I am a gamer. It’s my hobby, it’s what I spend 80% of any free time doing, and I have been since I was 5/6 years old. I used to play sonic on my sega for hours on end (or as long as my parents would allow it) and moved on to games like Pokemon, Zelda and eventually Tekken 3 on ps one. The games we play are constantly getting better and more involved and you often wonder how far they’re going to go.
One thing I’ve always wanted, longed for, was virtual reality, when I was young I thought that it would be a big leap from console to VR and I would be in my 40s before anything like this was available , let alone for home use, but the world always moves faster than anybody can anticipate. Now I have my virtual reality headset which connects to my PS4 for a not so ridiculous price tag, perhaps with a few more cables than expected.
I’m just going to talk about the games I’ve played briefly (please see my Resi 7 review for a more in depth review of that) and what I think about virtual reality.
I’ll start by saying this, I truly believe it is the future of gaming, this headset is so impressive if you’re a gamer. Graphics can always get better but this is a whole new level of interaction.
First of all it’s worth mentioning the VR playroom which is a free to play download which is designed for you to play with a friend who has a controller. There are various mini games available and it’s a really great way to show someone what the VR can do. My favourite was probably robot rescue, it’s a really simple platformer that turns the controller in your hand into a robot catching device, you control a super robot through a short level saving as many robots as you can and defeating simple enemies, I only wish this was longer.
There’s a guess who style game which sets you in a western saloon, you have a sucker cup gun and have to shoot the right robot with the help of your friend on the sofa, they describe of they have a hat or moustache etc. There’s also an alien shooting game which is set in a bedroom, it’s a pretty simple concept, kill the aliens with your cannon. sofa players can also join in by controlling robots to punch away the enemies. There’s also a ghostbusters type game where the sofa player tells you where to aim your ghost gun to capture the ghosts you can’t see. A cat and mouse game where the VR player is the cat and the controller players are mice.
Finally a godzilla-esque game where you avoid the giant monster (played by the VR person) and defeat them at the end. Whilst playing all of these games you earn coins which you can spend in a little interactive room which you slowly build up with little figures of the robots.
The game that equally impressed and terrified was resident evil, it’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced, and this may not be a game I usually would have played but thanks to some fantastic marketing and testimonials/reviews I bought in, and haven’t regretted it (apart from it making me scream like a little girl). Resident evil was really fun as an intense, creepy horror with good action elements and some puzzle solving. There were times I and you literally stop because of how terrified I was. There’s also a guess who style game where the person on the sofa tells you which little robot to shoot by describing as best as possible.
I’ve also played Rigs which is essentially a sports game in mech suits but you blow each other up. Again this is immensely fun, the gameplay is fantastic and fluid and really makes you feel like you’re in a giant arena battling it out, and when you jump up it gives you a bit of vertigo. There’s a league and cup aspect where you compete in different types of games (rugby with guns, team deathmatch and robot basketball) to advance up the ranks. The payoff is the money you get which you can spend customising your character or buying better mech suits. I can’t say many bad things about this game except the difficulty dramatically increases after 2 leagues without you really being able to afford much better gear.
Rush of blood is an on rails shooter which is loosely based on until dawn. The best way to explain this is something like the house of the dead but on acid. You will jump and react to the virtual world around you, beating high scores and following the loose story. It’s bloody fun and has some excellent jump scares. The graphics and gameplay are really good and make for a really fun target shooting game, and is also a really good one to showcase your VR.
EVE: Valkyrie is an online space shooter which places you in space battles, i wasn’t overly impressed by this game. I think it suffers from having no campaign mode and there’s a limited amount of players when online, so i often found myself aimlessly flying around looking for someone to shoot. The overall feel and gameplay is impressive but it wasn’t a game that grabbed me.
Overall the VR is really impressive and i think you can currently get everything you need online for £300-£350 which isn’t ridiculous. It definitely suffers from there not being enough full length games, i felt like a lot of the games I’ve tried have felt like tech demos or experiences. It needs a lot more new content more in line with Resident Evil. I am holding out for Doom and Skyrim VR but these are both re-releases of games I’ve played.
Recently I’ve not been finding myself putting it on over regular games and i think unless they can get a strong backing from a few developers it could suffer due to this. Saying this I can’t fault the majority of the gameplay and this a huge step for futuristic gaming, and when you’ve got the headset on you’re completely immersed and enjoying the game, no matter what it is.
I’d recommend the VR to anyone who loves gaming as it brings a whole new aspect to console gaming. I’d say it’s worth the price tag with the games that are going to be coming out.