VR

Review: SUPERHOT VR

Superhot VR is the popular first person shooter where time moves only when you move, but this time in the virtual world. An engaging and fun to play FPS, the gameplay makes you feel like you are in the matrix, using your mind and body to dodge bullets, in a visually surreal environment.

The gameplay is all about your movement and that of the oncoming bullets, outnumbered by the enemy, in a series of scenarios, using different weapons to shoot, slice and move your body towards survival. It’s a unique FPS design that’s extremely fun and addictive. Having played both the VR and non-VR versions of the game, I recommend getting Superhot VR if you enjoy the original, as the gameplay is the same, but the experience is completely different in VR, and I equally enjoy playing both versions of the game. The VR controls are perfect and super smooth, leaving you with that that matrix feel. The challenge of the gameplay gives it lots of replayablity.

It seemed a touch more aliased than it should have been, and super-sampling can only help you so much, because of the constant red+blank on white color contrast, but of course it runs well. I loved the intermission scenes in the little apartment, with all that computer crap everywhere. The ‘campaign’ mode will probably be over before you know it, but there are plenty of other modes to enjoy in your subsequent sessions.

Now onto the problems with the game. It’s just so much fun. However, I beat the game in only 1 hour. That is VERY short for the main campaign. Although I died a few times and had to restart a few levels, maybe I’m just that amazing at the game? I doubt it. Luckily, when you beat the game you will unlock a few challenges, but they aren’t as substantial as the main game. You can try to speedrun levels, or turn on an only headshot mode, or a survival mode where you kill as many enemies as possible. Again, they aren’t as fun as the vanilla game, but they will extend that 1 hour playtime a little bit.

Another issue I had with the game is everything is picked up using the side grip buttons. After a while, your fingers will really start to hurt, as the position of those buttons isn’t very natural and doesn’t lend itself well to being held for extended periods of time. I understand why they did it like this though.

This allows you to hold onto a gun, and free up the trigger button for actual shooting. After you’ve shot your 5 bullets, your gun will run out and you will want to throw it at an enemy as fast and easily as possible, which is when you just release the grip buttons and it will go flying. If they had any other system, I don’t think it would work as well.
Still, that doesn’t change the fact that it can be quite painful after a while, which sucks.

One tiny thing to point out is, sometimes while you’re waiting for a bullet to pass by you, or waiting for a gun to fall into position, you want to keep your head out of the way while at the same time speeding up time. So you’ll kinda just move your hands around to speed up time. It’s not really an actual problem, but it feels a bit silly at times and might make you feel a little bit less immersed at times.

One final problem is the lack of menus. It can be a bit frustrating when you’re playing a challenge and want to restart if you know you aren’t going to, for example, get the fastest time in this level. There’s nothing you can do other than wait for an enemy to kill you. This won’t affect you much, but it would still be a welcome addition.

PROS:

+ Geat visuals and art.
+ Interesting way to progress.
+ Great game mechanics.
+ Occasional humour.
+ Gameplay feels just right.
+ Lots of modes to play through after the main “story mode”.
+ Works great with Oculus Rift + Touch.

CONS:

– Each level has about 5 stages, but if you fail any stage, you have to start the level over.
– Animations can be a bit underwhelming in some situations (dying enemies seem like only semi-ragdolls).
– Sometimes shooting behind objects doesn’t work because of invisible walls.

Review: Gorn (VR)

Gorn is the best implementation of melee combat in VR to date, by a landslide.

I can’t say that I’ve ever actually cut someone’s head off with a gladius in real life. Nor have I let loose a tight circling flail at the perfect moment to crush a man’s skull – but when you play this game, you’ll feel you’d know just how to do it – it’s that intuitive and real in the “feel” of it all. It took the swarm of positive reviews to get me past my aversion to the cartoony graphics – but now I understand their purpose. It’s to keep me out of therapy…if it looked as real as it felt, I don’t think I could feel good about myself after the things that I have done.

I Went through the first few waves of unarmed opponents with little trouble, even grabbing my opponents and ripping their heads from their still living bodies all to please the crowd of omnipotent floating heads around me quoting Gladiator the whole way through. The night ended with my eyes burning from the profuse sweat i had started producing and I decide even the best gladiators need sleep so i proceeded to get some rest.


