• "Smoke & Thunder" is a new Western-themed expansion for "Pistol Whip"
  • The expansion will add new maps, weapons and the new Styles system
  • Styles will let players create customized challenge playlists using many different adjustable settings

A free expansion is coming to popular VR rhythm-shooter “Pistol Whip,” adding plenty of new content to play through and a new mechanic that will greatly increase the game’s replayability and customizability.

The “Smoke & Thunder” expansion will add a new Western-themed mini-campaign. In terms of new content, this expansion will be similar to the cyberpunk-themed “2089” update that released previously, introducing new, thematically-appropriate content. “Smoke & Thunder” will add five new maps, a new revolver weapon type and new music that fits the entire Wild West aesthetic.

Apart from these additions, “Pistol Whip” is also getting the new Styles system which revamps the way the old Modifiers system works. The Styles system will allow players to personalize their gaming experience however they want to by giving them the option to mix and match levels, weapons and modifiers like Big Head mode or the new Bullet Hell mode.

All of the existing “Pistol Whip” levels can be replayed with Styles, letting players experience those same levels in completely different ways. Unique style combinations will have their own global scoreboards, which will let players compete among themselves to see who can clear each challenge with the most points possible.

“Smoke & Thunder” is free for all owners of “Pistol Whip,” but the game’s base price will be increased from $25 to $30 after Aug. 15 to compensate.

Pistol Whip is designed around pulse-pounding soundtracks to make each level incredibly cinematic
Pistol Whip is designed around pulse-pounding soundtracks to make each level incredibly cinematic Cloudhead Games

“Pistol Whip” is a VR-only game that’s similar to the iconic “Beat Saber” but with guns instead of lightsabers. Players must navigate through nonstop rail shooter levels while taking down hostiles and dodging obstacles and enemy bullets. The game features a glitchy albeit cinematic artstyle with an overall gameplay feel that’s inspired by action movies like “John Wick.”

While it’s classified as a rhythm game, “Pistol Whip” does not have any strict rhythm-game-like mechanics. Instead, it relies on the use of amazing synthwave soundtracks to create pulse-pounding combat scenarios that accurately mimic the vibe and intensity of its film inspirations.

“Pistol Whip” has received a barrage of updates since it was released. From it’s original 10 levels, the game has already gained 18 more for a total of 28 once “Smoke & Thunder” arrives.