My first jump into VR like many others was through the game “PSVR Worlds”. Before my experience with this game, I played around with the plastic VR box that came bundled with my phone. That little box blew my mind. After playing around with it I decided I had to invest into a "real" VR headset. I looked into the PSVR, and to my surprise it was already on store shelves and released 3 months ago! But I didn’t even own a ps4. I pretty much lost all interest in gaming around the ps3/360 era. I just got bored with it. “I’m growing up” I told myself. The ps4 released and I didn’t even care. It kind of saddened me. The graphics were better but I didn’t find the games any better or more fun. ….And then VR started to gain steam. First starting with Oculus kickstarting their Rift headset in 2012, and rumors of a PS4 headset were out there. I was interested of course. I’ve dreamt of VR since I was a child, but I was skeptical and didn't think it would work or be feasible (thanks, Virtual Boy). Around this time Cardboard is released. “Oh that’s cool ” I thought, never buying or trying one until a plastic version came bundled with my new phone. I was skeptical but when I saw my first 360 image I got excited. When I saw my first 360 video I was blown away. Shortly after that I bought a used PS4 at a pawn shop and a new PSVR bundle.
With that bundle came the game we can finally get to reviewing, PSVR Worlds. I use past-tense because Sony no longer includes this game with their VR bundle and put a $40 price tag on it. I’ll just leave it at that. As I’m sure you all know it’s a 5 game/experience bundle pack. The overall game rating will be based on each game/experience as a whole at the $40 price.
First thing is first. The intro and menu. Only worth mentioning because they are very cool and impressive. Great for VR first-timers. Each game has a "theme" which changes when you cycle through them in the menu. For instance, London Heist has bullets falling all around you. You can actually bump them off of your “face”.
The very first thing I tried was the shark experience. After starting it up and looking around the environment my thoughts were “Wow I can actually walk around this cage!?!” and “Wow this is gorgeous!”. I looked around at the fish and sea life. The graphics are pretty impressive. You really have to look hard to notice any pixelation, or "screen-door effect" that my plastic box/phone combo suffers from. Looking up at the boat from under the water felt so real and bizarre.
You really get the sense that you are underwater. It's great. But not perfect. The problem with this experience is it's waaaaay too drawn out. They try to include some story about a nuclear submarine that crashed. This drags on and even VR first-timers will get bored with it.
But that changes once the shark finally appears. It does a great job of keeping you on your toes. It gets a bit scary. Freaky would be a better word. It gave me chills. Overall a great experience. There are 2 other underwater experiences included. One is called Wild Life Tour and I loved it. It's a nice and peaceful tour looking at the underwater environment and sea life. I think I enjoyed it more than the shark experience. The 3rd experience is called Coral Reef Tour. This one is very under whelming. All you do is sit underwater for 5 minutes looking around at the first scene of the shark experience. The cage doesn't even move around or anything. I have a feeling they included this one just to make this experience appear like there is more content.
Great graphics, beautiful scenery but very drawn out and almost gets boring. Until the shark comes. The wild life tour experience is very nice. Good first VR experience for any and everyone.
Next I tried London Heist. It's more of a game and experience combined; like a movie you get to be in. Mostly experience with 2 main gaming parts. The gameplay scenes are both shoot outs, one in an office and another on a highway. I’ll get to those later. My initial reaction was "Wow!". I was impressed with the graphics, the immersion and tracking. Being able to pick up objects and holding a gun feels REAL. But I could not for the life of me understand what the characters were saying. They have very thick accents and I had no idea what just happened when I finished the game. I thought “huh?” and didn’t really care about it. So I played it a 2nd time a week or two later with the subtitles on. This just brought on another annoyance with big black boxes of text directly in the center of the screen blocking any action going on.
I finished the game again but this time understanding the story. And then I realized... All the people who were praising it on the internet fully understood the story. It's what really completes and ties the whole experience together. If it's your first play through and you cannot understand the characters immediately turn on subtitles and deal with the annoying captions. Or you'll be left thinking "What? At least the shoot outs were cool..."
Now to the actual gameplay parts:
The first shoot out takes place in an office. You are supposed to go through the desk's drawers and figure out a puzzle without getting caught by security. If/when you do get caught by security is when the action starts. You have to duck behind the desk to avoid fire, while reloading and returning fire. It kind of feels like an expensive arcade game.
The highway shootout is awesome and one of the best things PSVR worlds has to offer. Reloading your gun and being in the truck on the highway feels so realistic. It's difficult at first, but eventually you learn how to aim properly and kick some ass. Very fun but short gameplay scene.
On my second play through I tried the game with the dualshock 4 instead of my move controllers. The differences were...interesting. The first noticeable thing is you have 1 hand, obviously, and your gun has a laser on it. Definitely makes you feel less of a bad ass. There are various changes to the actual gameplay and game environment depending on if you use the moves or the dualshock. For instance, in the office shoot out scene they eliminated the puzzle completely and it just goes straight to the shoot out.
In the highway shoot out there is no bag between the player and the driver, as you just press a button on the controller to reload. Playing with the controller is easier and not as fun.
Good and fun gameplay scenes. Great Immersion. But it's hard to understand the dialogue which makes following the story very difficult, which can ruin the whole experience. Wish it was D.C. Heist instead.
Dangerball is a pong type game where you control the paddle with your head. There's different modes and difficulties which is nice, but that doesn't do anything to make it interesting. It's very boring and I don’t think even online multiplayer could’ve saved this game.
I was looking forward to street luge. Unfortunately this game is only fun for 2 minutes. The graphics are blurry and there is no real challenge. You can get run over by cars and large semi-trucks, only to suffer a slight speed decrease. There are time trials though if you're into that type of thing. This could have been a good game. But they settled with it being a way below average game. I don’t completely hate it like I do Danger Ball though.
By the time I started Space Odyssey I had lost interest in PSVR Worlds. I think I might have played 5 minutes and quit. Eventually I forced myself to play it just for this review. And I am glad I did.
This is definitely the most underrated and unappreciated game on the bundle. There’s a slight learning curve, but once you get everything figured out the actual gameplay mechanics are very fun. People who are prone to motion or VR sickness beware of this one. Basically you jump all over, shooting space aliens. The jumping from place to place is the highlight of the game.
My main problem with this game is the story. It constantly takes control of your character away to tell it. And it’s very hard to follow. It's either "deep" or a bunch of mumbo jumbo. I’m guessing it’s deep and I was too stupid or didn't care enough to follow it. This was probably my favorite game on the collection gameplay wise, but that being said I couldn’t WAIT for it to be over. The story and environment are very monotonous and really started to irritate me after a while. I could see this transforming into a good and full game if they improved the game mechanics and scrapped everything else.
Overall, PSVR Worlds is a nice experience. The problem is it's a nice experience only one time. And by no stretch of the imagination $40 nice. It's $10 or $15 nice. The game is particularly good for a non-gamer's first VR experience. I'd recommend something like Job Simulator as a better first experience for a regular gamer. As a free bonus, it's nice to have. As a $40 stand-alone product, I almost want to cash it in for the $10 retailers are generously offering, and donate it to a food bank to sort of off-set the injustice Sony has inflicted onto the world with this business decision.