Features// PlayStation VR: The Big Round-Up

Posted 14 Nov 2016 13:23 by
Hustle Kings VR
Hustle Kings has been updated to allow players to play snooker or pool in full virtual reality. For players who have played Hustle Kings previously on PS4, there's nothing new here, but playing a game of pool online or offline in VR is surprisingly relaxing and pretty addictive once you understanding the controls.

Tracking can be patchy at times and the controls are finicky, but once you get the hang of it, it's an interesting experience that does provide true presence. Trust me, I went to place my Move controllers on the pool table only for them to fall on the floor because the table wasn't really there.

Players may decide to go for Sports Bar VR instead, which provides not only pool in VR, but air hockey, chess, darts and more, but for a relaxing, toned-down VR experience, Hustle Kings VR is a fantastic alternative to many experiences available right now.

Super Stardust Ultra VR
It's Super Stardust, but from a whole new perspective. For those of you who already own Super Stardust, you may recognise the Trophies. In fact you may start the game already having achieved some of them. That's because this is the same game as the 2015 original, albeit with a stereoscopic 3D VR view mode. The bigger reason to try this new version out is the new 'Invasion' Mode.

Invasion Mode takes the player down to the planet's surface and provides first-person tank combat gameplay in a style that is almost identical to Battlezone, but by that comparison it suffers on almost all levels. Graphically it's not very strong, with muddy visuals and poor texture quality throughout. This game, unlike Battlezone, also made me feel queasy on my first go within minutes. A few more goes later and that calmed down, but fundamentally this mode lacks the polished gameplay that made Super Stardust so good, and lacks the graphical edge that makes Battlezone look so striking. If you've got Battlezone, I wouldn't recommend this, and if you've got the 2015 version of Super Stardust, you've got the best version of that game too. Sadly Super Stardust Ultra VR feels like a tired re-release, and not one to rush out for.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
This game is a local multiplayer game that really draws on the fact that most of the people in the room won't have the headset on. In Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, the aim of the game is to diffuse a bomb. The person wearing the PSVR headset can see a 3D bomb in front of them. The bomb can be rotated, and on it is a number panels, each of them different. Some of them have coloured wires, others have big buttons. While the person wearing the headset can see this bomb, the rest of the people in the room can't, and this is where the game really comes into its own.

On the TV are pages from a Bomb Defusal Manual, so it's up to the people in the room to ask the person wearing the headset which panels are on the bomb so they can provide diffusal instructions before the timer runs out.

As well as the on-screen manual, more dedicated bomb defusal experts can download the manual to view it on a tablet in addition to the TV, and the manual can also be printed out, which enables the group to split up; with some of them using the TV for defusal instructions while others flick through the physical manual to find further instructions.

This is an absolutely brilliant party game, one that I know will go down a storm this Christmas.

DriveClub VR
First things first: yes, graphically DriveClub has taken a bit of a hit in the transition to VR. Gone are the beautiful visuals and luscious detail that made DriveClub so appealing, as is the brilliant dynamic weather model. But honestly, once I was driving the downgraded visuals didn't affect my enjoyment of the game at all. Plus, the day/night cycle remains, as does the fun handling model and social aspects such as clubs and challenges.

The move to VR is still a good one, and although my first go had me turning the game off halfway through the first race due to motion sickness, after going back to it I can now happily play for as long as I want without feeling unwell.

For those of you who worry that this game is really all about using a steering wheel to get the full experience, I can assure you that the game is really enjoyable without the need for an expensive wheel setup. I've got a wheel, but I had almost as much playing playing the game using a standard controller, and there's an option to use the pad as a motion controller,
which is also excellent.

So yes, the visuals have been downgraded for the move to VR, and yes, the weather effects are gone, but what remains is a fun, fantastic driving challenge, and the first time you use your wing mirror to close off someone coming in on the inside, you'll be thankful that you picked up DriveClub VR.
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