VRFC (Virtual Reality Football Club) is a virtual football fitness game developed by Cherry Pop Games Limited, which released on March 4.
I completely and utterly didn’t know what to expect as I hadn’t heard of this game, which is odd seeing as I enjoy football and keep my eye on the latest VR releases. It’s a simple VR fitness game in which you can only use the motion controllers to play.
Now, I’m not going to break down this game piece by piece as there really isn’t a lot to say about graphics, gameplay and story (Not separately anyway); the game was just under 2GB to download, which gives you an idea of how much content is packed within…
It all starts with a tutorial to show you how to run, dribble and shoot. It’s odd as you use the controllers as both arms and feet – to move you and the ball around, and it certainly takes some getting used to. (I lost the first match 4-0) But instead of going through the controls over text, here’s a screenshot to do it justice:
Right away, the first thing I did was to play around with the menus; I changed the movement to the “full-comfort” mode which means that there’s no snap movement, just smooth-ass turning, this made the game a lot more enjoyable for me (at the expense of slight motion sickness). Next up, there’s a character customisation screen, where you can change your whole appearance and kit. The only other options are to choose matches to play.
The whole game is based around finding online matches to compete, with up to 10 players; sadly, there weren’t that many people online when I came to play it, which was a bit of a shame.
There is no story, as is to be expected in a standard football game, so let’s forget about that; this is an online football game which puts you in a game of up to 5v5 with anyone around the world on any VR platform; you get dropped into a pitch to play your match and off you go trying to beat your opposition. While it all sounds well and good, I’ve yet to play against more than one player – which may be why I didn’t love it as much, as I think it would’ve been much better with full teams of 5. Perhaps a story mode with some AI would have been good as some sort of solo progression?
Regarding the pitch/arena and general feel of the ‘levels’; no effort has been put in here – once you leave the nicely created locker room, any sense of fun or atmosphere kind of just dies, and there’s only one arena (as far as I could tell). It’s just you, the opponent, 2 goals and a ball in a fenced off pitch. There are no crowds, additional noises, or fun… I don’t know if these are things you unlock later in-game but there was nothing that made you want to continuously go back, not for me anyway.
As you can see above, the controls are about what you’d expect from any football game. One thing you can’t see there is that you can take off the restrictions on movement so the controls feel a lot freer. Instead of snap turning, you can twist the controllers one way or the other to turn smoothly, which was actually a really neat way to turn your character and a definite plus for this game, and not a mechanic I’d encountered before. The main issue is that apart from this one neat trick, the controls are quite clunky. There’s no getting around it – it’s quite difficult to run while kicking or controlling the ball with one set of controls, it’s almost like your hands (To move your body) and feet are the same, and are too closely tied together which really restricts the movement. All in all, the movement system didn’t quite link up which meant that it was more frustrating than fun to play this title. The other big annoyance is that your avatar starts the game with barely any stamina, so after running for 2 seconds (this isn’t an exaggeration) your view starts to darken due to tiredness, making it even more of a challenge.
Now, I may have been using the controls completely incorrectly and it may just take a lot more effort to get used to them and get good at the game… However I just found it a struggle that wasn’t fun.
The best part of the game is probably the fitness aspect. On your wrist, a watch is shown where you can view calories burnt and your heart rate etc, and let me tell you even though you’re just throwing your arms about like a twat, you really do work up a sweat. In my opinion, what they should have done is created more mini-games based around the fitness aspect (like the training) where you’re just playing with the ball, or going through intense training with the coach. This would improve the gameplay vastly and help you get better at the controls.
The main reason to compete is to level up. This improves your stats and unlocks new bits of equipment for customisation. This is really it for the game, and the only reason you may ever have to keep on playing it. Perhaps this would be good fun if playing with a friend or two (if you’re fortunate to know a group of VR players) but even then I think the novelty would wear off fairly quickly due to unfortunate pitfalls in mechanics and general gameplay.
Overall the idea is really good – a fitness game based around football which has the physics of Rocket League… But it’s just not executed that well. A lot more needs to be put in the game as a whole before I can honestly say that it’s worth picking up. For £14.99, this is a game that’s definitely not worth your money.
I think if there were patches to improve things and more game modes added in, it would be a much better game but for now it’s a no from me, and a 5/10.