PSVR Launch Impressions

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Playstation VR launched last month and I picked up my pre-order along with a handful of games. I was ready to jump head first into the alleged next big thing for gaming.  I pre-ordered the PSVR back in February (maybe March?) before I ever had any experience with VR.  Eventually in the summer I got to play Battlezone on PSVR at a Best Buy Demo.   From that brief experience I was pretty amazed at how immersive VR felt.  It was like I was no longer in a Best Buy, and I had entered a different world.  The Sony rep didn’t completely adjust the device for my eyes, so it was a little blurry.  It was similar to looking at a side view of the 3D effects on the 3DS.  I didn’t think it mattered to have the Rep adjust it 100%, it was still 85% – 90% fine.   But later after playing I felt vertigo a couple times over the next 30 minutes.  I figured this was because I didn’t accurately adjust the device.  It still was such an amazing experience I was now convinced it was worth keeping my pre-order and exploring it some more when it came out.

launchlineupWhen launch day came, I had fully bought in on the hype and wanted to try out just about everything.  I picked up the Launch Bundle that included 2 Move Controllers, the Camera and PS Worlds. I got every game that I thought seemed interesting, all the physical copies shown above and I bought Job Simulator and Rez Infinite digitally.  I figured these would be great to showcase the PSVR.

My first game I played was PS World, specifically London Heist.  This was by far the most fun I had on the first night, but it was also a very short experience.  In London Heist you are always in a sitting position, and there isn’t much movement.  Sitting at a table, sitting at a desk while shooting, sitting in a chair, and sitting as a passenger in a van while you shoot enemies.  Using the Move Controllers as my hand, and interacting with objects was so immersive, I felt like I was actually lighting a cigar in front of my face and shooting Uzi’s in a car chase.

 

I tossed in DriveClub VR very briefly, just to take a look, I only did one quick race.  My friend was going to lend me his wheel and pedals so I held off from playing too much.  It was really fun speeding around turns and feeling the dips in the roads, I was looking forward to more.
I messed around with EVE: Valkyrie for maybe 15 minutes.  I found it somewhat boring and not really what I expected.  I did feel lost in space at times, and when I did a barrel roll I would feel sick to my stomach.  If this game wasn’t VR I don’t think I would ever even looked at it.  But I did want to see more and what else it had to offerRIGS looked like it had potential to be the best game out of the batch, so I was particularly excited for it.  But after getting through the aiming tutorial, I had to run around the map and the movement made me feel very nauseous.  I don’t think I’ve ever really had motion sickness in my life, this game was really triggering it.  I started to feel very confused and disoriented, I had to stop playing immediately.  It was odd, but the level of disorientation and confusion I had was comparable to a concussion (I’ve had a few before).  It was not a good feeling.  I took a break and tried to chill out for a while.

After I thought relaxed and felt I had recovered from RIGS I decided to sit down and play some Battlezone instead.   It was ok for a short amount of time, but once I turned around in the tank a few times I got sick again.   I called it quits for the night and didn’t play it any more that night.  I felt like I had a hangover the rest of the night, and early the next morning.

Over the next few days I played the rest of the games and I found Batman Arkham VR, Job Simulator and Until Dawn: Rush of Blood to be my favorites, and that’s mainly because they didn’t make me sick and allowed me to be stationary.  Batman and Job Simulator were similar to London Heist in that there was little movement, I was mainly using my virtual hands to interact with objects in a virtual world.  Until Dawn: Rush of Blood required sitting on a roller coaster and aiming your move controllers like guns, this was a cool concept and some of the levels are really creepy.

Release weekend I  had a few friends over and we all took turns playing the PSVR, the biggest hit in the group was Job Simulator, but Batman, London Heist and Rush of Blood were all favorites too.  The few that played RIGS and EVE felt like it gave them some motion sickness, but nothing too bad.   Everyone had played in small doses, and nobody tried Battlezone.  Everyone, myself included noticed that they felt hot and were sweating after using the PSVR, and we weren’t aware of it while playing (I’ve become more aware since).

After my first week with the PSVR I was more skeptical of it being the future of gaming, and I was more doubtful that I was going to keep it very long.  But I still had a lot of fun screwing around using my hands in the VR worlds.   Further impressions to come.

 

Posted on November 23, 2016, in Featured Opinion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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