Cool Stuff: Sandbox VR Is As Close As You Can Get To Ready Player One’s Oasis (For Now)

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Written By Sedoso Feb

When it comes to Sandbox VR’s other recently added game experience, “Deadwood Valley,” the premise may be familiar, and the gameplay is fairly rudimentary. But just the simple enhancement of putting weapon-like hardware in your hands and being in the same room with a group of players elevates what would otherwise be a simple VR video game experience that you’d have at home. 

If you’ve ever played a zombie game variant in a first-person shooter video game like “Call of Duty,” then you know what to expect here. In “Deadwood Valley,” your party is a unit of soldiers dispatched to save a doctor in the middle of a zombie apocalypse scenario. Hordes of zombies swarm in on you from all sides in the middle of a dark, debris-laden town block, and you have to gun them down in order to survive. 

In your hands, you’ve got either a shotgun, two magnum pistols, or an assault rifle. Each piece of hardware you hold in your hands is shaped like a futuristic video game controller version of the weapon in question, rather than looking like a realistic gun. Each weapon has its strengths and shortcomings within the game too. Some game variants utilize a sword, axe, bow, and even powerful magic, but this experience did not include those, though I think there might have been a knife available. 

Your team stands back-to-back, shooting out at the zombies and trying to survive. Yes, you’ll probably die, but this is where a bit of the group element comes into play. In order to be revived after dying in the game, one of the other surviving players must hold their hand on your shoulder, and then you’re back in action. You may also have to help your teammates by shooting off a creature that latches onto their body. The video captured of my gameplay experience (something included with your ticket price) shows a bit more about what the game is like.

Every wave of zombies comes with varying degrees of difficulty and new monsters that are more challenging to kill, all with a vibe that feels like “Call of Duty” mixed with “Resident Evil.” There are cool environmental features, like being able to shoot out windows or blast a gas can and have it create an explosion that wipes out a pool of zombies. Again, the gameplay is relatively simple, but it’s those added elements of being in a room with real people and hardware in your hand that create a new level of immersion. There are environment changes too, so you’re not just sitting in the middle of a town block the entire time. The finale in particular makes things even more creepy, especially when you meet the final villain.

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