Review: Dick Wilde 2

When it comes to shooting stuff in virtual reality (VR) gamers have got no end of choice, with an array of first-person shooters (FPS) on offer. The older titles tended to be fairly stationary, with enemies coming to you while more modern VR shooters tend to employ a variety of movement systems. One of the main reasons the early wave shooters kept you still was for comfort, developers wanted to encourage consumers to the technology not make them barf. Bolverk Games’ Dick Wilde was a good example of a simple yet effective wave shooter. Now with Dick Wilde 2 out this week, can the studio still find a niche for this style of FPS in 2019?

There’s plenty to like about Dick Wilde 2, with its cheeky demeanour and light-hearted comedy stylings. The title doesn’t take itself seriously with the southern drawl of Mr Wilde sometimes serious yet never boring or grating to hear.

Right from the start, you can tell Bolverk Games aimed higher and further than the previous outing, with three stages split down into 11 levels apiece. Six are for the main single-player campaign while four are gun trials which you need to complete to unlock Dick’s arsenal of weapons. Lastly, there’s a singular boss level, to take on the might of the swamp creatures.

Thankfully, in Dick Wilde 2 you’re no longer stationary. You’re now stuck to a raft instead! This is certainly a happy middle ground between the original title and more modern FPS experiences. You’ve got no direct control of the raft so this is an on-rails shooter, meaning most players should find the videogame a very comfortable experience. It’s not very dynamic, but Bolverk Games has tried to mix things up by including multiple routes across a lot of the levels, unlocked by attaining keys – normally from the golden fish that occasionally leap from the water.

The selection of weapons has now vastly improved over the original, with the selection split between four options: pistol, automatic, shotgun and energy. Unlike the first title where the guns had dual settings, all the weapons here don’t, but you can mix and match depending on which ones you’ve unlocked in the trials and how much money you’ve collected during the levels.

The multiple routes aside, most of the levels tend to be fairly similar with enemies either trying to shoot you or bite your face off. Whilst trying to stay alive killing all these lively swamp critters you’ll also need to destroy various debris littering the river which can damage your raft. This is where you can rack up the cash needed to buy the guns and additional upgrades for your character and the raft.

The only trouble is that while Dick Wilde 2 can be entertaining it still feels very much like it’s going through the motions. More content doesn’t necessarily mean better content. There are plenty of hours to kill in the single-player campaign, and the addition of a multiplayer co-op feature definitely helps to improve things by bringing a mate along. Actually, because of that feature, Dick Wilde 2 seems like it would be far more suited to an arcade, rather than at home. Each individual level is short enough that you could get several in during a 15-minute window.

Dick Wilde 2 was never going to be a standout experience but for fans of the original, there’s enough new content to be worth a look. Those new to VR will also enjoy the title, as the gameplay is kept to purely shooting stuff. But for those VR gamers who have owned their headset for a good couple of years, Dick Wilde 2 won’t suffice, only scratching the surface of what VR can do.

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