Much VR. Very im­merse. Wow


HWM (Singapore) - - CONTENTS - By Do­minic Chua (GameAxis)

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.

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