The arcade is dead and gone but that’s not so bad as it seems. It took a while but the gaming scene of today is strong enough and diverse enough for anything to find a home, and that includes a light gun shooter that’s would feel right at home beside Gunblade NY and Manx TT Superbike. Horizon Vanguard is an arcade-action game designed primarily for VR but fully playable flat-screen, where the player rides a hoverbike through a series of ever-more-dangerous levels blasting enemies out of the sky with the powerful light gun while hammering ground-based threats with the bike’s weaker but fast front laser/plasma shots. Each area not only is a series of set-pieces with a mid-boss and final encounter but also has intel hidden in various targets along the way. Collect them all and a new path opens up, tougher than the main one with rewards to match. Like any good arcade game Horizon Vanguard is designed to be playable in a single sitting, but with secrets and score optimization that add a ton of replay value in chasing the perfect course.
Horizon Vanguard is out today, complete with new launch trailer. About the only thing it’s missing for the complete 90s experience is someone singing “blue, blue skies” behind its shooting action.