I can’t express how much I love this game. It’s the perfect game for someone who wants to feel like an amazing sword fighter/ gladiator without all this futuristic garbage (not saying it’s all bad) of jumping around flying throug the air.

One of my favorite things about this game is the developers, they respond and actually listen to the feedback of the discord channel. I cannot reccommend checking out the channel enough. Now, to describe the game…

Now, obviously it’s not a perfect game, its got its frustrating moments and stuff like that, glitches, bugs, the lot.
But the way the game is right now, it’s constantly changing and is being fixed.
We could honestly use more developers who listen to their fanbase, Foxhole and Gorn are good examples of this kind of great thing.

Another great thing about it is how powerful you feel when you go in slow motion after parrying, chopping your foes to bits like a sadistic sushi chef.
Personally I love cutting the AI to bits and watching them struggle to hit you or get to you.

Overall this has to be one of the best VR games in existence. I have never hated a floating head that doesn’t speak/barely speaks as much as i have in this game but that anger just makes it that much better when i rip the head from their “champions” shoulders then throw the remains at them. If you have any exercise equipment you wont need it anymore.

Can’t recommend this game enough, it is definitely going far.

John Wick Chronicles VR Review

pic

John Wick Chronicles, after spending hours with the game’s short but sweet single player, is one of the most polished VR games, right up there with The Lab, Job Simulator and Batman Arkham VR.

The game puts you in the… hands? of John Wick, played by Reeves, as you check-in at the film’s signature hotel. The first thing you’ll notice is how damn good everything looks. In VR, you’re accustomed to expecting blocky environments or quirky art styles due to technical limitations, but John Wick Chronicles does its best to immerse you in this lifelike hotel lobby.

Sporting complete roomscale, the lobby forms around you, as does the training area and firefight segments through the game. You have full access to walk around, as the game opts for this instead of teleportation or being on-rails.

Anyway, once you call the elevator in the lobby and except your mission, you head to the training room, where you test each of the game’s guns through a series of target trials. You’ll be ducking, dodging and pulling off sweet tricks with your guns as you move closer to the end. Honestly, other VR experiences had me expecting this to be the whole game. Wrong.

pic

The game then puts you in a short series of quests, where you’ll be on roofs and the sides of buildings, or in parking garages, gunning down baddies or taking aim at assassination targets. The gunplay is very responsive, and you’ll be looking down the scopes and sights of these guns more accurately than most FPS games.

I say that, but VR shooting takes some getting used to, and surely still has a long way to go. John Wick Chronicles also has one main barrier there: it’s exhausting.

pic

Between the Matrix-style chords hanging out of the back of your head from the Vive, to the gameplay that makes you want to duck and roll, you’ll be winded by the end of the training room. It does add a bit to immersion, but it’d be nice to not have to catch your breath, not to mention stretch your hands out from pulling the trigger too much.

But Starbreeze packed a lot into this package, which is avilable on Steam for $19.99. Those who preordered the game got a free copy of Payday 2, one of the developers’ previous titles. They’ll also snag a John Wick 2-themed weapons pack for the game.

pic

Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time Starbreeze and John Wick have crossed paths. Payday 2 also featured Wick as a playable character to promote the release of the first film.

Maybe if there’s a John Wick 3 we’ll get an even bigger VR experience. And for an owner of the Vive, games like this make the purchase all the more worth it. You can count this one as a must-play.

VR Ping Pong Review

pic

VR is stupidly immersive. VR Ping Pong makes no attempt at visual realism and yet utterly convinces you you’re playing table tennis. The spectating crowd in the bleachers are all literally made of small cubes, giving them a pixel aesthetic – voxel style – not unlike 3D Dot Game Heroes. Meanwhile, your opponent sports the same look but is almost entirely in 2D apart from his arm, which is merely an extendable rectangle with his 2D hand and paddle on the end. VR Ping Pong could not look more like a videogame, but once that ball has been served your focus is fixed on winning the next point; you’re playing table tennis for real and the pixel people surrounding you cannot convince you otherwise.

