This past weekend I attended PAX East, a large video game convention located at the Boston Convention Center. VR is being increasingly popular at PAX and as a result the wait to play them grows as well, knowing this I sought to play at least 1 VR game.
On Friday, on the Oculus Rift I played Robot Recall. Set in a future where robot and human coexist, however not all robot are flawless and run a rampage through the city. It’s your job to eliminate the defective bots. Overall the game was a lot of fun! Aiming and shooting was accurate and fast paced which is necessary for the amount of robots that come each wave. To reload you needed to drop the pistols you’re holding and automatically another pair of fully loaded pair of pistols appear at your hips. During shootouts and desperate situations, it was fluid to drop my guns and pick up another pair without needing to look down to make sure I was in the right position to grab them. However later in the game, there are a pair of shotguns on your back which were harder to be in the right position to grab them. To move from checkpoint to checkpoint, the joysticks on the controller are able to teleport you ahead and also, depending on the rotation of the joystick, which direction you would be facing.
This feature is helpful to go from point to point but became a bit disorienting to know where I am when I would need to teleport ahead and also turn 90 degrees. The UI elements of the game and any text I needed to read was pretty hard to read. When showing the controls it text boxes were legible, because it was fix to your head's position, but any text that was in the environment was too far away and hard to read. I really loved playing this game and it convinced me that I need to buy an Oculus for myself.
On Saturday, I was fortunate to be able to volunteer with Australian developer Samurai Punk and showcase their game The American Dream. Set during an alternate 50s era America, were every citizen has a gun and everyday tasks are done by shooting. This game was also as fun, but with more problems. Through the game various tasks would need to be done by shooting like working part-time a diner flipping burgers on the grill. Shooting on the PlayStation VR isn’t as accurate as shooting on the Oculus. When I would aim if my arm was at a certain height my gun would jump up to a higher position, but would return to its proper position once I dropped my arms. For the most part aiming and shooting was good with a 70% accuracy rate. To go move throughout the game you are on a roller coaster cart and you ride on line of track. Moving felt fine except would I would turn to look while moving and I experienced motion sickness, but looking forward was comfortable. After emptying your clip, you would slam your guns on buttons, located on the arms of the cart, and the magazine would jump into the air. Time would slow down which helped align the butt of the the gun to the top of the magazine. This function was pretty fun as I would slam both buttons and try to reload my guns Deadpool style. The narration of the game was of a golden retriever appropriately named Buddy Washington who’s commentary was pretty comical and enforced the mood of a happy, peaceful, gun-loving town. The text was pretty legible and clear. The way they solved this problem was having a screen or book slide in front of you and have a fix distance from you. Then after it you were done reading it, the screen or book would slide to the left/right and rotate so it would still be facing you.
This game was also fun to play, but probably would have been better to play on the Oculus.