PlayStation VR Worlds PSVR
Developed in-house by the first studio to get its hands on PSVR hardware, long before it was ready for the playing public, VR Worlds should serve as something of a best practice document. In reality, it’s a little more patchy than that, a grab bag of short experiences and games that inevitably feels disjointed. But at its best, the package does a good job of whetting the appetite for PSVR’s considerable potential.
The compilation’s headline attraction is undoubtedly The London Heist, a beautifully presented short tale of gangland violence and betrayal that’s told through a mix of smart interactive cutscenes and great use of Move controllers. A scene in which you must locate a diamond in an ornate desk before shooting your way out of the building sees you grabbing ammo clips with one hand and slamming them into the gun in your other, all the while ducking behind a piece of antique furniture as you wait for a safe moment to return fire. It’s a brilliant evolution of traditional lightgun-shooting galleries that’s given a second twist during another sequence that has you fending off armed motorcyclists from the passenger seat of a speeding van.
Danger Ball is a very different proposition – a threedimensional take on Pong that lets you control the paddle with your head as you face off against a series of AI opponents. Each one has a unique style of play – a larger paddle that must have its periphery destroyed, for instance, or a pair of diamond-shaped paddles linked by a beam of electricity – and you must score five hits to win. Out of the entire collection, Danger Ball is the only offering you’ll want to keep coming back to.
The atmospherically rendered Ocean Descent, meanwhile, ensures that PSVR has an underwater experience to compete with Vive and Rift’s equivalents, and is probably the thing you’ll break out when showing off your new PlayStation headset to friends. Scavengers Odyssey offers shallow Metroid- tinged sci-fi shooting and puzzling in a huge space station that, while brief, could be the starting point for a more developed game. And VR Luge lets you weave through (or clip through) traffic as you plummet down a hill on your back. It’s the least convincing part of the package, and neither enjoyable nor interesting.
PSVR Worlds would have made an excellent pack-in game for PSVR, but it’s difficult to recommend as a standalone purchase – especially when it costs almost as much as a full-price title. Nevertheless, watching London Studio flex its VR muscles is an entrancing way to spend a few hours, and if nothing else it should serve as a persuasive catalyst for other developers toying with Sony’s fledgling hardware.
Danger Ball’s clean neon lines and vast, empty-feeling stadiums are a little clinical, but the fast-moving action is far from sterile. You can add spin to a returned ball by flicking your head, which adds another layer of strategy Developer SIE London Studio Publisher SIE Format PSVR Release Out now