Far­point

EDGE - - GAMES -

PSVR

The fact that our front room looks di­rectly out onto the street is un­for­tu­nate. Any­one who had the mis­for­tune to wit­ness us flail­ing around while wear­ing a PSVR head­set and aim­ing at thin air with the glow­ing pink ball on the end of our Aim con­troller can’t have come away richer for the ex­pe­ri­ence.

For us, how­ever, the in­ci­dent was a sur­pris­ingly pleas­ant one. Im­pulse Gear’s FPS is, for the most part, thought­fully con­structed and some­thing of a reve­la­tion when it comes to free move­ment in VR. The de­fault set­ting lets you steer your­self by turn­ing your body, while you move about us­ing the front ana­logue stick on the Aim con­troller. While there are other op­tions (in­clud­ing free turn­ing, and clock-po­si­tion shift­ing) the stan­dard setup mar­ries es­pe­cially well to the wide cor­ri­dors down which Far­point fun­nels you. While sim­plis­tic by mod­ern FPS stan­dards, tak­ing cover be­hind rocks and scrap metal, and fir­ing back at a se­lec­tion of for­mi­da­ble – if not par­tic­u­larly bright – alien and ro­botic en­e­mies, proves ex­hil­a­rat­ing.

The whole thing is el­e­vated by that strange-look­ing pe­riph­eral. While fussy to set up (you’re told to place the PlayS­ta­tion cam­era, with its short lead, above head height for best re­sults) the Aim ac­quits it­self flaw­lessly in-game (see Good aim). The de­vice’s one-to-one track­ing and built-in vi­bra­tion en­sure that the vir­tual guns feel sat­is­fy­ingly sub­stan­tial, and the avail­able ar­moury in­cludes a space SMG, a shot­gun and an un­der­whelm­ing fac­sim­ile of Halo’s Needler. The high­light, how­ever, is a pow­er­ful, laser-sighted sniper ri­fle that’s in­tro­duced about half­way through the game. Lin­ing up dis­tant shots while star­ing down the vir­tual sights is a de­light.

But while Far­point is built around demon­strat­ing the Aim’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties, it also tells an un­ex­pect­edly warm story. You play a shut­tle pi­lot sent to pick up sci­en­tists Eva Tyson and Grant Moon from the Pil­grim, a re­search ves­sel study­ing an en­ergy anom­aly some­where near Jupiter. Pre­dictably, some­thing goes ter­ri­bly wrong and the story charts your at­tempts to lo­cate Tyson and Moon as you learn about their own ef­forts to sur­vive through the holo­graphic and video record­ings you find. It’s just a shame that a lurch to more schlocky fod­der for the fi­nal act spoils the over­all ef­fect some­what.

Even so, what’s here stands out sim­ply for be­ing the first con­vinc­ing ex­am­ple of a VR FPS that doesn’t make you feel sick. It’s ba­sic in com­par­i­son to other games in the genre, but de­lib­er­ately so, and the grin-in­duc­ing plea­sure of aim­ing a phys­i­cal gun from be­hind what feels like real cover car­ries the game even in its less suc­cess­ful mo­ments.

While shoot­ing at bugs and other en­e­mies con­sti­tutes a large part of the game, you’ll also spend a good deal of time sim­ply wan­der­ing through some re­mark­able alien land­scapes. Cliff­sides are es­pe­cially breath­tak­ing

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