PS VRoundup – August 2017

July was a fantastic month for PlayStation VR with a lot of great games being released. The beginning of August has started with a few bangers too. This has prompted Diarmuid and I to catch you up with all the PS VR games we have played recently. We also have Coleman and I contributing some details of some VR games he has been playing recently that will be making their way to PS VR soon. The plan is to regularly give on-going, updated impressions of recent PS VR releases, as well as revisiting all of the earlier releases and adapting our early impressions articles into our newly designed PS VRoundup-style articles.

PS VR Reviews

Superhot VR (Tim)

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• Developer: Superhot Team
• Publisher: Superhot Team
• Release Date: Available Now

Rebuilt from the ground up for VR, Superhot VR is perhaps the first “killer app” for VR. While I liked the idea and aesthetic of the originally game, I did not take to the gameplay in the demo but glad I listened to others when it came to the VR version. Top level player empowerment, bullet ballet, that makes you feel like you just stepped into the Matrix – bullet time, all the time! The main campaign is a little on the short side but a nice variety of extra modes aids longevity. Every VR owner should own a copy of this.

The review copy of this title was purchased by the author.
Official Game Site

Archangel (Diarmuid)

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• Developer: Skydance Interactive
• Publisher: Skydance Interactive
• Release Date: Available Now

Archangel is very good mech-combat action game from a relatively novice studio. It’s easy to pick up and play, with the obvious immediate gratification of controlling a huge robot that can punch things really hard. The story is relatively generic but the characters and delivery are good enough that I felt compelled to keep going. That being said, I do wish there was more to it than what is presented here. Not only to justify the price tag, but also to give me more content as the game does feel short due to the lack of replayability. Overall, I enjoyed myself and when my sole complaint is for more content, you have to be doing something right.

Review copy provided by Rogers and Cowan
Official Game Site

Dino Frontier (Tim)

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• Developer: Uber Entertainment, Inc.
• Publisher: Uber Entertainment, Inc.
• Release Date: Available Now

A God sim that tasks you with taking on the role of “Big Mayor” of a frontier town filled with prospecting pioneers and deadly dinosaurs! Give a big hand to your townsfolk and dinos by helping their movements be more efficient or just assigning your people and Dinos to attend to urgent tasks. The main game sees you building and upgrading your town and population, mainly through gathering resources but you can also journey to other areas such as the mine – here you can gather further resources such as Gold, but only if you can adequately deploy your townsfolk in defence against waves of enemies.

Sets some benchmarks for VR user interface design with some well thought out menus and controls. Not the longest game for the price and possibly lacks solid reasons to replay but makes up for this with a solid level of polish best displayed in the nice graphical style, good humour throughout and awesome custom musical campfire ditties. A lot of charm and dinosaurs should help sell this to you.

Review copy provided by Uber Entertainment, Inc.
Official Game Site

Farpoint (Diarmuid)

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• Developer: Impulse Gear
• Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
• Release Date: Available Now

The single player campaign for Farpoint is a strong, narratively-driven, action-packed, five to six hour ride. The moment-to-moment game-play is fun with tense gun battles broken up with story beats and brief instances when you are allowed to just soak up the beautiful environment. Visually, the game delivers too, with character models and animations that would not look out of place in a regular AAA title. While the game also includes some co-op levels where you can team up with another player online to wipe out waves of aliens together, I have not been able to sync up with Tim to do this so I cannot comment on this mode (though I am looking forward to it.)

If you can find Farpoint with the Aim Controller bundle, I would strongly recommend getting it. The game is clearly built for it and it works incredibly well.

The review copy of this title was purchased by the author.
Official Game Site

Tiny Trax (Tim)

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• Developer: FuturLab Ltd
• Publisher: FuturLab Ltd
• Release Date: Available Now

Futurlab started out primarily as a mobile developer and then quickly enhanced their reputation with Velocity on Vita and PS3. Now moving into PS VR development, Tiny Trax bodes well for the future with an interesting idea given a high level of polish. The cartoony graphics pop well in VR and the tracks are well designed – although there are only 12 of them. Being short on content is easy to forgive given the price, but don’t be fooled by the cutesy looks, this game is hard, unforgiving and requires some dedication to master. Although, worth noting that the game has already had a patch to make the AI easier to race against on the first set of levels to make it more welcoming for new players. (But still would have been better with a well thought out AI progression across all levels.)

