Ever since I can remember there has always been a fascination about mechs. From seeing them in movies to playing them in games, there has always been that feeling of an advantage to the arena. Maybe it’s the size of them or maybe it’s what the thought and the dream of what it would be like to actually pilot one of these mechs of our very own. Well, it seems that publisher DeerVR Games and developer Smellyriver Studios may allow us to live those dreams with Code 51: Mecha Arena for the PlayStation VR.
The story so far is a dreadful one. The year is 2040 A.D. and after another war has passed (some called it the great war), on this post-apocalyptic land of waste, the survivors must do whatever they can to scavage for the rarest of war assets…even if that means fighting each other. You are one of those survivors and you must do what is necessary on order to survive. And what does one do to make sure they survive this wasteland? Become a pilot of one big and fighting mecha. Now that we know the story, let’s get into the heart and soul of Code 51: Mecha Arena.
Code 51: Mecha Arena is an online-only multiplayer game in the form of Death Match with four players at a time. At launch, there are only nine mechs. But this is not some pick any of the mechs out of the lineup you want…no no. You will have to use your skill, put in the time and dedication to helping unlock the rest. Honestly, it really does not take that long to start earning enough points to unlocks them. The important thing is just to have fun out there.
But before you jump right into the live action, you should probably go through the tutorial so that you can get used to how things work. Plus it gives you chance to really get to test the beginning mechs and how they operate.
Each of the mechs has their own special abilities from heavy armor to thrusters. You are going to have to decide which mech plays best with your style and what really works for you. But I am going to have to say that so far I am going to have to go with Hell Fire as my favorite mech. But the interesting thing is that each mech was named after it’s post-world designers. So if Fortress is named because it is as strong as one, then you can guess why I chose Hell Fire.
At launch, there are only a select number of maps. Each with its own design that really adds to the fun of controlling these mechs. I for one never really got bored with the map rotation. But don’t be surprised if more maps get added. Each of the maps contains power-ups, to help you along the way. What I really like is the ability to be able to hover in the air so that you can take to the higher point so you can start firing on the other mechs below.
Control wise you will be aiming with your head. At first, it might take some time to get used to it, but after playing a few rounds it just becomes a natural flow that almost makes you feel somehow connected with your mech. Now when Code 51: Mechas Arena first came out there were two things that at the time I wish it would have been corrected, blinders and turning. With blinders, you didn’t really get that full view and with turning it was turning with your head. But I am very happy to announce that not only were the voices heard, but they responded so quickly, that I am actually impressed. Now you have the option of going blinderless and the options to using the right stick to turn your mech. Some may like the blinders and some may like turning using their head. The great thing is now we have options and I really want to give a round of applause for this.
As stated with the options of being able to turn of the blinders and being able to control using the right analog stick, you might be asking is there anything else that could be added. The option to not be able to invite your friends to a game, as well as some type of ranking system or global leaderboards and even the possibility of cross-platform support. Hopefully, this will be added in an upcoming update. But even when I died, I was having a blast and just having fun playing. Just remember the developers do listen and that is a very good thing.
But just remember hat Code 51: Mecha Arena has come to light based on a dream. An idea that if we could not get into these machines in real life, that somehow…some way to bring all of the mech fans together, bring us into the world, and give us a way to know what it would be like. If Code 51: Mecha Arena is the foundation that allows us to do this. then I am happy they have given us the gateway through Virtual Reality to do so. And with these gateways that Virtual Reality presents, isn’t this why we enter them, to become someone or something in a world and try to bring us together?
Code 51: Mecha Arena is out now. A review copy was provided. To learn more about the game, please visit the site. To learn more about Smellyriver follow them on Twitter. To learn more about DeerVR Games, make sure you visit their site and make sure you follow them on Twitter.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I more mechs to unlock.