This is a game that I wanted to play in VR since I first saw it. The only issue is that, while I have PSVR, I don’t have move controllers for it. I feel like those are necessary to get the best experience out of this title. So I either have to wait to get a pair of those controllers from Sony, which seem really hard to purchase for some reason, or wait to pick up a Vive down the road. If I ever want to play Half Life Alyx I’ll need to go down that road anyways, unless it comes out on PS5 or something. So yea, I was going to play this game in VR but then the Epic game store gave me a free copy, combine that with a little boredom and here we are.
I’ll get the negative out of the way since it’s at the forefront of my thoughts on this title. The story just started to annoy the shit out of me. When all you want to do while playing a game is to actually play the game, yet you’re constantly forced into little story elements that I barely cared about, you have a problem. Add that to the fact you can’t skip them, but perhaps that’s because of the “message” the game is trying to portray to the player. Either way it was annoying as hell. There’s also an annoyance of trying to pause the game by hitting the Esc key, then returning to the game and it restarting the level completely.
Perhaps I should back up just a little bit. What makes this game unique is that time in the game only progresses if you move, well it moves very slowly if you stand still but it’s basically stopped. So walking towards an enemy to punch them and steal their gun forces the enemies to move and potentially shoot at you. You get hit just once and you’re dead, but so are the enemies. What’s interesting about this mechanic and stands out is the amount of time between shooting your gun, different guns will shoot at different speeds. That means if you shoot the handgun at an enemy and the bullet slowly moves towards the bad guy and it’s a miss, you have to spend a bit of time by moving around to let your gun reload before firing again. It’s another element in the puzzle that is the game and incorporates well into it.
If you’re curious about length the game only takes about 2-3 hours to finish. After that you open unlimited play and stuff like that. I wish that was open from the start because I would have just dropped out and went through the levels like that. The stages weren’t too difficult at all, with brief spikes that were quickly overcome once you figured out the gimmick. So each stage is basically a puzzle that you have to solve by knowing who to shoot first and how to move and aim.
I really wish the levels were a bit longer and more challenging. You start to really get into a groove and are shooting moving targets from across the map and then it’s over in 20 seconds. It’s a great sensation to know an enemies bullet is heading for your back as you slowly dip to the left to shoot the guy coming around the corner in front of you, then spinning around to get the guy that shot at you first. It would have been great if you weren’t constantly booted back to the text based story elements and stayed in the puzzle elements the whole time. In the end, I just think there should be about 20 more stages that are really difficult, at least three times the length, and maybe adding checkpoints if need be.
A great little game that, perhaps, is a better experience played in VR. When I get a proper setup I’d be willing to jump back in. I wish the levels were harder and the story a little less preachy and in my face. Wonderful concept that deserves to be expanded upon.