Smash Hit Plunder is the perfect name for this game. You smash things. You hit things. You plunder things. And that’s it, in a nutshell. Unfortunately that nutshell is all there is to the game, really.
As this is a PSVR game, you’re going to need a PlayStation VR headset and a couple of PS Move controllers. You can rest your PSVR Aim controller for this one as it’s not needed, though a couple of DualShock 4 controllers may come in handy if you want to get the most out of the game with some family and/or friends.
Smash Hit Plunder has something of a story to put your chaotic actions into context. You’re a wizard-like guy who has returned home to find that the castle you’ve inherited comes with a massive debt, and if you want to be able to call it your home you’re going to have to pay off that debt with the help of Granny Ghost. But how do you pay off the debt? You smash. You hit. And you plunder.
The gameplay is very, very simple. Using the PS Move controllers you’ll teleport around different areas of the castle to smash, hit, and plunder the loot that’s lying around. It’s all timed, mind you, so there is a sense of urgency, but once you’ve done it a few times it soon gets a little samey. Using the PS Move controllers to pick up and throw objects is satisfying and works well with minimal tracking issues, but it does take its toll on the arms after a while. Look, I love causing mayhem just as much as the next person, but there comes a point when you look at yourself and think “is this all I can do? Am I not worthy of more?”. No. You’re not, at least not inside Smash Hit Plunder.
The gameplay loop really is as simple as it sounds, and maybe that’s enough for some, but for me it’s very shallow and it wasn’t able to keep my engaged for long periods. For a short 20-minute session? Yeah, it was good.
Smash Hit Plunder’s longevity lies in its multiplayer offerings which, in fairness, are actually pretty decent. However, you’ll definitely need a couple of people to make the fun happen, as I found that me playing against the Mrs wasn’t as fun as when we had a friend over and played as a trio.
One player uses the PSVR headset and the PS Move wands, while the others play using the DualShock 4 controllers. There are a few game modes, most of which are just more of the same single-player content but with the addition of other players using the social screen feature. The real meat comes in the competitive modes, of which there are only two. These pit players against each other to gather as much loot as possible, and the other is a hide-n-seek style game. The latter is definitely the stronger of the two as the other game feels a touch unfair; the non-VR players using DualShock 4 controllers have a massive advantage as they can move a lot quicker than the VR player using the Move controllers to teleport and turn.
Generally the controls aren’t that much of a pain, but teleporting is still not ideal. It works fine in single-player but it’s a hinderance when it comes to competitive multiplayer and I found myself blindly slapping away at my opponents in the hope they’d drop their controller and give me a chance to win.
The game looks and sounds great though. It’s very simplistic but it doesn’t need to be anything more than that. It’s definitely going for the Minecraft aesthetic and it works without coming across as a lazy rip-off.
The gameplay leaves a lot to be desired though, but if you’re in the mood to smash things, hit things, and plunder things, but you can’t be bothered to wait for the next local riot to go looting, this’ll do.
Smash Hit Plunder originally released in October 2018. This review is being done to coincide with the retail release of the game. Smash Hit Plunder is available now via Amazon, GameStop, and other retailers.
Smash Hit Plunder PSVR Review
Overall - Good - 6/10
Smash Hit Plunder has a great concept but it doesn’t do a whole lot with it. Smashing things is always fun and it’s even better with friends. Get this one for the multiplayer.
Multiplayer is fun, if a little unfair
Various VR comfort options
Not much depth to the gameplay
Reviewed using PS4 Pro.
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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.)