Anshar 2: Hyperdrive revives one of modern VR’s oldest games through a Meta Quest remake, offering a fantastic dogfighter. Read on for our full Anshar 2: Hyperdrive review.
Anshar Wars has history in virtual reality. Appearing on Samsung Gear nearly eight years ago, developer OZWE found a winner with its space shooting dogfighter, and Anshar Wars 2 was quick to follow. Now, five years later, AW2 is back and instead of a straight port, we’ve got a Quest-exclusive remake. Featuring a new control scheme, revamped multiplayer, and updated visuals, Anshar Wars 2: Hyperdrive is thoroughly entertaining.
Playing an unnamed Ansharian Empire pilot with Squad Alpha 10, Hyperdrive takes place 10 years after the Separation Wars, where Anshar crushed a rebellion within its space colonies. Following a period of fragile peace, a new threat emerges from the depths of space, led by fearsome Nergal fighters and a former ally gone rogue. The plot is coherent, not especially creative, and several story beats are admittedly predictable, though you can probably guess the narrative’s not why we’re here.
Piloting different ships across a 13-mission campaign, you’ll take to the skies and stars alike for aerial dogfighting, and this is where Hyperdrive really shines. Each mission’s comprised of different objectives, ranging between taking down cargo trains, destroying Nergal communication satellites above orbit, protecting your Ansharian Mothership, and more. Optional objectives are often present too like protecting resources, rewarding players with a higher score if completed.
Weapon loadouts are swapped between missions, going between missiles, bombs, lasers, EMP charges, and more. Most require manual aiming with the touch controllers, though missiles automatically lock on after several seconds. Some weapons require ammo replenishments and to get that, you’ll need to destroy enemy ships. Once defeated, they’ll sometimes drop temporary upgrades for your ship too, boosting your fire rate, adding extra health for your shields, and more, so it’s worth taking out the stragglers.
Anshar 2: Hyperdrive Review Review – Comfort
Anshar 2: Hyperdrive has a few options available. While there’s no specific toggle, you can switch between standing and seated gameplay with ease, and I’d argue seated works better as Hyperdrive doesn’t require full body movement. As mentioned before, you can swap between 1st and 3rd person perspectives but if you’re liable to motion sickness, I’d recommend sticking to 3rd person gameplay.
Beyond this, camera controls in 3rd person can be set to smooth turning or snap, though you can’t adjust how far the snap turning goes. Hyperdrive also lets you choose which hand handles certain controls. That goes for flight direction too, as players can swap hand movement for head movement, taking you in the direction you’re facing.
Undoubtedly, Hyperdrive’s variety is one of its biggest strengths, avoiding repetition while holding your interest. You can usually clear missions in under 5 minutes, though recklessly charging in often leads to your demise. Unfortunately, checkpoints aren’t evenly divided between missions, so there’s a good chance you’ll be restarting a few times. It’s a short campaign, one you’ll likely finish it in around 3-5 hours, but thanks to a bronze, silver, and gold medal score system, there’s incentive to try again.
Now, Hyperdrive’s controls are unconventional for VR as gameplay defaults to a 3rd person perspective. It’s a little frustrating when navigating through a tight gap as you can’t always see what’s ahead, and collisions (almost) always kills you. And yet, this otherwise works. Direct ship movement is done through motion controls, moving your right hand across your play space. The right joystick’s used for turning as the game uses a fixed camera angle, while left adjusts acceleration when pushed forward or backwards.
If you’d prefer it, there’s also a 1st person option which places you directly into the ship’s cockpit, which really feels like you’re at the heart of the action. Gameplay certainly benefits from that greater immersion – I’m reminded of EVE: Valkyrie despite Hyperdrive’s less realistic visuals – but I ultimately preferred the 3rd person approach. It’s important to note that you can lower the dogfighting’s intensity, though if you easily get nauseous, that won’t do much.
For anyone who played Anshar Wars 2, there’s a few differences here. Alongside new control options, Hyperdrive utilises 6DOF rather than 3DOF, benefitting greatly from more powerful hardware. As for visuals, OZWE confirms it’s had a significant refresh and while I can’t directly compare them – sadly, it’s no longer available on the Oculus Store – Hyperdrive boasts colourful visuals that suits Meta Quest brilliantly. They won’t blow you away but between alien planets, asteroid fields, and more, Hyperdrive’s locations never get stale.
Finally, if you’re not looking to play Hyperdrive alone, there’s a few multiplayer options to keep you occupied. Alongside a deathmatch mode and some co-op missions, OZWE implemented a battle royale-style mode, unlocking new cosmetic options for your ship upon levelling up. Sadly, these modes feel slightly bare right now, but I had fun with other players and there’s a solid foundation to build upon.
Anshar 2: Hyper Review – Final Impressions
OZWE has done a fantastic job bringing back Anshar Wars 2 for the Meta Quest and opting for a remake over a straight port was a great call. Sure, the campaign doesn’t take long and multiplayer’s a little lacking, but what’s there is well executed, varied, and kept me hooked throughout. Offering a few new twists that’ll appeal to fans of the original, Anshar 2: Hyperdrive comes highly recommended.
For more on how we arrived at this rating, read our review guidelines. What did you make of our Anshar 2: Hyperdrive review? Let us know in the comments below!
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