wilde 2, and instead you'll focus on mastering each of the game's weapons.
Fortunately, the guns are all distinct enough from one another to require different strategies in each level. Uzis, for instance, are less likely to make your finger tired than a revolver or shotgun, since you can just spray 'n pray. However, they do less damage and are less accurate the longer you hold down the trigger.
Plamsa guns, which appear to be made from magic 8 balls and a paint sprayer, are probably the best weapon overall. However, they are harder to use since the plasma projectiles move slower than traditional bullets.
It is also worth nothing that the on-rails movement means there's no chance of getting nauseated while playing Dick Wilde 2. This is a problem with quite a few VR games right now, and players that have issues with it will be happy to play this title.
The Difficulty Spike
Your wilderness vacation starts out fairly simple: just a fun float down a river where you occasionally fend off man-eating piranhas. No big deal, right? However, once you've mastered the basics, Dick Wilde 2 gets incredibly hard, especially in the later levels.
This isn't a level of difficulty that will make you scream and throw your Move controllers while cursing the developer's name for all time, but you can expect to die quite frequently in many of the harder areas. This difficulty jump leads me to the two main gripes I have about Dick Wilde 2.
First off, if you want to survive, you basically have to play co-op for some of these levels. At the moment, that can only be done online, and that really left me longing for the days of local co-op.
Of course, I realize that even if you could hook up two VR headsets to the same PS4, having two blind people flailing wildly in the same room may be a recipe for disaster. That said, Dick Wilde 2 feels like it could be one of those insanely fun two player experiences we've been missing from movement-based games since the Kinect.
Second, there's a noticeable lack of a screen clearing bomb option. When dealing with bullet hell games, that's a major issue. Even if the weapon had a ludicrous cost, and you could only buy one per level, that would still be a very welcome addition to dealing with the difficulty in single player mode.
The Bottom Line
- Hilariously fun gameplay
- Simple but solid mechanics
- Plenty of levels and a satisfying level of difficulty
- Limited weapon types
- Fairly short
- You'll end up having to play online co-op to beat the hardest levels
Let's make this clear: you aren't going to sink 100 hours into this game, but it's a hell of a fun time for 10 hours or so. If you're looking to expand your VR collection with a fun diversion, or just want something to show off when people come over, Dick Wilde 2 will be a solid addition to your game catalog.
Looking for more VR titles to check out? Here's a roundup of some of most recently reviewed PSVR games as well as the VR entries we are most looking forward to playing this year:
- Intruders: Hide And Seek
- Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
- Gungrave VR
- 11 Most Anticipated VR Games Of 2019
[Note: A copy of Dick Wilde 2 was provided by PlayStack for the purpose of this review.]