Gaming Review: Sony Playstation VR

Post by Patrick

Virtual Reality has been something people have been dreaming of for as long as I remember and it feels like in the past few years, VR has been pushed hard with the likes of Oculus, the HTC Vive, and to some extent Microsoft’s Hololens. What makes the PlayStation VR (PSVR) special though is that it doesn’t require a powerful computer, it’s priced reasonably well and it’s relatively simple to set up without needing you to tinker too much with the settings. So it was easy to take up X-Cite’s offer to send my brother and I a PSVR to test out and write about.

The PSVR headset looks good, the build quality doesn’t feel cheap and its comfortable once you wear it. On the other hand the amount of cables it takes to set it up is unfortunate. This isn’t something you’ll leave lying around once you’re done using it for the night (unless you don’t mind clutter). As someone who is married and has three cats I have to pack it away every time I’m done using it. The reason for this clutter is that the PSVR doesn’t plug straight into the PS4. A processor box is included with the PSVR that includes an HDMI splitter, so you have thick cable running from the headset to this processor box, an HDMI cable from the PS4 into the processor box, another HDMI cable from the processor box to your TV, a USB cable from the processor box to the PS4 and a separate power cable into the processor. Oh and that doesn’t include the Playstation Camera cable which you also need for the PSVR.

Clutter aside, I was excited to try out the PSVR. I had a little bit of experience with the Oculus so I know how cool VR can be. I played a couple of games using the PSVR, Batman: Arkham VR, Driveclub VR, Rez Infinite, the Call of Duty: Jackal Assault VR, Super Hypercube and some games on the demo disc that came bundled with the headset. One thing you have to get used to when using the PSVR is that the visuals aren’t as crisp as what you’d get on your TV, there’s an annoying fuzziness that you’ll notice in most games and in some cases, games blur things in your peripherals (Batman suffers from this).

A concern I had was motion sickness and nausea. I have a sensitive stomach and I tend to get motion sickness quite easily and so was expecting to get sick playing Driveclub VR, Eve Valkyrie or Call of Duty Jackal Assault. Surprisingly though I didn’t suffer from motion sickness in any of the games I tried. Mark on the other hand got motion sickness ten minutes into Resident Evil 7 and then got motion sickness again a minute into his first race in Driveclub VR. This is something you should take into consideration before spending money on VR so find a place to try it out before you buy it.

Some games have been offering free updates to include VR modes; most notably Star Wars Battlefront and Driveclub. Driveclub VR is a new mode that offers new tracks while some tracks from the main game can also be found in the VR mode. Part of my love for Driveclub comes from driving through the different types of weather, appreciating the amazing visuals and using the robust photo mode to take great pictures of my cars. None of these things are available in Driveclub VR. They did a great job at creating detailed cockpits and it was a lot easier to drive in that view than I thought it would be, but after the first five minutes I got pretty bored. Batman: Arkham VR was a poor experience as well, even more so because I actually paid for it. I should have read reviews but Rocksteady tend to consistently do well with the Batman name that I figured Arkham VR would be the same deal. The direction that Rocksteady went with for this experience is uninspiring and dull. The game feels like it was originally meant for a segment in Batman: Arkham Knight but was cut because it wasn’t good material. Batman: Arkham VR is basically a $20 theme park ride.

Rez Infinite (a game I’ve bought multiple times) on the other hand is an incredible experience in VR. I’ve put a lot of hours into Rez in the past but when I played it in VR for the first time it felt like something completely new. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the game, Rez is a rhythm game that was originally released on the Dreamcast. The player creates sounds and melodies as you traverse a psychedelic wireframe world taking down enemies. Rez has incredible visual and sound design that VR elevates to another level. This is what more VR games need to strive for. Driveclub? I’d rather play on my TV. Same with Batman, same with the majority of PSVR games I tried. But Rez? It’s a whole other experience in VR. Another game that was an enjoyable in VR was SuperHyperCube. SuperHyperCube is a puzzle game where the point of the game is to rotate block shapes to fit through gates that are constantly coming towards you. The more gates you pass through the bigger your shape gets making it harder to see the gate so you’re forced to lean over to get a better look of the gate from around the block. It’s a simple, super addictive game that uses VR in an effective way.

Rez and SuperHyperCube sadly are outliers in the catalog of games available for PSVR. Don’t get me wrong, VR is cool, incredibly cool, but right now it feels like Sony rushed this thing out the door without having enough quality titles to offer. Resident Evil 7 was released recently and its use of PSVR was highly praised, and there are some indie games (like GNOG) coming out for the PS4 but the rest of 2017 is looking bleak unless Sony or some third-party developers announce a couple of games at E3. Sony needs to come out support this and not ditch it like they did with the Playstation Vita. The PSVR has the potential to be amazing, but without the games it’ll just collect dust.

If you already have a PlayStation Camera, then it will cost you just KD140 for the Sony VR at X-cite while the Sony VR with PlayStation Camera combo will cost you KD155.

Posted by Patrick

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5 comments, add your own...

  1. Shabaan Saber says:

    I get motion sickness pretty quick, know any place where we could possibly try the PSVR before purchasing it?

  2. meh says:

    Yup.. PS motion controls all over again.

  3. jm says:

    lovely weather outside

  4. Dani says:

    We got this about 2-3 months ago here after searching all of Kuwait for it. My husband who has never had motion sickness in his life (loves roller coasters etc) was like Mark and sick within 10 minutes. But I who cannot get on a swing set (or roller coasters or back seats of cars) without being sick was completely fine. Completely unpredictable. I agree about the games. Without a more diverse and better selection this will remain an expensive novelty.

  5. mohamad80s says:

    really disappointed, you did not try rush of blood! it’s the best and scariest game I played on PS4 VR :D

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