Review: Space Junkies – Arena Shooters Have Met Their VR Match

Now it’s time to get junky.

You don’t need us to tell you that maintaining a consistent player base in multiplayer-only PlayStation VR games continues to be a struggle for any studio that claims to be up to the task. Some have lowered the barriers to entry by adopting free-to-play models or by opening the doors to non-VR players too, but the fact remains that it isn’t easy to always find other people to play with in VR. Space Junkies is a multiplayer-only VR arena shooter that seeks to sidestep the whole issue by embracing cross-play compatibility across the other major PC VR platforms. But while it isn’t difficult to find a match and its 90s-era deathmatches can be a blast, the title serves to highlight the difficulties of making the same game “work” across such different platforms in a competitive setting.

Space Junkies’ attempt at bringing arena shooters to VR is largely a successful one. It checks all the right boxes: an arsenal of weapons that are fun to use, intelligently-constructed maps that cater to a variety of playstyles, and a brisk pace despite the fact that it’s all in zero gravity. Matches are limited to a maximum of four players, but there’s still plenty of mayhem to be had with weapons that cause flurries of bullets and explosions wherever you point them. The arsenal of weapons, variety of modes, and selection of maps are all limited, but they still cover all the major bases and allow you to more easily memorise item locations, which is paramount to success in any arena shooter. It’s pure and simple fun that isn’t muddled by the game’s progression that solely involves unlocking cosmetics.

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