Action,  First Person Shooter,  Oculus,  Oculus Quest,  Reviews,  Shooter,  Single Player,  VR

Gazzlers Meta Quest Review

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Fast Facts

Developer: Bolt Blaster Games
Publisher: Odders
Genre(s): Arcade Shooter, Rougelite
Platform: Meta Quest
Age Rating: Everyone 10+
Release Date: 14/09/2023
Price: £7.99

A code was provided for review purposes

Comic words like Badoomer and Kaboom display on screen when you destroy an enemy.
Cartoon antics in an on-rail shooter.

A Blast to Play

Gazzlers on Meta Quest arrive this fall, placing you on a one-way train car against psychotic red minions called Gazzlers, hellbent on taking you out. Gazzlers is a rail shooter roguelike where each run is unique regarding enemies you come across and gets progressively difficult as you jump from biome to biome. The gameplay consists of you shielding incoming hits from enemies as they shoot at you. As you shield yourself against enemy fire, your shield drains, though you can physically duck around incoming shots.

In your right hand, you hold your gun which has a variety of modes and upgrades available to you. Your gun will run out of ammo as you fire at the onslaught in front of you, so you will need to grab ammo from the bottom left dispenser and slam it into the side of your gun, reloading it. As you complete waves, you will be asked to upgrade your weapon, each with randomized stat boost or debuffs, which you will need to choose the best option for your gameplay style.

Journey through a variety of biomes.
A bevvy of unlockable upgrades come at a high cost.

Progression Unlocked…Slowly

As you progress through the game, you will unlock additional health canister upgrades. Those canisters are on your bottom right side and are limited to the amount of upgrades you have unlocked. Picking up a canister and ‘crushing’ it in your hand will add health to your character’s life bar.

During each run, the minions will attack you in various vehicles, from dirtbikes, blimps, humvees, tanks, and more. Each vehicle has a weak point that you will want to target to aid in dispatching enemies faster. From time to time, you may see explosive barrels that you can target, which will help explode enemy vehicles sooner. 

Defeating enemies and taking aim at blimps hovering overhead will net you some scrap pieces, which is the game’s currency. The currency can be used for permanent upgrades like your health, damage output, etc. The main downside of these upgrades is their overall price point, which makes grinding for them a chore if you want to unlock all the skills and upgrades, as well as the varied weapons within the game.

Rapid fire shooting is how you bring down Gazzler minions.
Target locked and loaded.

Frenetic Chaos Comes at You Quickly

The audio in Gazzlers does enough to let me know when enemies are shooting at me and how best to avoid them. Exploding vehicles and their fire and smoke trails plume with each finishing blow. At times, the on-screen chaos of explosions, gunfire, depleting health warnings, and other effects become nauseating as you try to centre yourself towards the action while trying to land your shots or reload your weapon. There were times while playing that the game seemed to spike in difficulty artificially, only to have me restart a run with slight upgrades spent from scrap in hopes of surviving longer. 

Gazzlers implements a cell-shaded cartoon art style that fits the frenetic world well. The guns are all designed to look like something out of a Mad Max-style movie with a bit of Gru and his Minions rolled into one. The Gazzlers grunt and groan in their deaths similar to that of the Raving Rabbids with their silly sounds. I found the style to be fine, though I find the appeal of the graphics in most games something that can either entice or put off a gamer, so your mileage may vary there with my comparisons to other intellectual properties.

The Gazzler minions race towards you blasting their guns at you in their beat up car.
The Gazzler minions are goofy yet deadly foes.

Arcade Shooter Fun that Falls Short

Gazzlers does have an online leaderboard, and you can see how you fair against friends, but that might not be enough to justify to yourself the time required to beat each level and advance through the campaign biomes. Overall, I enjoyed my time in Gazzlers but saw its appeal wear out quite quickly. There’s a lot of fun here, and the variety and chaos can get even the seasoned VR vet a workout while playing. Just don’t go expecting a story or fantastic gameplay outside of the wave-based on-rails shooter that Gazzlers sets out to be.

Rapid Reviews Rating

3.5 out of 5

You can buy your copy of Gazzlers VR from the Meta Store today.

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