I was lucky enough to get my hands on PlayStation VR last week and have been dying to review it ever since. I have never tried VR before and as a result, this was quite an experience, but it was also not without it’s flaws!
Firstly, I found it quite annoying to set up. It comes with a little separate box unit which ends up looking like a knot of cables by the end and of course the headset is tethered to your TV, which in this day and age feels really antiquated, even oppressive once you’ve got earbuds plugged in to the wire. This effect definitely worked against immersion.
Once it was finally set up I hopped online and grabbed the free software suites that come with the unit, namely the VR Playroom and VR Worlds. These are really just tech demos to whet your appetite but both me and my brother found them entertaining enough to spend a night on.
Firstly, VR Playroom. I felt like it made great use of the technology available, each mini-game utilizing the movement of your head as a mechanic, which as someone who had never tried VR before, was an unexpected innovation. There were even some two-player games that had a second player holding the PS4 controller, who saw a different perspective from the one who was wearing the VR headset, which was a very fun way to get more mileage out of the tiny games on offer. As a way of introducing the players to VR, it certainly did the job.
Then on to VR Worlds, now these were really special, almost vignette-style experiences that amped up the tension and immersion that VR was obviously designed to achieve. The deep-sea dive was incredible for instance, having the player descend into the ocean depths while marveling at lifelike manta rays, glowing jellyfish and eventually being attacked by a shark, which actually had me recoiling away and jibbering as the shark went for my legs!
A special mention must be made to the London Heist experience, which was a loose gangster story layered over exciting shooter mechanics, which in conjunction with the PlayStation Move controllers, really made you feel as if you were holding and firing real guns, it was incredibly fun.
The only downside to the whole night was when both me and my brother tried to play Robinson: The Journey, which is a fairly bland adventure-style game, where you are a boy lost in space, with a dinosaur friend and you must survive...or escape, I can’t remember because we only got about ten minutes in before feeling horrible motion sickness which destroyed our ability to play for the rest of the night. It seems that when you move around with the joypad while wearing the VR headset, your brain hates the conflict in your senses and just turns you sick, or at least that was our experience.
Which brings me to my conclusion: PlayStation VR is a really fun introduction into the world of VR, but the comparatively low resolution, coupled with it’s ability to throw my senses and thus my guts for a loop, means that I can’t really recommend this further than saying you should definitely borrow it off someone who is more dedicated to getting in at the ground floor where VR is concerned.
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