Crack Shot: Celebrating a Year of ‘Pistol Whip’

Oculus Blog
November 13, 2020

Pistol Whip made its debut at Oculus Connect 6 and launched on November 7, 2019, for Oculus Quest and the Rift Platform. Since then, it was nominated for Immersive Reality Technical Achievement and named Immersive Reality Game of the Year at the 2019 D.I.C.E. Awards, and Adam Savage wowed fans with a custom-machined aluminum mount to add heft to his Touch controller. Today, we’re excited to celebrate its one-year anniversary.

Developer Cloudhead Games has a long and storied history in VR gaming. The Gallery - Episode 1: Call of the Starseed was a launch title for the original Rift, and it still holds up today. What’s more, the team at Cloudhead developed “Blink” teleportation as a VR locomotion solution and introduced a “Comfort Mode” featuring snap-turning. They continue to innovate and improve, and the evolution of Pistol Whip is strong evidence of that fact.

Original Soundtrack

A new take on the VR rhythm game genre, Pistol Whip presents players with a cinematic and highly stylized bullet hell landscape with pulsing lights synced to the beat of its soundtrack. Drawing heavy inspiration from god-mode action flicks like John Wick, the original game had 10 scenes, each set to its own song. Three difficulty levels kept things interesting, while modifiers like dual-wielding, turning off auto-aim assist, infinite ammo, and more let you customize your experience.

Pistol Whip: Reloaded

Improvements and updates to the game began with regular content drops. Each month guaranteed a new scene at a minimum, each boasting three difficulty levels and all-new environments. Bug fixes and new features launched alongside fresh modifiers, weapon wraps and models, and more.

Breaking Hearts

The Heartbreaker Trilogy was Cloudhead’s most massive content update ever, with three new scenes dropping simultaneously. A chilled-out departure from the game’s norm, it gave the team the opportunity to explore something new. “It’s incredibly important to us to try out different genres, styles, and tastes,” the team says. “We want there to be something for everyone.”

As you might have expected, The Heartbreaker Trilogy also introduced new modifiers, visual and sound effects, weapon models and wraps, and features based on community requests, as well as bug fixes and enhancements.

Sights Set on the Future

Cloudhead Games continues to work hard on more content updates, with two big ones in the works. The first will include a story rich sci-fi campaign with five cinematically linked scenes, while the second focuses on robust systems and features that will essentially overhaul Pistol Whip’s modifier system, letting gamers explore endless ways to play.

Pistol Whip may be a year old, but the new features, scenes, and updates make it seem like it’s just hitting its stride. Once you’re in a scene, the classic action rhythm feel of Pistol Whip is bigger and badder than ever before.

What else does the future hold? Only time will tell.