Last week, I got a chance to try out PlayStation VR for the first time. I already had hands-on time with the Oculus Rift DK2 but this was my inaugural go with Sony’s upcoming VR peripheral. At an event hosted by Oasis Games, I got to experience four games that gave me a good idea of what players can expect to play on PSVR. I’m not exactly the biggest supporter of VR gaming, but even I had to admit that what I played was rather impressive.
In this arcade-y on-rails shooter, I was tasked with taking out a horde of zombies and ghosts with a laser gun. In real life, I had to use the PS Move controller to simulate the gun. It was a bit odd at first since I wanted to use two hands to fire (one hand to shoot with and the other for stability) but once I got into it, I was blasting my enemies away with relative ease.
The biggest challenge I found with the game was getting used to the 180 degree field of vision. If I focused my efforts on one side for too long, the opposite side would get swarmed by monsters. I had to constantly move my head around to make sure I wasn’t overrun. This isn’t something one would normally have to worry about when playing on a regular TV screen so it was definitely a nice change of pace.
Like Pixel Gear, this was another on-rails shooter where you have to defend against an enemy horde. Instead of a gun, you use a bow and arrow, and instead of ghosts and zombies, your foes are monkeys. For this game, you have to use two PS Move controllers to simulate the bow and arrow (respectively). It was odd to control at first, but I adapted faster than I thought I would. I also had to contend with the previously mentioned field of view, but since I was already used to it, I was prepared.
The most interesting thing to me about this was my initial reaction. When I saw the monkeys coming at me, I didn’t want to shoot them. Monkeys are awesome so having to brutally kill them with a bow and arrow gave me pause. Thankfully, taking out the silly simians wasn’t as horrific as I expected (they just turn into puffs of smoke). This game is clearly aimed at children but I had fun regardless.
The next demo was a complete departure from the previous games in that it was a survival horror game. I should really say more “horror” than “survival” since I didn’t feel that my life was in danger while playing DYING Reborn. Traversing this world was a bit strange because each tap of the right analog stick made the perspective change via a camera dissolve instead of it being a smooth transition. This was to minimize discomfort for players.
I made my way through a narrow corridor and solved some minor puzzles while listening to creepy people talking over TV monitors that were scattered about. This game probably would have scared me more if I wasn’t in a room full of people, but considering that I’m kind of a punk when it comes to playing horror games, I didn’t mind the tension being eased in this way. Definitely a cool game that I could see myself playing.
This was another horror game. In Weeping Doll, you play as an English maid for a Japanese family. The controls were unique because instead of moving in real-time, you had to place an avatar that represented you to the spot where you wanted to go. I found this to be a bit easier than moving in DYING Reborn and took to the controls fairly quickly — so fast in fact that the person guiding me through the demo was impressed.
What I liked most about Weeping Doll was its decidedly (at least for me) chill nature. I felt at ease just going through the rooms and solving the cleverly designed puzzles. There were one or two frightening moments, especially one that had me chasing a weird kid around the mansion — but I’m going to chalk this up to my natural distrust of children. Out of all the games I played at the event, this was by far my favorite.
After playing these four VR titles, I consider myself much more receptive to the idea of VR. I recommend trying the VR experience out to see if it really is for you.