For $40, you can experience around three hours of a white guy with a gun battling aliens that can infect humans in Insomniac Games’ VR debut, and no, it isn’t Resistance, but obviously that isn’t a stretch for the developer.
That means you’re paying around $13.33 per hour of gameplay, which quite possibly makes this one of the most expensive games in recent memory on a money per time basis, even beating out The Order: 1886. But is it worth it? If you love John Carpenter’s The Thing, scaling walls in games like Tomb Raider and Uncharted, and the stealth sections of The Last of Us, then maybe.
This virtual reality exclusive takes place during the age of the Vikings and deals mostly with a bit of their mythology. The game starts off with the player character dead and being offered a second chance at life as long as they take an oath of silence, hence the title. From there you’ll have around two hours of slowly pacing around listening to dialogue from other characters that spin a very shallow story.
The developers describe the game as a “narrative experience that focuses on emotion over gameplay” and call the game “movie-length.” At least the developers aren’t directly liars, as the game took around two hours to finish, and there certainly is little in the way of gameplay. The majority of your time will be spent walking or standing still and looking at characters as they deliver their dialogue directly at you or other characters. The only thing that otherwise qualifies as gameplay is a short segment where you’re tasked with shooting a few deer with a bow early in the game, something that you’d think would be foreshadowing using the bow again in the future—but you’d be wrong.
Growing up I always wanted to be a paleontologist because I was obsessed with dinosaurs. Instead, here I am a lowly game critic, but every cloud has its silver lining, mine being that I get to review all the video games with dinosaurs in them—like this one. If only this game were good.
Time Machine VR has you traveling back to the times when dinosaurs were still alive and researching their behaviors in hopes of finding a cure for an ancient virus unleashed from the melting ice caps. The story is told through full-motion video sequences and voiceovers from your AI guide. Flat FMVs inside of a VR game is just an odd choice considering video can now be recorded specifically for VR, but I suppose it makes sense if in the future we are still using flat screens. Regardless, the story isn’t all that interesting nor all that important.
Due to the short development time developers have had with the Vive and Steam’s seemingly non-existent quality control, most things available for the Vive are cynical Unity store asset flips or simple basic experiences.
Currently, there are around 200 different pieces of software on Steam for the HTC Vive — and of the ones I’ve played, I can honestly say that The Gallery is my favorite, and the only game built with motion controlled virtual reality in mind that resembles a traditional experience.
If you’re like me, you yearn for the days when video games weren’t trying to be gritty and realistic all the time, you remember the N64 and PSX platformers fondly, and you miss the pure unadulterated joy they brought.
I have some good news for us; Lucky’s Tale is here to scratch that itch if you’re willing to buy an Oculus Rift. As the ‘pack-in game’ that comes free with the headset, Lucky’s Tale’s job seems to have been to show that virtual reality can do more than just first person experiences, and it mostly succeeds with some caveats.
Imagine if every time you died in a Legend of Zelda game, Link aged a year and, eventually, he would permanently die of old age. Also imagine that Link could be a girl if you so choose. Finally, picture the inventory system of an old-school survival horror game.
Put that all together with a dash of virtual reality, and you’ve got Chronos.
On the final day of PAX East, I woke up after getting a measly four or so hours of sleep. I’d been ill (since birth, but also sick for the past couple of days), my back hurt, my legs hurt, and I had a headache. I had two goals in mind for the day: Try out PlayStation VR for the first time, and not shit myself — a goal I’ve had even since returning home since I’m still sick.
It turns out I succeeded at both, but not before I literally hit the woman demonstrating PS VR to me in her face. I didn’t do it on purpose, of course, but it still happened.