Last week I was lucky enough to review the PlayStation VR, it was a fascinating glimpse into the future of gaming, and entertainment as a whole. Gamers have been promised virtual-reality for a long time; I can best describe it as watching the horizon; you feel it is near but you know it is far from reach. After all, VR has always felt like a foretelling of the future, something almost mythic, at least that’s how I feel about it so can it live up to the hype?
The first aspect of PlayStation VR worth noting is the price, it is stated to be €400.00, this is incorrect unless of course, you want a beautiful paperweight. The actual price is €460.00 because you will have to buy the PlayStation Camera which comes separately even though it is essential to the PlayStation VR experience. It’s a damning revelation which I was shocked at learning. It is not something you want to find out when you unbox this come Christmas morn.
With that first element inspected I think it’s time to move on to the fun part; the video games themselves that I was lucky enough to try out. I was given EVE: Valkyrie, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood and Battlezone to test out and my experiences were varied, to say the least.
EVE: Valkyrie was a fascinating game to get my hands on, it felt like I was in an episode of Battlestar Galactica shooting through space at breakneck speeds shooting down other pilots. The online aspect allowed for incredible battles in space that felt wonderfully realistic. I honestly got butterflies in my stomach every time I took off into battle, and it was superb. The story of the characters constant rebirth as a clone is impressive, but it’s the gameplay you’re here for. My experience was cut short sadly as I experienced motion sickness after an hour of gameplay so I would recommend that if you feel motion sickness coming on be sure and take the VR helmet immediately, not everyone will suffer from this but it’s best to be aware of this potential pitfall.
It was because of this that I sadly couldn’t try out Battlezone.
I then played Until Dawn: Rush of Blood a PlayStation VR spin-off to the incredible Until Dawn and it was outstanding, for the first four levels at least. The gameplay for Until Dawn: Rush of Blood is in the style of a first person rail shooter as you have to defend yourself from hordes of monstrous nightmares. The graphics are decent, not up to the levels of the original Until Dawn but still reasonable. As you traverse each level of horrors on the rollercoaster of doom you experience thrills, chills, and spills and it’s brilliant, but the gameplay does get repetitive, but that’s easily fixed by simply walking away and then coming back later. It’s a great game especially for the horror fans; it’s genuinely scary, and I jumped out of terror multiple times.
Now after playing these games, I found the PlayStation VR experience to be a limited one. Thankfully I came across the Littlstar VR Cinema and the Playroom VR a collection of mini games on the PlayStation 4 and my appreciation of PlayStation VR grew. The Playroom VR is so much fun; the opportunity to have five players in numerous games is an element that VR wonderfully pulls off. I had several friends over, and we all had a ball trying out the PlayStation VR playing Playroom VR, this game truly shows the power of the technology and some unexpected places it could go. The Littlstar VR Cinema allowed me to view films, plays, world travelling journeys from the comfort of my sitting room. From watching the opening number of the Broadway version The Lion King to being inside a music video, seeing the vibrations of sound itself surround you, it was another layer that added to my overall enjoyment of the PlayStation VR.
My experience of PlayStation VR left me with a lot of questions: Can the VR motion sickness be fixed? What kind of deep story driven games can honestly be made out of this new genre of gaming? Is this just another overhyped gimmick? And finally how long before a price drop because even though I enjoyed my PlayStation VR experience I can’t in good conscience pay €460.00.