Dick Wilde 2 has a target audience (pun intended) with its wave / rail shooter design that works really well with the PlayStation VR headset. It checks all of the boxes of ‘improvement’ that you would want from a sequel, without really doing anything revolutionary along the way.
The original Dick Wilde was one of those titles that easily got lost in the shuffle of wave and rail shooters for virtual reality. First person shooting and haunted games were the primary experiences people were throwing at virtual reality for the first couple of years, and it was difficult for games in either genre to stand out. However, the original game had a solid foundation, and Dick Wilde 2 does a good job of building upon that.
First and foremost, Dick Wilde 2 has a very arcade machine vibe to it, right down to intuitive controls that focus on aiming and tilting for offense and defense. It really not much more complicated than that from either a narrative or control standpoint. What it lacks in story (which is pretty much everything), Dick Wilde 2 makes up for with an irreverent, slapstick tone. As for the controls themselves, you find yourself on a raft that requires no control from you – hence the ‘rails’ part of the experience. That is a bit of a curse and a blessing, as it is well done and this allowed me to focus on the action itself without worrying about the matter of coming or going, but it does greatly limit the scope of the game. There is no exploration, and while the sights and sounds are certainly well done, you get them spoon-fed to you in fairly linear fashion. I say ‘fairly’ because level progression does have branching paths you can unlock along the way, which certainly does help replay value quite a bit.
From a survival standpoint, you are primarily tasked with clearing out floating debris in the water that could take down your raft, or targeting the charmingly vicious critters out to eat your face along the way. The shooting is smooth and natural, and you essentially avoid damage by leaning one way or the other to get out of harm’s way. It is a pretty simple formula, one that is tried and true in VR, but to its credit the core mechanics work well, even if there aren’t a lot of frills tacked on overall.
With half a dozen levels and another handful of shooting challenges, there is not a lot of content here. Burning through most of what Dick Wilde 2 has to offer can be done pretty easily in an afternoon, though your mileage may vary if you enjoy going back and exploring alternate routes or want to see how having a specific unlocked weapon might impact the experience during a particular stage. It is fun, but not the longest lived of experiences.
I really wish more titles made use of the PSVR AIm controller, because it really is one of the best peripherals on the market. Games like Doom just play so much better with it, and I am thrilled that Dick Wilde 2 offers support for it. Frankly I think all PSVR shooting games should find a way to offer support for this particular device. The one thing to note, is because of the design of the controller, you are only going to use singular weapons, not dual wield. It is an interesting risk / reward scenario, because the AIM controller is really accurate and is the ideal way to fire with a single weapon, but you do have to keep your head on more of a swivel than if you are wielding two weapons at once with the flexibility to cover more ground that way.