RIGS: Mech­a­nised Com­bat League

CoD meets Rocket League in VR

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With so many of the PlayS­ta­tion VR’s launch ti­tles ded­i­cated to lim­ited ex­pe­ri­ences de­signed to guide the unini­ti­ated in what to ex­pect from this lat­est tech zeit­geist, it’s re­fresh­ing that Guer­rilla Cam­bridge hasn’t for­got­ten that it won’t just be stereo­typ­i­cal mums and dads who are play­ing with the tech. There are also le­gions of hard­core gamers look­ing for ex­tended and com­pet­i­tive gam­ing ex­pe­ri­ences.

From the dozen PlayS­ta­tion VR ti­tles I’ve tried, RIGS Mech­a­nized Com­bat League is the one that’s most tar­geted at, for lack of a bet­ter phrase, “real” gamers. The pitch is part Rocket League and part Call of Duty: Ad­vanced War­fare, as two small teams bat­tle across tight are­nas in a sports-like shooter where the em­pha­sis is on scor­ing points.

Un­like Rocket League, there isn’t a ball at play. In­stead, the play­ers them­selves be­come the ball by de­stroy­ing op­po­nents and/or col­lect­ing their fallen orbs. Snatch up mul­ti­ple kills or nab enough orbs, and your mech suit en­ters an over­charged mode, wherein you’re able to score a point by scal­ing the map and jump­ing through a gi­ant hoop.

It sounds a bit silly, but in ex­e­cu­tion, it’s a fan­tas­tic me­chanic that makes over­charged play­ers pri­or­ity tar­gets for the other team which, in turn, means team­mates need to em­ploy shield­ing tac­tics to en­sure their over­charged player can score. De­spite hav­ing a crosshair painted on them, an over­charged player isn’t at a com­plete dis­ad­van­tage. En­ter­ing over­charge also gifts that player with the si­mul­ta­ne­ous ac­ti­va­tion of Turbo (speed boost), Im­pact (ex­tra dam­age), and Re­pair (health re­gen­er­a­tion) fea­tures, which nor­mally have to be switched be­tween man­u­ally on the DualShock face but­tons, and only one at a time.

In terms of the other con­trols, the sticks break down into what you’d ex­pect from your av­er­age con­sole FPS, with the left stick in charge of di­rec­tional movement, and the right stick con­trol­ling ori­en­ta­tion. This means the VR head­set is used to fine-tune aim­ing, with con­cen­tric lasers from the two arm-mounted ma­chine guns show­ing where your weapons are pointed. What I played was a lit­tle too au­to­mated on the aim­ing front, with the weapons lock­ing on to an op­po­nent as long as I kept my gaze close enough to an en­emy player at all times.

Hope­fully, that auto-aim is some­thing that can be dis­abled in PvP modes for the fi­nal re­lease to help lift the com­pet­i­tive po­ten­tial­ity and to boost player es­capa­bil­ity. Aside from the guns, there’s also a handy dash-melee abil­ity, that’s not only use­ful for fin­ish­ing en­e­mies, it’s also the best way to per­form a re­play-wor­thy de­fen­sive save as an over­charged op­po­nent at­tempts to jump through the hoop to score.

I found the de­fault speed of the mechs a bit on the slug­gish side, es­pe­cially when it came to turn­ing around to face an op­po­nent who had the drop on you, but that wasn’t enough to stop RIGS from be­ing an im­pres­sive show­case of the com­pet­i­tive po­ten­tial of a VR game on PlayS­ta­tion VR. It’s also one that has the po­ten­tial to defy the usual right­stick aim­ing lim­i­ta­tions of your av­er­age con­sole shooter.

With the right spit and pol­ish, RIGS could well end up be­ing a strong con­tender for the de­but eS­ports VR ti­tle that can help lift the PlayS­ta­tion VR beyond the em­pha­sis on the ac­ces­si­bil­ity of its launch ti­tles and into the kind of longevity strato­sphere that com­pet­i­tive ti­tles en­joy.

THE PITCH IS PART ROCKET LEAGUE AND PART CALL OF DUTY: AD­VANCED WAR­FARE, AS TWO SMALL TEAMS BAT­TLE ACROSS TIGHT ARE­NAS

Sadly, RIGS is in no way as­so­ci­ated with Martin Riggs, pro­tag­o­nist of Lethal Weapons 1-4

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