My favourite shooter from PlayStation VR ALVO has finally released on another headset, with the Meta Quest 2 release. I was really interested in seeing how it would play on the stand-alone device and if improvements have been made since last playing it on PSVR. So, I have been jumping in and out of the game since its release, but what do I think?
The game is only playable online, and brings with it three modes that all support up to ten-player lobbies. The game modes included are Free For All, Team Deathmatch and Search and Destroy, arcing to game modes found in popular shooters Counter Strike and Call of Duty.
ALVO also mirrors these shooters in the fast paced gun-play and not mirroring the more tactical side you get in VR shooters like Onward and Contractors. This choice seems to work with what the team at Mardonpol want from their shooter, and the modes they have included.
Going back to the modes, the Free For All and Team Deathmatch modes are what you expect, the person or team with the most kills wins – so it brings with it fast paced gameplay. With Search and Destroy you will have an attacking and a defending team, with two points being available within the map. The attacking team will need to plant and defend a bomb at one of these points to win, while the defenders will need to hold off or eliminate all of the enemies, in a first to five rounds scenario. This mode does bring with it team work and some tactics, as it’s one death and your out for the rest of that round. However, once you are dead you can still jump to set cameras around the map, and inform your team of enemies positions.
There are a number of weapons available in each of your primary and secondary weapon slots, but you do have to work for these. You will start with one weapon in each slot and all the other weapons are locked behind ALVO Coins and your rank, so, you will generate both of these by competing in the matches. You will then also need to work on getting your ALVO coins for your attachments for the weapons and skins, giving the game a progression system in order to keep you going back for more. With the final use of the coins and rank progression being perks, like found within Call of Duty to maximise the effectiveness of your load-out.
At the moment you have three maps available in the game, a monastery, a house, and an industrial complex – with some offering day and night variations. Meaning ALVO does offer a range of different environments to shoot and run around in, and for me these have seen a visual upgrade from the PlayStation VR version – and area the PlayStation version let me down.
I am not sure if this improvement is down the resolution boost on the Quest 2, but everything seems so much more clear and sharp inside of the HMD. This makes a huge difference in being able to spot the enemies – especially in those darker maps. The game does also have a great draw distance , which allows for you to see enemies right across the map. One area that really has impressed with ALVO is how the scopes work, and these are up there with some of the best VR shooters on the market.
With the sound you are getting what you would expect from the shooter, sounds that suit the environments you are playing in, guns and sounds of grenades going off. All of these sounds are okay, but the 3D audio can be suspect at times.
First of all ALVO comes with a good amount of comfort options, which was going to be needed for the fast pace the game is played at, but, some that are susceptible to motion sickness might still feel bad while playing the game. The game can also be played seated or standing with the game only offering a crouch assigned to a button.
One massive difference is the controls in the game, with you being able to play the game with controllers designed for VR. However, the team have tried to keep the game in parity with PSVR, which brings in some very weird mechanics, with a hybrid reload and grenade system.
To reload you have to grab the clip from your side, but then it automatically does the actions to reload after that. Then for the grenade you a grenade arc show up and the just do the throwing motion with the opposite arm – with the option to switch them to button based. But, with all other shooters bringing a full manual reload and grenade system, this should be the standard on the medium – and this could deter players.
Where it was in a small market for solid VR shooters on the PSVR, there is a lot more competition on the Quest for shooters. But, what I have seen so far it seems the people playing it are really enjoying it, and there is a good number that played it on PSVR. Taking these into account, this gives me hope of it keeping a player-base – which is essential for the longevity of the online only shooter. Taking into account the games progression unlocks with rank and ALVO coins, it gives the players something to aim for.
With the team having a road map which includes more game modes, maps and tweaks. The game will stay fresh and bring more reasons to be collecting ALVO coins as it progresses – which in turn will bring more longevity to the title.
Reviewed using Meta Quest 2
For the purposes of transparency, this review was created using a review code provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a press code does not affect my judgement of the product.
ALVO brings a fast-pace shooter in the same ilk as Call of Duty and Counter Strike, with really satisfying gameplay. This is currently across three game modes and three maps, with more modes and maps planned for the future. With a progression system to unlock all weapons, skins and attachments using ALVO coins, it gives you something to aim for and reason to keep playing. But, the game does come with an odd reload and grenade system, with the switch to button option making them even more immersion breaking. With a currently player-base that is made up of people new to the game and people moving over from the PSVR version ALVO should keep a solid player-base – something that is needed when making an online only game. However, keeping updates coming and adding the planned maps and modes is going to be important, with so many other shooters being available on the Meta Quest.