Viveport Review: Drone Fighters
This arcade shooter delights and challenges players as they go head to head against each other in immersive and enthralling drone-based combat.
By Joshua Hawkins, Greenlit Content
Drone Fighters is the sort of high intensity experience that VR was made for. As you face off against opponents—both AI and player controlled—you’re bound to come across some fun challenges that will leave you wanting to dive back into the game again and again.
Admittedly, I wasn’t a big fan of Drone Fighters at first. The learning curve for the game is high because you need to focus on both movement and shooting at the same time. This is something I’ve done in previous VR games, but Drone Fighters is a bit tougher to grasp. By default, you shoot with your left hand and fly around with your right. The tricky thing, though, is that you’ll need to use both the direction the controller is facing, as well as the buttons on the controller to make the drone fly in different directions, which can take some getting used to.
Audio is a huge part of the experience, and the developers did a great job with the 3D placement of sound and how it reverberates through the arena. It’s a good feeling as you fly your drone around, and the good news is that you can always tell where your drone is thanks to the audio; it’s nice not having to constantly figure out where you are—especially if you happen to fly the drone out of view.
When it comes to customizing your drone, though, the options are limited. There is a good assortment of weapons to choose from, but the colors and different drone types are few and left me wanting more. This isn’t that big of a problem unless you really care about cosmetics, and you won’t get to have eyes on your drone most of the time anyway, so it isn’t a deal breaker. Thankfully it’s easy to unlock new cosmetics, as you only need to earn stars (which are rewarded for each fight that you complete against the AI), and there are multiple types of combat sims to run through.
If you don’t enjoy going against other AI, you can always chill out and practice your movement and shooting skills in the target practice mode. You still receive rewards, but you’ll only have to worry about hitting moving targets, and none of them will fight back. This is more like an arcade than anything else, but it’s something to think about if you are having a tough time getting used to the game.
That said, Drone Fighters is a ton of fun, especially once you get the hang of the controls; if you aren’t into the default control scheme, you can choose a different control option in the settings. The use of 3D audio, and the fun gameplay that offers a challenge to players of all skill levels is something that I love about this title, and those looking to challenge themselves against other players will find the online mode extremely fun and accessible.