Scraper: Gauntlet VR Fitness Game Review – Cull An AI Uprising

Sometimes all you really want to do is immerse yourself in a virtual world and shoot waves of robots. Luckily, that counts as VR fitness! Well, sort of. Scraper: Gauntlet is the followup to Scraper: First Strike, but unlike its predecessor, it has exactly one focus: sending waves of robots to face you down while you build up an arsenal of upgradable gear.

It’s a pretty darn fun game, and certainly more realized (and more focused) than the previous Scraper title that it’s drawing from. But while its shooting galleries can offer some quick thrills, you might be wondering just how strong of a workout you’re gonna get here. The answer is, right off the bat, not much! But you can feasibly burn at least one-hundred calories in approximately 30 minutes like I did while playing Scraper: Gauntlet for my review run, and here’s how.

Preparation for Scraper: Gauntlet-

As with any active VR games (meaning, games that require you to stand and use the full range of your arms), you’re going to want to prepare yourself to be physically active in your designated play area. This means that you should stretch, grab yourself a water bottle, and clear out space you’re planning to play in. Scraper: Gauntlet isn’t going to demand as much space as a game like Echo Arena or The Thrill of the Fight, games that encourage you to use more physical space while you play, however, it takes up roughly the same amount of space as a game like Onward or Pavlov VR.

Intensity- 6/10

Scraper: Gauntlet isn’t the most intense active VR game. There is some ducking and dodging, but you’ll mostly stand in place and shoot robots with guns that are built into your avatar’s wrists. When you aren’t shooting, you can grab and launch enemies or throw stun knives at them.

As seen here, 36 minutes and 50 seconds spent in Scraper: Gauntlet (as recorded on an Apple Watch S2) can potentially result in 154 active calories burnt.

Arms- 4/10

Once again, most of the gameplay in Scraper: Gauntlet involves shooting robots with your arms. The main arm workout here mostly comes from holding your arms out to shoot. While not really a workout at all on its own, by supplementing the regular gameplay of Scraper: Gauntlet with something like weighted armbands, you could add more resistance to the regular gameplay loop of just hunting down waves of robots.

Legs- 7/10

There’s plenty of opportunity, and good reason, for you to squat, duck, and dodge your way around incoming attacks in Scraper: Gauntlet. As long as you have a good amount of room in your play area, you can move around and utilize that space while keeping nimble. Scraper: Gauntlet isn’t terribly intense, which also makes it a perfect candidate for ankle weights.

Core and Balance- 6/10

As mentioned in the Legs section, you may (and may often need to) squat, duck, and dodge out of harm’s way. You can improve your core workout by using a weighted vest here.

Time Perception- 8/10

Despite not immediately landing as the most physically active VR game, Scraper: Gauntlet is still an all-around fun game, making it easy to lose those minutes or hours you spend getting an exercise through gameplay. There are about three different types of guns to upgrade throughout your time spent in the game, but each mission can also have ‘mutators’ that change the playing field slightly, making each engagement a bit more diverse and interesting.

Replayability- 10/10

As you play through Scraper: Gauntlet, you can earn upgrades and stat points that you spend on your weapons and avatar. This makes progress in Scraper more compelling on its own, but since the game is an arcade wave shooter, you can play as many missions as you’d like.

Fitness Scalability- 7/10

Scraper: Gauntlet has a decent amount of Fitness Scalability as it is quite a comfortably-paced game with gameplay that’s conducive to the addition of weighted gear without too much added fear of injury.

Dizziness/Nausea- 9/10

There are a few sequences where you teleport around, but I never ran into anything that I thought would cause somebody who suffers from motion sickness to become particularly sick while playing Scraper: Gauntlet.

Social Competition- 0/10

As there is no multiplayer mode in Scraper: Gauntlet, it’s impossible for any type of social competition to take place.

VR Fit Score- 6.5/10

The Good

Scraper: Gauntlet is the embodiment of everything that developer Labrodex learned from its jaunt in Scraper: First Strike. For one, it isn’t trying to be an RPG that’s actually a series of wave shooter rooms that haphazardly move the plot along, and it’s clear off the bat that those identity issues have been cleared up.

Two, it’s actually a reasonably good wave shooter, given that that’s a genre that hasn’t been particularly kind to VR, what with the oversaturation of different wave shooters to choose from. Each weapon type and enemy type is interesting, and the mutators offer replayability to casual games that will exist long after a player sets the game down.

The Bad

Scraper: Gauntlet really isn’t the type of game that marks particularly well in our intensity score, and that’s because it doesn’t physically demand all that much out of the player. If you’re looking to burn some light calories in a robot-blasting arena, that’s one thing, but that’s really the upper limit of what Scraper: Gauntlet is going to be for those who are strictly using VR gaming as a workout method.

You can grab Scraper: Gauntlet on Steam for $15.


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