Much VR. Very immerse. Wow
Last year, Sony launched the PlayStation VR after several years of work. Reviews were generally positive, though they carried the pitfalls common to all VR today — various experiences have some great moments, but a true killer app has yet to emerge. Although we have seen sprinkles of gems such as Eagle Flight and Resident Evil 7: Biohazard early on, the PlayStation VR seems to have lost a bit of steam since.
Past PSVR games have been fun, but they provided more eeting moments than full on experiences that I wanted to stay in for hours at a time. Farpoint achieves this and more. The caveat here is, of course, subjective to how well you take to VR in the rst place.
I had the chance to play Farpoint with the PSVR Aim controller and I must say I am impressed. This is because Farpoint has a fantastic co-op mode. VR is often an isolated affair, but getting the chance to experience multiplayer on VR is a welcome treat.
Farpoint tells the story of a pair of scientists on an expedition to explore an alien world. As luck would have it, they became stranded on the
VR treatment for an FPS is a no brainer, but good co-op and physical immersion gameplay make it a must have.
distant world infested by giant alien bugs (like most distant worlds) after a catastrophe. If you are a huge fan of Starship Troopers, then Farpoint’s story mode is standard sci- cookiecutter stuff that lasts between four to seven hours. But the game’s big sell lies in co-op.
You get to choose four levels with an online buddy and this features a lot more action than the exploration-focused single-player campaign. Enemies and monsters come at your team in increasingly di cult waves as you progress through a level. Think of it as Horde Mode in Gears of Wars – except with VR and holding a pseudo laser gun to elevate your experience.
Intriguingly, while you can choose to play the game sitting down, it’s far more interesting to play the game standing up, as players are required to physically turn around if they want to look in a direction.
Impulse Gear also added some cool touches to immerse you in the VR world further. One highlight is the way you change weapons in-game. Switching to the secondary weapon on your ‘back’, for instance, requires you to move the PS VR Aim Controller upwards – as if you are storing your weapon onto your back. Similarly, picking up a new weapon requires you to physically set the Aim Controller down onto the oor to swap it.
The developer could have gone the easy route by making a weapon change with the touch of a button press, but these small touches are a rewarding experience.
The PS VR Aim Controller itself feels solid in the hands despite its feathery weight. The multiple buttons and trigger does give the impression of a mashed up Dualshock 4 and Move controllers, but the PS4 only recognizes it as a standalone peripheral – it doesn’t function as a Dualshock 4 nor as a Move controller. Despite the array of buttons/triggers placements all over the gun, they were quite easy to nd despite my vision being hidden by the PSVR headset.
While it’s possible to play the game with a DualShock 4 controller, but the new gun controller is a big evolution leap over its predecessor – the PlayStation Move Sharp Shooter that was released for the PS3.
The downside to all this, however, is cost. The PS VR Aim Controller is available for $89 separately (or $129 as a game and controller bundle). It’s a great accessory for Farpoint, but Sony needs to be cautious to not let it become another PlayStation Move – one of the company’s high-pro le failed accessories. A peripheral is only as good as the games that supports it after all. Hopefully, Sony will have some good news for both PS VR and the VR Aim Controller come E3 in June.
Farpoint is one of the most fun and engaging co-op games I have played with the PSVR. Sony and Impulse Gear have churned out a genuine AAA blockbuster and I dare say the game is already one of our “Best VR Game of the Year” contenders.
Now excuse me, while I head back to killing some alien spider scums with my online buddy.
The multi-player co-op mode in Farpoint takes VR gaming into another level of interactivity.
Laugh all you want, but the new VR Aim Controller is essential to turn a good VR game into a great VR game.