Ok, look, I’m not going to lie to you guys. I went into The Angry Birds Movie 2 VR: Under Pressure expecting the worst. I mean, it’s a VR video game tie-in to a movie tie-in of a mobile game franchise. That has no chance of going anywhere, right? So I dove into the ocean to take a look at this local co-op game.
In what may be my biggest surprise of the year, Under Pressure is actually a pretty solid video game, mostly because it’s just a VR clone of local co-op favorite Overcooked. The basics are that the pigs and birds need to team up to drive a sub. The player donning the VR headset will play as Leonard, the king of the pigs, and it’s his job to collect treasure and shoot obstacles. However, to do either task, he needs the crew to supply him with plungers and torpedo. The crew, which is played by up to three couch players, runs around the submarine’s floor stashing treasure, repairing items, crafting supplies, and throwing out trash.
Ice Ice Baby
This starts pretty simple. At first, all the team needs to do is create plungers to collect treasure, then stash that treasure away. However, it’s not long before new challenges appear. Soon treasure chests will have TNT in them, requiring the crew to toss it into a furnace and the captain to cook it before it explodes. Crew will have to combine treasure to make higher scoring gold, while the captain will have to avoid picking up torpedoes or they’ll accidentally set them off. It quickly becomes frantic.
Perhaps a little too much so. Under Pressure is not an easy game, despite the fact that it feels like it’s aiming for a young player base. If you don’t have a full team with a couple of skilled players then it’s very difficult to get all three stars. Considering that you need stars to unlock levels, not much unlike the mobile Angry Birds games, you really need to work hard to get everything. You can play solo, which lets you swap between captain and crew with the press of a button, but the game isn’t scaled in any way for that. If you’re playing alone then don’t expect to do much more than the ten story levels, and eking out those last few may be tough.
The good news is that there’s quite a bit of content. The ten story levels took me about two hours to finish, and after that, there are another twenty challenge maps. They can include some fun situations, like one map where the crew needs to navigate a bunch of conveyor belts to collect supplies. If you’re looking for something to play with your friends in the long term, Under Pressure is a solid choice, especially for days when you only want a 30-minute game session.
Where is Peter Dinklage?
I wouldn’t, however, play it expecting a story, or even retelling the story from the movie. Under Pressure opens up with a clip from The Angry Birds Movie 2 showing the birds and pigs boarding a submarine to take a trip to Eagle Island. Then there’s some weird side quest about Leonard’s favorite crown being stolen by a shark, and that takes up the rest of the game until another clip from the movie plays it out at the end. Outside of these movie clips, none of the voice actors reprise their roles from the movie. Of course, there’s also no voice acting except for some really weird grunting noises coming from the scientist pig when his dialogue boxes show up.
Look, I honestly expected The Angry Birds Movie 2 VR: Under Pressure to have been an obvious stinker with no redeeming qualities. Instead, it’s a perfectly solid local co-op game that can be worth a few runs with some friends. Is it great? Nah. Does it have issues? Certainly. But don’t be like me and just turn it away because of its dubious origins. More VR games should look at catering to the local co-op crowd anyway.
The Angry Birds Movie 2 VR: Under Pressure review code provided by the publisher. Version 1.02 reviewed on a standard PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR headset. For more information on scoring please read our Review Policy.