212 Published Reviews
Battlewake is a very solid pirate ship combat game that has great presentation, fun gameplay, and good core mechanics, but it just doesn’t have enough depth. The campaign is over just as you feel like you’re coming to grips with each character, multiplayer lacks the breadth and depth it needs, and generally it’s missing a unifying framework to tie it all together more strongly.
The Angry Birds Movie 2 VR: Under PressurePS4
The Angry Birds Movie 2 VR: Under Pressure borrows not from the forgotten heap of licensed tie-in games of the past and instead looks to mimic some of co-op gaming’s recent hits. It does so admirably and comes out as a game surprisingly worthwhile if you’re playing in co-op. When flying solo, persistent issues hamper the game, but with a flock of friends or family, it’s a happily hectic and cleverly built game for the VR player and their sidekicks alike.
Groundhog Day: Like Father Like SonPS4
What a pleasant surprise, then. Against all odds, Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son nestles itself neatly amongst the growing number of VR titles that marry compelling, involving narrative with thoughtful interactivity. It’s a game with a welcome amount of heart, refusing to settle for the usual standards of tie-in media. Dare I say it, it’s even a worthy follow-up to a movie you’d have thought best left untouched. Bravo.
Fans of VR RPGs need not look further: Vanishing Realms and its new accompanying expansion are fantastic. The Sundered Rift content is a pleasant surprise as not only does it continue on from the base game’s first two chapters, but it delivers an experience that’s longer, larger, and more ambitious. Zones feel more open and varied, there are close to a dozen new enemies, and tons of new weapons and challenges.
Acron: Attack of the Squirrels!PC
Acron is something of a delight, then. Certainly not an epiphanic bastion of VR immersion, but a hectic hassle of shouts and screams that exposes the platform’s more playful side. Played with friends, it’s a wickedly entertaining package that will have you passing the headset in rapid succession. There’s a slickness to the production and design here, one that removes much of the baggage of other VR party games. Even as VR headsets start to become more accessible, Acron is remarkably light to the touch.
Despite Pinball FX2 VR’s lack of motion controls, it is nice to have another game for the Quest where you can just sit down and be immersed. Soon the minutes fade away, as you pursue the next high score. Perhaps Zen Studios will bring over more tables from the non-VR version of the game in the future, or maybe even bring Pinball FX3 to VR, but for now this is the only way a pinball wizard can show their magic while on the go.
Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot has all of the right ingredients to be an exciting VR game focused on murdering tons of Nazis, but ends up feeling like it’s just too safe with far too little content. Mechanically it works well and there are some quality moments of fun, but just as the world starts to get interesting it’s all over.
Naturally, all of this is just slightly sharper inside practically every PC VR headset over PSVR. If you own an Index, then the winning combination of incredible screen clarity and crystal-clear off-ear headphones will bring Tetris Effect to a new level. But even on Rift S, Vive or otherwise, itâs an appreciated step up.
Gorn is the product of two years of tireless Early Access development. What started out as a laughable bit of nonsense has gradually evolved into, well, a much more polished and expansive bit of nonsense. It’s a toybox filled with razor-sharp playthings and endless action figures to use them on, upheld by a combat system that bends reality to eschew awkwardness. Ultimately it might just be a glorified tech demo for VR combat, but it’s one that will produce enough laughs and gasps that you’ll be willing to risk bodily harm playing it. For better or worse, that’s a potent example of immersion.
Rise of Insanity isn’t a perfect game, but it doesn’t try to be. The story has some satisfying twists if you’re paying attention and the environments are well-designed with nice vistas and some top-notch jump scares to keep you on your toes. I’d have loved motion controller support or a more fleshed out VR integration, but as it stands as a gamepad-only VR title it certainly delivers good scares wrapped up in a solid story at a brisk two hour pace.
In the end Defector is a good, fun game at a very fair price point that offers some cheap thrills, loads of replayability, and a handful of truly thrilling moments that successfully let you live out your Bond, Bourne, or Mission Impossible power fantasy from the safety of a VR headset. But it could have been a whole lot more because that’s all it is: a highlight reel. It never digs deep enough, shoots fast enough, or runs far enough to be considered worthy of mentioning in the same breath as those spy thriller greats as anything other than a cursory imitation with a small bit of heart.
FREEDIVER: Triton DownPC
Freediver: Triton Down is better than it has any right to be. What could well have been a soul-crushing slog turns out to be a pleasingly immediate palette cleanser. Its got some B-movie style missteps, but sharp design punctuates every element of a game that never outstays its welcome. So take a deep breath and grab your goggles; this is one adventure that’s worth undertaking.
This is the rare sort of game where I actually want to unlock as many bits and bobs as possible just to forge my own identity.Mini-Mech Mayhem is likely destined for the same kind of obscurity as FuturLab’s Tiny Trax before it, but there’s endless joy to be found from its frantic mash-up of tabletop gaming and VR. This is an untamable, often hilarious bit of strategy that’s to be enjoyed just as much when you’re throwing your hands up in defeat as it is in victory. I just wish I had more people to play it with.