Of course the second that precious point is won and you look up from the table and see the daft crowd pulling their heads off in excitement whilst remarkably still being able to cheer, you’re once again reminded that you’re in a virtual space. Going to wipe the sweat from your brow only to clatter against the VR headset proves to further remind you of the fakery of it all. But this to-and-fro between states of immersion makes VR Ping Pong all the more impressive.

There’s obviously a light-hearted and humorous quality to VR Ping Pong, the pixel crowd and AI opponent are reminiscent of classic 8bit sports games, albeit with the crispness and clarity you’d expect from a modern title. The result is pleasantly charming and nostalgic, like jumping into NES title Punch Out, or more aptly Tennis.

pic

But don’t be fooled by the presentation, behind the scenes some excellent physics ensure that the act of playing table tennis feels as fast and precise as the real thing. Before long you’ll be part of intense rallies, pulling off risky shots towards the edge of the table for glory, and reveling in the crowd’s cheers.

And whilst the quantity of modes is currently very limited, what’s here can still grip you for many hours. One-off games can be played against three difficulties of AI opponent, or you can take to the practice table for unlimited attempts at mastering the mechanics. Meanwhile, a tournament mode pits you against a group of AI opponents across multiple stages and a selection of mini games give you something different try: whether it’s simply hitting the ball against a wall or honing your precision against a broken table with chunks missing. The majority of the mini games are locked, with ‘coming soon’ text to tease you.

pic

But of course VR Ping Pong is still in Steam Early Access, so some missing modes, including no multiplayer, is to be expected. Fortunately the fundamentals are solid and you can easy lose hours with the current crop of modes. Furthermore, well thought-out options make this as accessible as possible, with the ability to change the rotating of your paddle and even your height. Additionally, it’s an example of a VR game hitting the right price point at a very reasonable £3.99.

Indeed, VR Ping Pong is terrific fun. This digital facsimile of table tennis sports a charming aesthetic that’s delightfully nostalgic and amusing, yet can still entirely convince you of being in an arena playing table tennis once the action kicks in, largely thanks to excellent physics. Once all features are present this is going to be fantastic, right now brilliant will have to do.

CyberpowerPC Releases VR Ready Desktop for $499

pic

Virtual Reality was one of the hottest aspects of the gaming industry in 2016, and will only become more prevalent in the coming years. Many Steam games now offer VR support, but it’s not exactly widespread due to the limited adoption of VR technology in the gaming community at large. This lack of prevalence is not often by choice, however. As the technology in its current state is relatively new, the barrier to access Virtual Reality has been high and requires both a high end PC and a decently expensive VR system. CyberpowerPC, a global manufacturer of custom gaming PCs, has demolished the price of one of those aspects with a Virtual-Reality-ready Desktop priced at just $499 when bundled with an Oculus Rift headset.

“This bundle will be the first complete AMD Oculus-ready gaming PC that provides the full experience of VR gaming at an affordable price,” said Eric Cheung, CEO of CyberPowerPC.

CyberpowerPC teamed up with AMD and Oculus Rift to design the product, so it’s clear that the intention from the start was to build the PC to function well with the Oculus’s Virtual Reality. The price of the bundle, including both the PC and the Oculus Rift will be $1,099.98. While that price may still be a little rich for some, having a computer and Virtual Reality system bundled together for around $1000 is still a lot better than buying the two separately. This fairly priced system gives a marked improvement in cost for the PC side of the equation, and the VR headsets should continue to decrease in price as technology inevitably advances.

“Less than a year after launching the Oculus Ready program, we’re thrilled to see that the all-in price for jumping into the highest-quality VR experience continues to drop by hundreds of dollars,” said Nate Mitchell, head of Rift, Oculus. “Thanks to the efforts of hardware companies like CyberPowerPC and AMD, more people will have the opportunity to enjoy the amazing games and experiences coming to Rift this year.”

The system will include an AMD quad-core FX 4350 processor and AMD Radeon RX 470 graphics card. It also offers twice the clock speed of a consumer desktop, with twice the amount of cores and cache memory of similarly priced options. The VR ready PC will launch with 8 Gigs of Memory and a 1TB hard drive, ensuring gamers have plenty of space to store their VR experiences.