Review copy provided by FuturLab
Official Game Site

Castlestorm VR (Tim)

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• Developer: Zen Studios
• Publisher: Zen Studios
• Release Date: Available Now

You may already own a copy of Castlestorm (after previously coming to Playstation Plus) and it might well be a better fit on the Vita than VR, but you do get a lot of game for your money. You must defend your king’s castle from waves of enemies – and in larger levels also take down your opponents castle too. Most of the action centres around you firing various ammunition from a ballista mounted at the gate in front of your castle. You can also spawn your own waves of foot soldiers and other units, as well as taking direct control of a hero character or special skill. Plays a little like Worms Forts mixed with Angry Birds.

You castle is customisable and upgradable with unlockable rooms that gives your castle or army new features – such as a barracks giving you access to troops. The custom building options and unlockable weapons and equipment gives a lot of reason for continued play and greatly adds to replayability. The VR does not add too much as the cut scenes are showed on a cinema screen rather than being remade in VR and the changing perspective may actually make the gameplay a little more difficult.

The review copy of this title was purchased by the author.
Official Game Site

PS VR Previews

Shooty Fruity (Coleman)

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• Developer: nDreams
• Publisher: nDreams
• Release Date: Fall 2017

Virtual Reality is a strange beast that can whisk you away to distant worlds or gift you with abilities not made possible in our dumb actual reality… and then there’s the act of taking the mundane to new exciting levels. Shooty Fruity does just this by placing you in the shoes of an ordinary store clerk and tasks you with performing everyday tasks whilst defending the Super Megamart from attacking Mutant Fruit – think Job Simulator but with guns.

Trying the game for myself on the HTC Vive, I’d been set up working checkouts (something I’ve had to do in real life), using motion controls to pick up various products making their way down the conveyor belt to scam, before lobbing them into the bagging area. Suddenly out of the corner of my eye, a large orange off in the distance begins to bounce towards me and suddenly the task of scanning is put to the side while weapons come into play. Above the till’s conveyor belt is a moving rack of guns (conveniently), which you can grab and fire at the invading fruities either in a singular or dual wielding fashion. Weapons range from Mauser style pistols to shotguns and hand grenades, though I have been told that we can expect many more weapons in the finished game. Where Shooty Fruity seems to excel is with its smooth motion controls that make the objective of balancing gun control with other tasks much more fun than it deserves to be, just imagine trying to scan through your shopping while firing at a bunch of freaky apples, oranges and a giant watermelon surrounding you.

I’ve been told that the finished game will not only present you with a large choice of weapons but also more roles around the Super Megamart and even more mutated fruit. If you’re a fan of sleek VR shooters and hectic simulation titles, then this is definitely a game you should look out for.

Shooty Fruity will be heading to HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR sometime this fall.

Official Game Site

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown (Tim)

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• Developer: Bandai Namco Studios
• Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
• Release Date: 2018

I enjoyed playing Ace Combat 7 in its non-VR mode but it literally took the experience to another level in PS VR. It did seem to be less graphically impressive than its counterpart but the stated reason for why we were allowed to capture footage from the main game but not the VR mode is that the “development team have stated that this is one area that should see significant improvement prior to release” – and important to state that it is already looking pretty good. Some of the advancements in volumetric and reactive clouds are even easier to notice when they are entirely surrounding your vision. I was also pleased to see that they was enhanced head tracking for missiles with seeking capabilities, such as the QAAM (Quick Maneuver Air-to-Air Missile).

Cockpit based games have proved to be very successful in VR, but despite this Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown seems to be the only game attempting to create a realistic (albeit arcadey) setting. As such, it may have the skies to itself but I still fully expect it to set a new benchmark for VR flight sims for anyone willing to take the highway to the danger zone.

Official Game Site

PS VR Upcoming Hotlist

Other upcoming PS VR games that are on our radar:

Chromagun (Game 22nd August 2017, VR mode to follow)

Sparc (29th August 2017)

The Lost Bear (31st August 2017)

Radial G: Racing Revolved (September 2017)

Megaton Rainfall (September 2017)

Bloody Zombies (12th September)

The Solus Project (18th Sept 2017)

End Space (19th September 2017)

Ark Park (Later 2017)

Gunheart (Later 2017)

Reborn: A Samurai Awakens (Later 2017)

Pixel Ripped 1989 (Later 2017)

Seeking Dawn (TBC)

Bravo Team (TBC)

The Impatient (TBC 2018)

If you want us to cover any particular PlayStation VR games in a future article, let us know and we will do our best to accommodate. We will have more PS VRoundup articles soon.

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