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

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