Duck Season Review
Duck Season – Not your usual trip down memory lane!
As a kid I loved the old Duck Hunt game on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), you could shoot ducks with a real gun! (ok so it was not a real gun and they were not real ducks but to younger me they were. Don’t burst younger me’s bubble) so when I heard there was a VR version I was keen to try it. What I played was not how I remember the game, it contained a lot more game-play and is of some of the highest standards in VR games I have seen of late. This game is fun, bizarre and just a little dark, yep, ticks a lot of the boxes for me!
The premise of the game is simple, your mother has rented you Duck Season for one day and you set about to enjoy it. However, without giving too much away, there is something suspicious about the game. I have the clear impression the Kid should call the Winchesters in!
There are two main environments you will play this game in;
- The Living room, this serves as the story area, in between levels area and also a sandbox. The game world is very well created. As the game progresses; it becomes littered with VHS tapes (more on those in a moment) game cartridges and toys.
- Inside the game, unlike the kid in the “real world” armed with a toy light gun, here you get a real pump action shotgun. If you look behind yourself, you can see the kid staring in at you with the TV studio around you. It’s a cool effect. The dog is there and looking very much like a guy in a dog suit. The fact that when the level loads up, you kind of catch him having a quiet smoke coupled with the way he exaggerates moves is done well. He suits the game to a tea.
Between each level you get shown a video on the TV from the 80s, well more a spoof of a video from the 80s. I place high value on humour, and these developers have it in spades. Watching a very serious looking scientist spawn a bathtub, attach thrusters to it and go for a ride (in an homage to Garry’s Mod) just had me chuckling my head off. Multiple VHS tapes that spawn between the levels can be placed into the video player and watched for a funny video. Other NES games spawn to between levels and all of which can be played on your virtual NES , a rather unexpected bonus.
Duck Season’s cutscenes are also a thing of beauty, you find yourself in a theatre and they are done with wooden cutouts lowered down from the ceiling along with audio. I have never seen this style done and have to admit it was very enjoyable to watch! I look forward to watching the other six endings (there are seven in total).
The game is intuitive. Duck Season does a good job of showing you how everything works. There were bits that could have done with explaining better. Parts where you are expected to do something and the game will not progress until you do. Yeah, that is deliberately vague since I do not want to spoil things, let us say at one point something would not end until I looked behind me *wink* *wink*.
Duck Season comes with more than the core game. You are getting a multi-ended story and a collection of mini games and videos. Taking that into account and the high production level I would say it is very much worth its price.
- Wonderfully created environments.
- Great sense of humour with the short videos.
- A cutscene method I have yet to see anywhere else and is just perfect for VR.
- Multiple endings.
- As a bonus there are extra cartridges, you can play on the in-game system, unlocking as you pass through the levels.
- very satisfying shotgun physics.
- Easy is too easy (we need something between medium and easy for the later levels).
- Medium gets very hard at the later levels.
- Can get repetitive if you just play the Duck Season levels.