The Gamer Ultra VR Bundle is available for purchase on Bestbuy.com and Amazon.com starting today, and includes the VR-ready Desktop and the Oculus Rift Headset.

Drunk or Dead VR Game Enters Greenlight

pic

VR is a very experimental platform at the moment. It’s freshly broken ground, and not a lot of developers seem to know what to do with it. Plenty of attempts have been made at charting this new frontier, with mixed results. Some games are built from the ground up for VR, while others feature VR as an optional peripheral. A recently announced game, Drunk or Dead, has taken the former approach.

Drunk or Dead is an odd concept, combining drinking with the zombie apocalypse. It combines the classic gameplay of shooting zombies with the game’s main selling point, getting drunk. While sober, the player can aim more accurately, while drunk, the player has more time and gets more points. The drawback to being drunk being, naturally, that you can’t aim very well. Players will naturally sober up and must keep pounding beers, but not too many. There’s a catch, if you become fully sober or fully drunk, you die. In other words, Drunk or Dead expects you to constantly remain tipsy and pull off headshot on zombies. No pressure.

Drunk or Dead has a very interesting, and short, development history. It was created by a combination of eight different indie teams in just 48 hours. It was done over the holidays, in what is described as a “nonstop Christmas VR game jam.” While the core game is done, the developers have expressed their desire to keep working on it. As one might expect, a game isn’t fully completed after just 48 hours of development. It still needs to be polished, something that the developers are more than willing to do. They do not seem to think that it will take a long time however, as they plan to release the Drunk or Dead on January 10th. If it manages to gain traction on Steam Greenlight, that’s when you’ll see it.

Fove: A New Spin on VR

A new Kickstarter project is causing waves in the virtual reality space. The device is called Fove, and it allows you to use your eyes to control the game you are playing. With the stereo eye-tracking technology, where you look is now where you aim! Who needs a mouse and keyboard after all…

As awesome as this sounds, the thing that could be the most amazing is what they are calling “foveated rendering.” This feature lets the headset track exactly where your gaze is in the 3D game environment, and allows the game engine to adjust the rendering to provide a more immersive experience.

The big daddy in the VR space, Oculus Rift, has been working on refining their head-tracking ability for awhile now. This is great, but only half of the equation. Your eyes shift even when your head doesn’t, allowing you to look at certain things without moving your head at all. The ability to track eye movement could potentially be a game-changer in VR. Only time will tell.

The project has only been up on Kickstarter for a couple of days, but it has already gained a ton of traction. With 44 days to go (as of this writing), it has already gathered over $212,000 towards the goal of $250,000! If it keeps growing at this pace the sky is truly the limit.

The success of Fove proves one thing, people are still not tired of the virtual reality craze. Though the market is starting to get quite saturated, the people obviously still want more. The demand is there, now if only the hardware can live up to the expectations.Fove: A New Spin on VR

Syberia 3 Delayed to 2017. Rumored to have VR.

Upon capturing the enthusiasm of many players, the Syberia saga is back for an even more ambitious third opus. Every day, Kate Walker’s new adventure is polished by the work provided by the development teams to ensure without a doubt that the fans expectation will be rewarded. However, for the reasons explained below, Microids had to make the difficult choice to postpone the game’s release to Q1 2017.

Syberia 3 is the third opus of a mythical adventure game saga fueled by a rich universe and a strong identity. After the unprecedented excitement we have seen for this game, and we decided to bring even more depth to Kate Walker’s new adventure. “Said Elliot Grassiano, Vice President of Microids. “We are aware that fans around the world are eager to embody Kate Walker again but we need additional time to provide them with an adventure that can live up to their expectations in this fascinating universe created by Benoit Sokal.”

I am obviously disappointed that Syberia 3 is delayed because we would like to release our games as soon as the storyline is written, but I’m also relieved that Microids has taken the decision to postpone the game’s launch because it is essential to offer players the best gaming experience possible. We decided to add even more cinematics to this new fiction, more optional narrative sequences as well as new languages for the voice-over, which represents considerable work for teams. “Said Benoit Sokal, founder and creative director of the Syberia saga.

