Playstation VR: The Next Dimension Of Console Gaming
VR for the masses as Sony release their affordable headset and lay down the gauntlet to the more expensive Hive and Oculus Rift models.
PlayStation’s new virtual reality headset brings a vibrant and alternative gaming experience to the PlayStation franchise. Although there have been multiple virtual reality headsets in the past, none compare to the capabilities of the PlayStation VR. Along with the product have come a few launch games such as, VR Worlds, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, Driveclub VR, EVE: Valkyrie and many more. Personally I feel that most of these launch games are there to ease players into the world of Virtual Reality gaming.
The headset is playable with either PlayStation move controllers or the standard console controller, but of course, each gives a different experience. To gain a fully immersive experience the PlayStation camera is recommended as it is also needed to use the move controllers. Although the system is incredible to play, the setup is a slight hassle as it requires a lot of wires, however when it is all in place there isn’t a huge amount of effort needed for the actual usage. Also, the headset is very comfortable to wear, which is good if you intend to be gaming for a while.
Graphically, the games released thus far are quite impressive; however they are not as strong as those on the PS4 console yet. I feel that the launch games that show off the hardware’s capabilities the most have to be: Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, EVE: Valkyrie and VR Worlds as each are graphically impressive and are extremely enjoyable to play overall.
With the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift competing with the PlayStation VR, Sony seems to have released an incredible and tremendously entertaining headset, which is also much more affordable.
So, if you’re considering purchasing a PlayStation VR, I suggest you do so, as I can assure you that it is unlike anything you have experienced before, and in my eyes is a great way of bringing the player into the game.
The Best Launch Titles
This collection of short VR experiences has been developed by Sony’s in-house studios and gives a polished and varied introduction to the power of the console’s new gaming arm. They are a bit of a mixed bag with highs and lows but offer a good demonstration of just what the kit can do. London Heist is a short gangland drama with several impressive moments. The escape scene in a speeding car as you take out other vehicles is particularly immersive. Ocean Descent is a picturesque diving experience with no interaction whilst Street Luge demonstrates how the system can recreate a true sense of speed as you race down a motorway dodging oncoming vehicles.
Danger Ball is a futuristic version of Pong where the traditional gaming paddle is replaced by your head! It isn’t the most sophisticated game and I found myself getting a headache after a short period of time. Finally, Scavenger’s Odyssey is very much like a traditional console game, where you drive a futuristic tank on an alien world. Its cockpit view is realistic but the title isn’t very detailed.
All in all if you want one title to give your new kit a full workout of what it can do then VR Worlds is the one to go for.
Batman Arkham VR
The one thing we’ve noticed about most launch VR titles is that they don’t tend to last for very long. Coming in at just over 60 minutes, Batman: Arkham VR is a short but really effective and well-crafted game relies on the Move controllers for the best experience.
You get to experience what it’s like to don the Batsuit and descend into the Batcave as you seek to solve a series of puzzles as the great detective himself.
At £15 it is little more than an extended demo but remains a powerful example of what the medium can do and provides a powerful example of what else is to come.
Battlezone has a history in gaming that goes back decades, having appeared on pretty much every incarnation of console gaming since the first Atari system. Now it is back with PlayStation VR it what proves to be one of the best launch titles on the new format.
Sit down, strap yourself in and control a futuristic tank as you blast wave after wave of enemies in this Eighties inspired tribute to the original. Clearly defined and smoothly moving to ensure any concerns about motion sickness are kept at bay, this is one of the standout titles for Sony’s VR platform and a worthy purchase.
If dogfights and shoot-em ups are your thing then Eve Valkyrie is the title for you. Boasting jaw dropping visuals and intense gaming, you take to the skies to combat streams of enemies and spinning asteroids in a fight to survive.
The trade off for this cockpit-based shooter is the stomach turning effect it can have on some players. If you have an issue with motion sickness this could be one to avoid.
Until Dawn: Rush Of Blood
Any VR launch would not be worth consideration without a rollercoaster adventure and Until Dawn: Rush Of Blood is Sony’s offering. Based around the successful PS4 title Until Dawn, it is high on the scare factor with some effective thrills and a real sense of movement. If you have a particular fear of clowns or zombies then be prepared for a few scares.
Like most launch titles it isn’t that long but it is an experience you will return to and one that will have friends talking about the system long after you’ve put it away.
Another recommended launch title.
As far as driving titles go, DriveClub established itself as one of Sony’s key titles on the PS4. Newly released for VR it clearly shows how well racing games are suited for the medium.
You are given an insight that simply isn’t possible with standard driving games but looking around your car and also the vehicles of your opponents. And once things get moving it proves to be a blistering rush that, whilst serviceable with the PS controller, would be best served by a steering wheel.
Another game worth buying and one that offers a little more longevity than some of the other early releases.
Zach Antonio Vaughan