Image: Vertigo Games
Developer Vertigo Games shows gameplay from Arizona Sunshine 2 for the first time in an in-depth showcase and answers questions about the content.
Seven years ago, Vertigo Games released the zombie survival shooter Arizona Sunshine, one of the most popular VR hits of all time. In May of this year, a sequel was finally announced for PC VR, Playstation VR 2 and Meta Quest. After an extensive showcase video and a Reddit Q&A with the developers, we now know what to expect in the second part. We have compiled the most important information and statements from the developers for you.
What is Arizona Sunshine 2 about?
The game designers explain the plot on Reddit as follows: “The story follows our hilarious protagonist on his quest to find another human in the fires of the apocalypse. Along the way, he makes a new friend: Buddy. Together they set out to find Patient Zero, who he blames for everything that has happened to him since the outbreak of the plague, and our protagonist discovers that friendship can come from unexpected places.”
Buddy is a helpful sheepdog who will be your faithful companion. He helps you solve environmental puzzles, attacks zombies on demand, or plays fetch with the undead’s body parts. On your journey through the deserts of Arizona you should not expect an open game world: “It’s a traditional story-driven campaign where you play from one level to the next.”
Arizona Sunshine 2 significantly larger than its predecessor
The Arizona Sunshine campaign kept players engaged for about four hours. The second installment should offer significantly more gameplay time: “We estimate that there’s roughly two to three times more playtime compared to the first Arizona Sunshine,” the developers write. You should therefore plan between eight and twelve hours for one playthrough.
There will also be a lot more to do and experience: “Many more cinematic moments, massive hordes of zombies to fight against at once, and the entire campaign is filled to the brim with fun interactions to try, be it smoking a cigar, playing beer pong, dunking Fred’s head through a basketball hoop or driving into zombies with a shopping cart.”
Arizona Sunshine 2 also aims to provide replay value: “We have many unique hats and masks to collect, four different difficulty levels to complete, fun achievements to try and unlock, and many more secrets to dig around for.” In addition, the game will receive free Horde mode maps and other content upon launch.
Huge arsenal of weapons
Both the gunplay and the variety of weapons have been significantly reworked compared to Arizona Sunshine. There will be more than 40 weapons, including melee weapons, explosives, and flamethrowers. “Most weapons have a standard version and an upgraded version that can be much harder to find, but pack a harder punch,” explain the developers.
All weapons have to be manually reloaded: “You need to manually grab a magazine from your pouch, rack the slide to chamber a round and eject your magazine when you’re empty. We’ve furthermore done a whole lot to tweak the feel of the guns themselves. For example, adding micro-animations and haptics to every magazine you insert and slide you pull back, all simulating the mechanical feel of pulling actual springs back and inserting metal.”
Co-op mode and cross-play planned
Vertigo has gained a lot of experience in the VR online multiplayer genre in recent years with the coop-zombie-shooter After The Fall. Arizona Sunshine 2 should also benefit from this. You will be able to play the entire campaign in co-op mode. There is also a horde mode for up to four players, in which you can fight off waves of enemies together.
“The campaign co-op mode builds on the foundation of the original game. When a friend joins in co-op, however, while the story remains the same, the dynamic of the game changes quite a bit. It becomes more of a freestyle, fun way to surviving the apocalypse together. Arizona Sunshine 2 embraces this much more in its game design, as the world is littered with items and interactivity that you can use for this. And yes, you can both give Buddy orders,” say the developers.
All multiplayer modes support cross-play. So it doesn’t matter which platform you play Arizona Sunshine 2 on. For example, you can easily play on PSVR 2 together with friends on Quest 3 or PC VR.
Meta Quest 3 upgrade coming later
In addition to PC VR and PSVR 2, Arizona Sunshine 2 will also be released on the Meta Quest 3, Quest 2, and Quest Pro mobile VR headsets. The game is expected to achieve a constant frame rate of 72 FPS on all Quest headsets. Due to the higher hardware performance, the Quest 3 version should be clearer and sharper than the Quest 2 version from the start.
“The most noticable difference at launch will be the higher render scale. We’re currently aiming at a whopping 1.5 to 1.7 times increase over the Quest 2.” An additional upgrade for Quest 3 is planned before Christmas and will bring real-time shadows to the game, among other things. Vertigo is also already working on a gameplay trailer for the Quest version.
Extensive comfort options and subtitles
Arizona Sunshine 2 offers various comfort options to help reduce unpleasant gameplay or motion sickness. “We support two movement modes: Teleport and Sliding/Smooth locomotion, whilst also offering a plethora of other comfort options like vignetting and snap turning.”
Only the free assignment of the buttons will not be possible, at least for the time being. Subtitles will be available in the following languages: French, German, Spanish (Latin America), Italian, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean, and Japanese.
Arizona Sunshine 2 on PSVR 2: Reprojection and Fixed Foveated Rendering
PSVR 2’s reprojection technology, which artificially boosts frame rates, can cause jittery images and discomfort when players rotate. Arizona Sunshine 2 uses this technology as well as fixed foveated rendering.
“We’re furthermore running on a steady 60 FPS reprojected to 120 whilst also using Fixed Foveated Rendering” say the developers. “I do understand that not all in the PSVR 2 community love reprojection, yet we’re paying lots of attention to ghosting, artifacts and image quality.”
When will Arizona Sunshine 2 be released?
Arizona Sunshine 2 will be released on December 7, 2023 for Meta Quest, Playstation VR 2 and PC VR-compatible headsets on Steam. In addition to the standard version, there is also a Deluxe Edition including cosmetic items.
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