Guardians VR: A Virtual Love Letter to Starship Troopers

Contel Bradford
5 min readApr 27, 2022


As a VR gaming slappy, the feeling of snagging a game that lives up to the hype is only matched by a random gem you run across out in left field. That’s exactly what we unlocked when stumbling upon Guardians.

So where did this galactic goodness even come from? Well, one day I’m just scrolling through App Lab, and land on this highly rated game with enough reviews to warrant closer inspection.

Now, of course, good reviews aren’t always the mark of a good game. I mean, Super Hot is terrible and everyone and their Uncle Randy swears it’s the greatest thing since pants with pockets. Yeah I said it. Super Hot. Fuckin’. Sucks!

Now while sifting through these reviews, a few keywords stood out to me. Customization. Amazing. Addictive. Not entirely rare, I guess, but damnit, they got my attention.

What’s a Guardians?

Guardians VR is what the kids call an FPS/RTS hybrid. I’d never heard of the term Real-Time Strategy in gaming context, but it most definitely applies here.

You play the role of a nameless solider in a futuristic military outfit deployed to extract a precious new energy source sprinkled across the outer layer of the galaxy. Unfortunately, the retrieval process is easier said than done because these lucrative hot spots are literally crawling with critters. Huge bugs that instantly bring the super cheesy sci-fi epic Star Ship Troopers to mind.

A real bug

The battles primarily takes place across two modes: the campaign, and free play built around community maps. We’ll get into the community stuff later, but let’s tackle this campaign first.

The campaign/story mode here is very simple and straightforward. No award-worthy cinematographic visuals and snappy dialogue. You basically get an audio rundown from your base contact before heading into each mission. The campaign is divided into four or five maps on each planet. So once you conquer the first set of maps on a planet, you move on to the next set. So on, so forth.

As for the missions, they are more or less presented as defense or conquer objectives. In defense missions, you’re guarding the base the energy minor is deployed from. Conquer missions see you actively destroying the nests the enemy bugs are hatched from.

The conquer missions are challenging and intriguing as they put the Guardian’s strategy component into focus. If you stray too far from the base without erecting an effective defense squad, you might hear that the base is getting tagged before even reaching the enemy nest. Likewise, you could end up overwhelmed if you set off to conquer those damn bugs without a capable squad at your ready. Madness!

Guardians Inventory

The inventory at your disposal is a huge part of the Guardians experience. You have the luxury to deploy various items into the battle. This includes armed droids, tanks, drones, and massive mech robots reminiscent of those walking battle ships in Star Wars.

You fund your war chest with those coveted red energy crystals, which act as the game’s currency. Now there’s a device that you can supposedly use to extract crystal currency on the battlefield. Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out how it works, so I take the alternate route. You accrue a decent amount of crystal cash from random enemy kills and the dropships home base sends during battle. What’s more, your currency steadily increases automatically over the course of a mission. Still, you want to use that shit wisely!

How you use that inventory to build deploy your squad is crucial. You CANNOT win this fight alone. Those damn bugs roll deep, and you are guaranteed to lose a good portion of your deployment before all is said and done. Knowing which assets to roll out, and when to use them can go a long way in strengthening your position in these grueling battles.

Once deployed into action, your squadron can be controlled in various ways. For example, you can direct the armed droids to guard the base, patrol certain areas, follow you to the next extraction point, and even attack targeted enemies. I imagine I haven’t even scratched the surface in this area. I just like to dive right into the firefight.

For now, the mech is easily my favorite inventory weapon. Those cats are aggressive and will charge in after the enemy with guns blazing! That aggression can result in being destroyed faster than other squad assets, but considering all the enemies they take out with them in the process, it’s one of those tradeoffs you’d live with all day, every day.

In addition to your squad, you have a decent selection of weapons at your disposal, including a variety of laser guns, a bow and arrow, flamethrower, bombs, and even a light saber-like blade. Nice to have choices, but I tend to dual-wield the AK-5 guns. They’re among the few heaters that give you infinite ammo in 16-round clips. Just gotta rock the controller downward to reload.

Looks like you can also purchase ammo upgrades for some of the other weapons, but I haven’t dug into that just yet.

The Guardians campaign mode is cool enough. I got stuck on one map, so lately, I’ve been exclusively playing the custom maps. And trust me … this is where it’s at! There are dozens upon dozens of community maps available and you can download them from within the game. These maps are made possible by the built-in level editor that allows you to create your own level from scratch. I haven’t tried it myself, but having played quite a few of them, it’s clear to see that the editor is pretty damn cool.

These maps are beautifully designed from a visual standpoint, with seamlessly endless sprawling landscapes I haven’t come close to fully exploring. Best of all, they check all the boxes in terms of gameplay. The custom map battles can be just as, if not more intense than what you get in the base levels. Some are flat out hard as fuck. Like, seriously.

On the difficulty tip, Guardians lets you choose from Easy, Normal, Hard, and Insane. That’s the base maps. Not all the custom maps share that flexibility. Some are only available in the Insane flavor, which I’m not touching. Normal is a real bitch, so you really have to be strategic with inventory management. FRFR.

I Would Like to See More

I’ve said a lot here, but even with all my babbling, it’s fair to say that I have not done Guardians justice enough. This game is incredibly detailed with tons of replay value. And yes, as many of the reviews said, the shit is addictive!

The crazy part is this game is a work in progress. The creators are still developing it, and I can’t even imagine what a full release will look like. As is, it’s a great value and IMO, would already stand out on the official Oculus (MetaQuest) marketplace.

So if you haven’t already, I highly recommend checking out Guardians VR. Something tells me you won’t be disappointed.

Contel Bradford is a mystical and complex individual. You can attempt to unravel some of the mystery by visiting his author site at



Contel Bradford

A seasoned freelance journalist and author, Contel Bradford is into reading, botanicals, horror, video games, and pro wrestling. Moreover, he LOVES adulting.