What you need to know
- Smoke and Thunder is a new cinematic campaign expansion set in the Old West that's free for Pistol Whip owners. It arrives August 12.
- Styles mode lets you choose any weapon combo or modify the difficulty level before fighting endless enemies, and challenge friends or leaderboards for particular configurations.
- Pistol Whip's price will rise from $24.99 to $29.99 starting on August 15.
Gun-fu simulator Pistol Whip is one of the most popular Quest 2 games for rhythm, shooting, and exercise, but it didn't have a proper story until the Pistol Whip 2089 campaign added a bleak futuristic story to go with all the violence. Now developer Cloudhead Games is taking us back in time to the Old West for its next free campaign expansion, Smoke and Thunder.
Starring two sisters Jessie and Tess — voiced by Victoria Hogan (Theresa in Kingdom Come: Deliverance) and Avalon Penrose (Maegara in Hades) — Smoke and Thunder has you take on some low-down scoundrels and outlaws in its Western-themed campaign. Pistol Whip's comic-book style and fast-paced action seems a perfect way to capture the feel of gunslinging in the West.
Adding to Pistol Whip's epic soundtrack, Smoke and Thunder will add five new songs from The Heavy, Black Pistol Fire, Bones UK, Devora, and Magic Sword, giving each level its own unique, intense ambience. Plus, based on the trailer, you'll see new enemies like riders on horseback and a boss that looks suspiciously like the spider from Wild Wild West.
Alongside the new campaign, Pistol Whip will also get a new endless mode called Styles. It lets you modify enemies to make each scene more unique: give enemies giant heads for easier headshots, or make them shoot more bullets so your reactions need to be even faster. It'll give the game even more variety and replay value.
If you already own Pistol Whip, you'll get these new missions and game mode for free. If you don't own it yet, Pistol Whip will rise in price starting on August 15, so it's worth snatching up now. We plan on reviewing Smoke and Thunder soon, but we already include Pistol Whip on our list of the best Oculus Quest 2 games without it.
Shoot some varmints
New story, new enemies, same old fun
Pistol Whip has proven one of the best-supported games on the Quest 2, with a huge number of free updates adding more and more content and challenges. The amount of enjoyment and exercise you'll get from Pistol Whip is pretty disproportionate to what it costs.
Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.
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