Of all the previews that were shown at this month's PlayStation Showcase, it was actually Vertigo Games' Arizona Sunshine 2 that wound up stealing the show. Weirdly enough, though, it wasn't due to its flashy visuals or its ability to flex the VR2 functionalities — but its hilarious, albeit highly unorthodox zombified cinematics and borderline barbaric gameplay, that won fans over. Just as well, because Vertigo Games hasn't exactly left a great deal of time between its announcement and its release window, which is currently slated for a late 2023 debut.
“Welcome back to sun-kissed, zombified Arizona,” the blurb reads in part. “Take on the form of our dark-humored protagonist once more and set out on the cinematic next chapter of our VR journey in search of answers.” How mysterious.
So, tone and overall hype set aside, what else did the devs share on the matter during this week's event? Well, here's everything we managed to scoop up on the subject—brains and bullets excused. Arizona Sunshine 2: what on earth is it, and when can we expect to get our hands on it? Let's talk zombies. Sorry, “Freds.”
What Is Arizona Sunshine 2?
To put it short, Arizona Sunshine 2 is a first-person action-adventure game by Vertigo Games. In this mind-boggling sequel to 2019's original, players will once again take on the role of the outspoken protagonist as he endures the end of the world beneath the golden rays of the Arizonan sunshine. Lost, isolated, and without a sense of purpose, the gun-toting killer and his loveable companion Buddy will venture out to find a new means to an end as the world yields to chaos and gore.
In Vertigo Games' own words: “Arizona Sunshine II is the sequel to the best-selling virtual reality zombie-shooter Arizona Sunshine. It is the next-gen sequel to the fan-favorite virtual reality apocalypse, and packs even more gore-geous zombie action!”
Surprise surprise, the world is still on the verge of collapse under the rule of the Freds — and Arizona certainly isn't the safe haven it used to be. Fortunately for you, the gun-toting hero under your thumb isn't one for wallowing in pessimism. On the contrary, the humor-loving zombie hunter is known for heroism — bravery, even. “And what’s better than braving the end of the world?” the description adds. “Surviving it with your new best friend — Buddy. (We thought it was an original name, too.) Not only is Buddy your four-legged companion through thick and thin, he’s also the goodest boy and will help take down those pesky Freds for you. In a desolate world, suddenly you’re not so alone anymore.”
It's fair to say that, as far as gameplay goes, Arizona Sunshine 2 won't be all that different from its prequel. What's new here, however, is its “brand-new, next-gen mutilation and gore system”—a feature that will make use of those trusty DualSense controls and, with them, offer you full creative control when it comes to slaying Freds out on the battlefield. So, expect plenty of melee-based combat and gore-riddled executions.
“In a post-apocalyptic world where every bullet counts, experience the thrill of realistic combat as you wield all-new and fan-favorite weapons–from shotguns to machetes and flamethrowers,” the description adds. “An all-new melee combat system will push you to the very brink of your limits as you slaughter Freds (the zombies, for those of you who’d like to know) like never before in full, immersive next-gen glory.”
Looks like this year is gonna be a scorcher: #ArizonaSunshine2 is coming to VR in 2023.
Check out the #PlayStationShowcase reveal trailer, follow the latest news over at @ArizonaSunshine and wishlist now: https://t.co/zZCQ1zkCT2#fredisback #as2 #arizonasunshine pic.twitter.com/j9tF2IENLM
— Vertigo Games | @ArizonaSunshine 2 is coming! (@vertigogames) May 24, 2023
Given the critical acclaim that the first chapter received back in 2019, it comes as no major surprise to see Vertigo Games using it as a launch platform to usher in a sequel. And while we can't say for certain how long the team has been tying up these ends from beneath the cover of darkness, it seems highly likely that, with its launch date slated for later this year, Arizona Sunshine 2 has been in the works for several years now.
Announced during this month's PlayStation Showcase—an event that hosts countless indie and triple-A studios' latest projects, Arizona Sunshine 2 launched in tandem with a rather gory gameplay trailer to boot. Going by that, we can expect to see the game arrive on PlayStation VR2 and PC VR at some stage in “late 2023.”
Courtesy of this week's PlayStation Showcase, Arizona Sunshine 2 does in fact have a surprisingly in-depth trailer to outline all those gory details. You can see it for yourself in the video embedded above.
Release Date, Platforms & Editions
Arizona Sunshine 2 will be heading to PlayStation VR2 and PC VR at some point later this year. It hasn't been said yet which of the available VR headsets will be eligible, though if the original game is anything to go by, then we can expect the sequel to roll out on Valve Index and Meta Quest, too. That said, you can probably chalk out the possibility of it reaching PlayStation VR, what with Sony now transferring its attention over to the VR2.
Right now, we can't say whether or not Arizona Sunshine 2 will release with any physical editions. If it does, then Vertigo Games will no doubt make some sort of announcement later this year. If we're lucky, then a few pre-order bonuses will come knocking in the months leading up to its eventual release.
Vertigo Games' upcoming venture caught your eye? If so, then be sure to check in with the studio's official social feed for all the latest updates here. We'll be sure to let you know just as soon as the devs lift the veil on the final release date. Until then, be sure to add it to your wishlist over on Steam here.
So, what's your take? Will you be picking up a copy of Arizona Sunshine 2 when it releases later this year? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.