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Preview: Zero Caliber 2

I was a huge fan of Zero Caliber on PCVR and have played through it a number of times in co-op with different people. Then it came to Quest as Zero Caliber: Reloaded and I played through it again to see how a standalone device would handle it. Although, it had some required visual downgrades they seemed to hit me in the face, probably because I played it so much on PC but, I still had a lot of fun playing it on the standalone device.

So, when it was announced that Zero Caliber 2 was in development and with the extra power now offered by the Meta Quest 3, I was certainly interested as it will offer some improvement over the capabilities Quest 2 device (although it will also be available on this system).

Release Date: July 2024
Developer: XREAL Games
Publisher: XREAL Games
Price: £22.99
Previewed On: Meta Quest 3
* Access Provided For Preview *

For the preview I have played through a number of the missions that are available in the story mode of the game, which were in streets, a city centre, a harbour and across open flatlands in a Humvee. All offering a variety of settings that allowed for intense battles in more open settings, down narrow streets and close quarter in houses and buildings and even using some artilaries.

The game has kept the accurate and satisfying feeling to the gunplay and accurate manual reloading mechanics for all the guns available in the game. These means in all types of the combat I got into through the levels had that feeling of realism. Then switching guns for each situation from my chosen load-out or picking up dropped guns along the way felt really immersive. Resulting in each level and parts of the levels feeling different as I switched between assault rifles to a shot gun depending on my current objective and combat situation.

Again the team have given you many reasons to return to the game with single player and co-op story mode, which I was very happy to see the team putting a big concentration on a story mode again, as story driven military shooters are a dime in a dozen when it comes to VR. However, for the preview I have only had the opportunity to play these in single player, they have still been great fun to play. On top of this you are going to have loads of unlockables from guns, attachments and skins, which will require to not only rank up, but buy with money you earn as your playthrough the story – which has returned from the Reloaded and something I really enjoyed, as it gives a feeling of progression and something to aim for.

Outside of the single player/co-op campaign mode the game will also have a 5v5 multiplayer mode as well, for those who want to scratch that PVP itch. As with he co-op mode, this mode was not available in the preview.

From the preview the game has improved on the visuals and look a lot less bland. With each missions I have done looking a lot more filled out, and with some great cinematic action sequences happening around you, which really adds to the feeling of immersion.

The game also has native support for bHaptics, which is activated in the settings of the game. I have tested this out with my Tactot vest and the implementation gives you accurate indication where you are taking shots on your torso. It does not give any feedback when firing your weapon, but with shooters I think the indication of where bullets are hitting you giving more indication where the shots are coming from is the best way to use the vest haptics.

In my time playing the preview Zero Caliber 2 and the missions I have the chance to check out, it has me excited for the final version of game and jumping back into the campaign in single player or with up to four friends in co-op. The gunplay, reloading mechanics and unlock system have transferred over from the first game – and this is perfect for players who want that feeling of progression and working towards unlocking your favorite weapons attachments and skins. Even in the current preview beta state, you can see the team have pushed themselves to make improvements in every area from Zero Caliber: Reloaded and I am excited for the scheduled July 2024 release.