Looking back on my childhood and my time spent in various gaming arcades, nothing stands out to me more than the cornucopia of light gun-based machines like Time Crisis and Point Blank. With the release of the PlayStation VR’s Aim Controller back in 2017, I half expected to be living out my childhood again in the comfort of my own home with my PSVR. Save for the likes of Farpoint though, my Aim has been mostly collecting dust since that time. Enter Dick Wilde 2, a game that, despite its predecessor completely slipping my notice, I instantly put my hand up to review for two reasons. First of all, it’s an old-school wave shooter with support for the Aim Controller. More importantly though, I’d get to make a whole lot of dick puns.
I’d normally begin a review like this with something about the game’s story or premise, but Dick Wilde 2 doesn’t really concern itself with those too much. In fact, I learned more about the setting from the game’s PlayStation Store listing than I did from actually playing it. Something or other about a toxic lake turning fish and rats into mutants that need to be wiped out, basically, but it’s of no consequence. There’s no foreplay here, just strap-on the PlayStation VR, get a vibrating wand in each hand and start blasting away! I’m already kinda reaching for those jokes, aren’t I? Sorry.
I hope you like fishsticks
Dick Wilde 2 plays out over the course of three worlds, each made up of branching paths of smaller sequences that see you rafting down a river and shooting at the local mutated wildlife. As you do, you’ll earn money that can then be spent regularly with Dick Wilde himself on health and buffs, as well as slowly widening your arsenal (heh). Save for a few fairly exciting boss fights and the occasional weapons trial, that’s pretty much all there is to the game. There’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple of course, but riding Dick’s vessel for extended periods of time might have you wishing for some more variety. That said, it’s definitely great to just jump on for a quickie after a long, hard day and bang a few rounds out.
While I never got the opportunity to experience the first Dick Wilde, I remember it having some notoriety in VR circles for being punishingly hard. To that end, developer Bolverk Games have made the second Dick a slightly gentler and less aggressive experience. I still found it quite challenging, especially going into the later levels, but it’s hard to say how much of that came down to the controller tracking issues I experienced. On both my Aim Controller and my Moves, I struggled with the in-game representations of the guns very quickly drifting off on different angles to my controllers in the real world, forcing me to constantly adjust. To make sure it wasn’t my equipment that was the issue I jumped into a few other PSVR games and had no troubles whatsoever in those, but I still can’t say if this is an isolated problem or something with the game in general.
Bring a friend if you need some more head(s)
When it does work though, Dick Wilde 2 is a blast. The gun selection might not be super imaginative, but the simple act of shooting scores of mutant creatures feels great. There are pros and cons to each of the two controller options, but they’re both viable ways to play. Dual-wielding any combination of guns with the Moves is definitely an enticing prospect but overall I found wrapping both my hands around the girthy Aim Controller to be a more satisfying experience. You can either play with yourself or share the load with a friend online, but none of my friends on PSN had gotten Dick recently so I had to finish it off alone, sadly.
While not what I’d consider a ‘looker’, Dick Wilde 2 has a pleasant enough, cartoon-like style that does the job. Importantly, it’s got the goods where it counts, keeping up with all the action no matter how much I pumped away at it. I can’t say for sure without trying, but I’d hazard a guess that there’s enough wiggle room under the hood that it’d be a smooth ride even with two people inside of it.
Dick Wilde 2 isn’t the longest or deepest ride around, but it’s a fun way to get a few shots off after hours. While the options to handle one instrument or two and cross streams with a friend add some much-needed spice, I was still left wanting something a little more adventurous.
Reviewed on PlayStation VR/PlayStation 4 Pro // Review code supplied by publisher