Trover Saves The UniversePS4
Trover Saves The Universe is without a doubt one of the funniest games I’ve ever played. It honestly had my side hurting from all the laughter. Despite some generic core gameplay, repetition, and an overall grating comedic tone that isn’t for everyone, Trover gets a lot right. The bottom line is that if you liked games such as Lucky’s Tale and Astro Bot and also appreciate Justin Roiland’s style of vulgar fourth-wall breaking comedy, then this is a match made in third-person action-adventure heaven.
Blood & TruthPS4
Despite the sometimes frustrating movement system and occasional pacing issues, Blood & Truth is a tour de force for PSVR. Sony’s London Studio should be proud of what they’ve accomplished here by turning the brief London Heist demo from PlayStation VR Worlds into a fully-fledged narrative that features some of the best performances we’ve seen in VR yet. The action is pulse-pounding and so bombastic it rivals even the biggest summer blockbusters. This one is easily recommended to any PSVR owner that likes to shoot bad guys and watch stuff blow up.
Ironically, Vacation Simulator feels like a progress report. It’s an encouraging news flash from Owlchemy about where it is with making VR as immersive as possible as we continue to tolerate the shortcomings of other, ‘fuller’ games. But its philosophy of authenticity and intuition above all else is to be praised and preserved. There’s playful fun, immersive wonder and liberating agency all gathered under one roof, here. Vacation Simulator may only be a small step in a wider journey, but it’s one well worth taking.
Falcon Age nurtures a soft spot inside of you, one big enough to overlook many of its technical shortcomings. It’s a sentimental game, one that knows VR’s ability to build relationships is as compelling as and additive to any other feature. It never fully capitalizes on that connection in the way you might expect, but it’s a spark of companionship to be cherished all the same. That’s something the industry could use a little more of.
Space Junkies does what games have done for decades: it brings a smile to your face. It’s the kind of game you can either play for one match, or accidentally lose hours to. The matches are fast-paced and frenetic, the weapons are fun and varied, and the customization brings a deeper level to it all. Frankly, it’s fun in a way that is sometimes missing from more serious affairs. It’s already an exceptional experience and if it evolves and gains new content it will become unmissable. Now, if you’ll excuse us, there is a slingshot with our name on it.Note: This version of the review is specifically for the PC VR version of the game. There are a few differences on PSVR not accounted for here.
The Wizards - Enhanced EditionPS4
Plenty of collectibles, a replayable Arena mode, and lots of mission augmentations add up to this being a really fun journey. But some of the repetition, relatively short length, and recycled wave-shooter-style mission structures left us wanting a bit more creativity. I absolutely enjoyed my time with The Wizards, but with a few additions it could have been the definitive VR spell-casting game.
Shadow Legend VRPC
Shadow Legend probably isn’t going to blow any minds or make believers out of anyone that has decided VR isn’t for them, but it does deliver on its promise of offering a feature-filled single player VR RPG that tells a complete story with action and intrigue. Production values and clunkiness aside, the mere fact that Shadow Legend feels like an actual game probably says more about the state of the VR market than it does the quality of the adventure itself. At the end of the day when I lay down my Knight’s Templar sword and finish slaying demons, all I could think is how badly I wish there was more.
Dick Wilde 2PS4
Dick Wilde 2 is inarguably an improvement on the first, for what it’s worth. This by-the-numbers sequel remains a decent wave shooter with a rock solid foundation that never elevates itself beyond the limitations of its genre. It’s just a little more balanced, a little less creepy and there’s a lot more of it. Co-op support may be underwhelming, but if you’re still craving the core thrill of simple VR shooting, you could do a lot worse than Dick Wilde 2.
Originally released in 2015 for PC, Mac and Linux before eventually making its way onto consoles, ChromaGun was initially both hailed and mocked for (lightly) scratching gamers’ itches for a new Portal-like in the absence of Portal 3. Following its long-awaited VR port, ChromaGun VR is definitely not up to the bar set by the Portal series, but its puzzles are satisfying nonetheless.
Xing: The Land BeyondPS4
This was despite the fact that the game’s progress menu showed I had done so already, and after replaying the third world and completing the fourth, I turned off the system again. Once again, the most recent world I completed had to be played again, and when entering the final stage, a glitch left me floating in outer space.
Despite its good intentions Eden Tomorrow rarely breaks free of its many issues. An intensely disagreeable sidekick, dull pacing and by-the-numbers plotting will put you on autopilot for 90% of the game. There are moments of magic here but, for the most part, Eden Tomorrow is simply a slog.
Intruders: Hide and SeekPS4
Intruders is a welcome case of less is more. It’s an engaging little short that largely keeps its ambitions in check with enjoyable if unremarkable sneaking. You likely won’t remember much about Intruders a week or two past playing it, but it keeps you hooked while it lasts. For a home invasion game, it’s perhaps just a little too safe.