Pistol Whip: Smoke and Thunder arrives today, totally blew us away

Pistol Whip Styles
Pistol Whip Styles (Image credit: Cloudhead Games)

What you need to know

  • Smoke & Thunder, the free DLC campaign starring two gun-toting sisters in the Old West, arrives on the Quest 2 today, August 12.
  • Pistol Whip currently costs $24.99 but will rise to $29.99 in three days.
  • Our full Smoke & Thunder review will arrive soon, but it's undoubtedly a 5-star, must-play game.

Our rootin-tootin' resident VR fanatic Nick Sutrich spent the past few days in NYC for Samsung Unpacked, getting a hands-on with the new Galaxy Watch 4 and other tech. As such, his Pistol Whip: Smoke and Thunder review won't arrive until next week. But considering the game's price will rise before our review comes out, we're giving you a brief heads up now: this is a must-play, game-of-the-year level expansion that you absolutely shouldn't sleep on.

Compared to the previous expansion, Pistol Whip 2089, Smoke and Thunder has a great story involving a woman fighting to save her sister in the Old West. Its dual-wielding pistol mechanic, upgraded from the main game, make this campaign especially fun and action-packed. The campaign's new Hard Mode is incredibly challenging, pushing your reflexes to the limit. Overall, it's a short-but-super-sweet experience.

Plus, the game has added new Style modifiers that add extra challenges to older levels. Nick's personal favorite is the Brawler style that takes away your guns, so you have to bob-and-weave past bullets and wait to get close to enemies before punching them out. He called it an "unbelievable workout."

He'll have more to say in his review next week. But for now, Pistol Whip — already one of the best Oculus Quest 2 games by a country mile — has transformed into a more challenging, sweat-inducing thrill ride with a compelling story to match. Trust us: grab Pistol Whip if you haven't already.

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, VR/AR and fitness

Michael is Android Central's resident expert on fitness tech and wearables, with an enthusiast's love of VR tech on the side. After years freelancing for Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, Digital Trends, and other sites on a variety of tech topics, AC has given him the chance to really dive into the topics he's passionate about. He's also a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves D&D, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings.

For wearables, Michael has tested dozens of smartwatches from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, and other brands, and will always focus on recommending the best product over the best brand. He's also completed marathons like NYC, SF, Marine Corps, Big Sur, and California International — though he's still trying to break that 4-hour barrier.