Contractors Showdown is the VR Call of Duty Warzone I've been waiting for

An official screenshot of the island in Contractors Showdown
(Image credit: Caveman Studios)

As VR continues to grow in popularity, we're getting more games that try to replicate popular traditional games with the immersion and multiplayer experience that only VR can offer. Contractors Showdown is my latest VR gaming obsession as it channels two of the best battle royale titles on the market: Call of Duty Warzone, and PUBG.

Visually, the game evokes the look of PUBG in all the right ways. The map is absolutely massive, yet it doesn't feel like the developers had to cut down on model detail or make the map sparse just to fit on the Meta Quest 3. Even with this massive map, it supports 60 players at a time — that's three times the number supported by Population: One, the system's most popular battle royale game.

If you told me this scale of battle royale game would be on a standalone VR headset just a year or two ago, I'm not sure I would have believed you.

Even the basic gameplay loop feels straight out of a PUBG match. You'll begin each round on a military dropship flying high over the island. As the bay doors open, you can choose to jump out at any time and pull your parachute to glide to your preferred starting point.

Weapons and support items are littered in clusters around the map, most commonly found in buildings or crates. Weapons all look and feel incredibly realistic, including unique reloading mechanics that feel good but are not overly complicated. It's a happy medium between the purposefully simple reloading mechanics in Population: One and some of the truly realistic — and often annoying — reloading mechanics in some of the best Quest games.

If you told me this scale of battle royale game would be on a standalone VR headset just a year or two ago, I'm not sure I would have believed you.

The livestream above will give you a great idea of what to expect from the game, but I recommend starting at timestamp 12:20 to see how a round plays out from the beginning.

As the streamer makes his way to the edge of the plane and eventually jumps out, you'll get a feel and appreciation for just how massive this island is.

In many ways, this game brings the more realistic multiplayer shooter experience I had hoped to enjoy with Ghosts of Tabor. While that game is a masterclass in VR design, it requires more time and patience than I'm willing to give.

An official screenshot of Contractors Showdown

(Image credit: Caveman Studios)

Contractors Showdown fits right in between that game and Population: One, offering the opportunity to play with 60 players but not feel like you've got no chance if you don't have dozens of hours to pour into the game every week.

The mechanics fit somewhere between realistic and accessible, while the perks and rewards system encourages players to keep coming back.

There are a few clunky parts right now, but I imagine those will continue to get ironed out as the game nears completion. On-body inventory is a bit confusing at first, but it only took me a few rounds to figure it out.

Likewise, the game's semi-complicated wearable computer system is a bit daunting at first but provides unique and interesting ways to offer perks and powers like air raids or drones during matches. Plus, the perk and upgrade system adds rewards for players who continue to come back, encouraging regular play sessions.

If you want to try it for yourself, the free open beta is running through March 17 (so there's not much time left at the time of writing). Sign up for it at the Contractors Showdown website.

We still don't know the final release date but I imagine it'll be landing in the next month or two based on my playtime with the game over the past few weeks. I'm so happy to see more quality games like this land on the Meta Quest and can't wait to see what the final game plays like!

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu