Thrilling Space Tower Defence: AIRA VR
A genre I don’t see that commonly in VR is tower defense. I can think of a few reasons why, mainly because it requires you to have full view of the map and micromanaging, which VR really isn’t suited for. AIRA VR though has an interesting solution to that problem. It’s a tower defense game that throws you in the middle of the action instead of watching over your buildings and occasionally commanding them. So how does a VR tower defense shooter hold up.
Let’s start with explaining the setting of the game. Many years ago a war broke out on Earth between humans and machines. This eventually led to the destruction of the ecosystem and the annihilation of most species. A few humans were able to flee before meeting the fate of the rest of the planet, but ever since they were ruthlessly hunted by the machines, now named Skilith. You are in the shoes of one of the last remaining members of our species, the commander on the spaceship of the Blue Science Union. Along with your partner, the artificial intelligence named AIRA, you will embark on an interstellar journey across the galaxy and discover fascinating new worlds with yet unknown species.
However, the Skilith have continued to spread across the universe, conquering any new civilization they encounter and stealing their resources. You’ve taken up the mantle of protector against the machines, and it’s your duty to protect what’s not yet been taken. This seemed to be the only way of preventing our end. One day, however, AIRA discovered a new element on a far away planet that gives hope for restoring Earth’s resources and ecosystem. It would be wise to be wary though, as not all wish for a restored human civilization.
Gameplay consists of two parts. During the first you are in the base where you can see a map of the terrain. Here you can determine your strategy and choose where to place your towers. You can call this the strategic phase. The second part is when the battle starts. You get teleported onto the battlefield and, along with your towers, you have to destroy the enemy before it destroyed your facility. You have a variety of weapons to help you with that task. These include an assault rifle, a futuristic bow, pistols and more. As you progress through the levels you will unlock new weapons and towers to help you against stronger enemies.
AIRA VR is an interesting blend of a first person shooter and a tower defense game. It does have some problems, mainly visual. The graphics are dated and the environment doesn’t look very nice, but if you can look past that there’s solid gameplay underneath. If you are interested you can check out the steam store page here.