I thoroughly enjoyed the first Dick Wilde game when it released on PSVR back in 2017, even if it did almost kill me. It was a sweat-inducing shooter that had a no-frills quality to it. Some say it was too hard for anyone living outside of the Matrix. Others claimed it wasn’t hard enough. I fell in the camp of the former. With Dick Wilde 2 out now on PSVR, I kind of wish I was still there.
Dick Wilde 2 is more of the same, but different. Same same, but different. You’re still standing (or sitting) still while nasty animals attack you on your raft, and you’re still shooting them dead with an arsenal of homemade guns. While it all seems quite familiar, there’s something off about Dick Wilde 2 and I’ve spent the better part of a week trying to figure it out. Bear with me and we’ll get there in the end, dear readers.
Before I continue I just want to put my usual VR disclaimer here: Yes, this is a VR only game and you definitely need a PSVR headset to play on PS4. Please, take this notice before you clog up my already ruined inbox. Thanks.
You’ll also need a couple of PS Move controllers of a PSVR Aim controller. The DualShock 4 has no place in Dick Wilde 2, so make sure you’ve got the appropriate gear in tow before you throw down your money.
So, it’s more Dick Wilde, and that’s not a bad thing. The tracking is just as good as the first game – which was really, really good in that department – and the shooting is satisfying enough. What isn’t is the rest of the game. Let me explain.
This time around you’re not just standing on a platform, waiting for the critters to spit their toxic gunk at you/jump at you to try to eat your face. No, this time around you don’t even play as Dick Wilde, but instead as one of his new assistants. Apparently the nasty animals are too much for old Dick to handle by himself, so he’s recruited some hired help. You’re the hired help.
The game is split into levels, and each level is split into different sections. There are even branching paths for you to take. This is kind of a requirement if you want to reach the end of the game and get all of the trophies. Each level contains a certain amount of keys, and some levels can only be played once you’ve collected a certain number of keys. The keys are, as you may have already guessed, found within the different branching paths that you can take. This effectively forces you to play through levels at least twice, but some will need more than that to collect all of the keys.
It’s a nice way of giving the player a sense of progression, but it’s not what I really expected from a Dick Wilde sequel. As I said before, the first game tired me out, massively. I’d hit a level, do my best, fail, and then get right back to it. It was brutally hard at times but it was always fun. Dick Wilde 2 is far tamer than its predecessor, and even more so if you team up with a buddy or a stranger in multiplayer.
The levels have you moving through rivers, sewers, and swamps as the critters try to kill you and your raft. A new addition is raft damage. The thing that you’re standing on can be destroyed, so you need to look after it. The main danger to the raft comes in the form of obstacles through the levels. They can be old boxes, rusty old cars, thrown out refrigerators, and even school buses. You get rid of them by, well, you’ve already guessed it, shooting them. During my time with the game, these inanimate objects posed a bigger threat than the critters, and when I lost and had to restart, most of the time it was because my raft was messed up by the floating trash, not the critters.
This isn’t a great problem to have, and I kind of wish the game didn’t bother having these obstacles; they’re an annoyance and they really do detract from the fun of shooting. Not to sound like some kind of psycho or something, but shooting evil rats is far more engaging than shooting an innocent rusty car, yet that’s what I spent most of my time doing.
In an effort to add a bit more meat to the game, Dick Wilde 2 has some very light RPG elements. Much like in the first game, you can buy more weapons. However, this time around you can also buff up your raft’s health, your own health, and buy other items that help you survive the onslaught of critters/swamp trash. It’s a nice idea and I appreciate what the developers were trying to do, but it’s a bit of an unneeded distraction, and in multiplayer it’s just far too overpowered.
Then there’s the weapons. The first game had a vast array of inventive homemade killing machines that were good fun to use. This time around it’s all a bit more basic. You’ve got your pistols, uzis, and shotguns. There are a couple of special weapons but they pale in comparison to what the original offered and it definitely feels like Dick’s arsenal has been downgraded.
Mutliplayer is a nice addition if you’re looking to play a few rounds with mates, but it’s not the kind of game that really screams for online co-op. Like, what is there to say? I tried it with my fellow Pure PlayStation colleague Jeremy and we didn’t really have any need to communicate. I think the most that was said was “shall we play Firewall?”. It’s a nice addition, sure, but it’s not needed and it makes the game far too easy.
Visually speaking, Dick Wilde 2 is a great looking game. Sure, it’s a little on the simple side but I still appreciate the clarity. I was playing on PS4 Pro, mind you, so that may have had something to do with it. The visuals are in-line with the first game: cartoonish, colourful, and clear. I can’t say a bad word against the graphics, in all fairness.
When all is said and done, I found myself asking whether Dick Wilde really needed a sequel, or just some robust DLC. I’m gearing towards the latter but if you’ve never played the first game, your expectations from the sequel will be a lot lower. If you liked the original, you’ll probably enjoy the follow-up, just expect it to be a little different. Same same, but different.
Dick Wilde 2 PS4/PSVR Review
Dick Wilde 2 is more of the same, for better and for worse. The core gameplay has changed so much that it’s not really comparable to the experience in its predecessor. There’s no longer any need to bounce around your living room, ducking and weaving enemy projectiles. The sense of panic is gone, and with it, a big part of what made Dick Wilde fun.
If you’re new to the series then this game won’t be as much of a disappointment. If you’re a Dick Wilde veteran who spent countless hours climbing the leaderboards, temper your expectations.
Tracking and gunplay is satisfying
Far too easy
Fewer imaginative weapons
Useless multiplayer that makes the game too easy.
Reviewed using PS4 Pro.
Chris has been writing about gaming news for far too long, and now he’s doing it even more. A true PlayStation know-it-all, Chris has owned just about every Sony console that ever existed. Trophies are like crack to this fella. (Bronze trophies, that is – he only has one Platinum.)