Impersonating Kate Walker, players will benefit from a brand new way to freely explore striking landscapes and circumvent their mysteries and puzzles in ways they have not experienced before.

The story begins when Kate is found left for dead on a shore by the Youkol tribe, a nomadic people caring for their snow ostriches during migration. Trapped, prisoners in the city of Valsembor, they will have to find together a way to continue their journey in a chase against their enemies and unexpected challenges. While at the same time, Kate’s past is catching up with her…

Syberia 3 will be available in Q1 2017 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Mac. It will be fully dubbed in French, Russian, Polish and German with subtitles in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Polish, Czech, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, simplified and traditional Chinese. The original soundtrack is composed by Inon Zur (Fallout 4, Dragon Age, Prince of Persia), who has already scored Syberia 2.

Voodoo Vince: Remastered coming soon for VR?

Voodoo Vince. He’s one of those guys you’ve heard of but never had the chance to meet. Or maybe you did meet him way back when, but your memories of those fun times you spent together have gone fuzzy.

Developed by Beep Industries and published by Microsoft, Voodoo Vince released in September 2003 for the first-generation Xbox. This quirky puzzle platformer set in the magical underbelly of New Orleans was only playable on the original Xbox – a sad fact that has forced it into obscurity as the years passed.

Until now. (Well, early 2017 to be exact.) Resurrected by its creator Clayton Kauzlaric’s independent studio Beep Games, Inc., Voodoo Vince will rise again early next year in Voodoo Vince: Remastered, a high definition Xbox One rerelease. Plus, for the first time ever, Vince will make the leap to Windows, so even more nostalgic fans and curious newbies can join in on his crazy bayou adventure.

“I’m super excited to bring Voodoo Vince back,” says Kauzlaric. “Backward compatibility was never possible due to the nature of our game engine, but the ID@Xbox program got me thinking about publishing an HD remastered version independently, with much of the game rewritten from the ground up to run on newer hardware. The folks at Microsoft have been amazingly supportive of the idea.”

Starting today, Voodoo Vince: Remastered is up on Steam Greenlight. If Vince gets enough votes the game will release on Steam, too!  We’ll have more Voodoo Vince: Remastered news leading up to the early 2017 launch. Until then, Vince would love it if you’d follow him on Twitter. Being out of the loop for 13 years can make a guy pretty lonely.

4A Games’ Secret VR Project Is Arktika.1

From 4A Games, the creators of Metro 2033, Metro: Last Light, and Metro Redux, comes a new vision of the apocalypse. Announced today during the Oculus Connect 3 keynote in San Jose, ARKTIKA.1 is a highly immersive, action-packed, first-person shooter designed exclusively for Oculus Touch. Using the newest version of the 4A Engine and set for release in Q2 2017, ARKTIKA.1 delivers the most impressive visuals ever seen in VR, along with the immersion and world building that 4A Games is known for, in a full AAA package. Experience a post-apocalyptic vision of the future like never before; in full VR.

Nearly a century in the future, the world has fallen into a new ice age in the aftermath of a silent apocalypse. Only the equatorial regions are still habitable, yet pockets of humanity survive in small numbers all over the planet, hanging onto existence in the resource-rich territories to the north and south- resources that everyone wants to control… Protect the colony in the wastelands of old Russia from raiders, marauders, and strange creatures. Be the savior. Give humanity a second chance.

“At 4A Games, we pride ourselves on our ability to make immersive experiences, so creating ARKTIKA.1, a big, atmospheric VR shooter made a lot of sense,” said Andriy Prokhorov, co-founder and creative director at 4A Games. “ARKTIKA.1 is a full-blown ААА title, and we’re employing all of our accumulated experience making high-quality shooters, and also using a lot of new opportunities provided only by VR. Oculus has allowed us to take the immersion to a whole new level, and it would have been a shame to miss such an opportunity.” “ARKTIKA.1 is everything you’d expect from the team of FPS experts at 4A Games, with a dark and gritty style that only they could achieve,” said Jason Rubin, head of content at Oculus.