I was planning on doing a couple of other features before another VR one, but I managed to score a good deal on a Lenovo Explorer recently (Around £100) which not only is an upgrade over Riftcat – but also has those coveted motion controllers which opens up new VR possibilities for me. Riftcat is still a decent option for those dipping their toe into VR, but eventually everyone will move onto a proper VR setup. As such this will be the last feature to have anything played using Riftcat, and as you’ll no doubt guess from the games here, the motion controllers are getting a good workout already. Hopefully the Steam summer sale has some good deals on VR games as there’s so many interesting ones to try now…
Another game from the PSVR library that I’ve managed to procure for PC. I’ll be honest here and say that I generally pick up Llamasoft stuff without question, the psychedelic visuals and audio are always a treat for the senses. I even picked up Moose Life, but that doesn’t really hold a candle to Polybius.
At its core it is just a simple tunnel shooter. You’ll generally just be trying to reach and blasting as many enemies as possible on your way there, but there’s obviously more to it than just that. As much as the enemies can be a distraction and a barrier to progress at the same time, you’ll also have to contend with whether your senses & reflexes can keep up. Hitting the line on each stage that passes through cow horns will see your speed gradually increase as you hit each one. At some point you’ll be going eye-meltingly fast while having to contend with whatever the game throws at you, a ski slalom perhaps?, with the changing patterns of the stage and the constant barrage of messages and colour leaving you in something of an entranced state. Hitting stuff will lose a life or the shield you have, but more importantly you’ll lose that speed, and subsequently the entranced state of mind.
Polybius for me is one of the absolute best VR games still on market, pretty crazy considering its been around since 2017. It has a Steam price of around £5 as well, so there’s really no excuse if you have a VR headset.
Warhammer 40K Battle Sister
Warhammer 40K Battle Sister is my most recent purchase given the current Warhammer sale on Steam, and also now one of my favourite VR games to have tried so far. Unsurprisingly you play as a Battle Sister and follow her path through battlefields and battleships in service of the emperor – the story is fairly decent to be honest. Ported over from the Quest, it won’t blow you away graphically but captures the 40K look well and features some great small details.
Gameplay is basically moving from skirmish to skirmish, but these battles play out so well for me due to the weapons. You can dual wield if you like or go in with a mix, but its things like the simple action of reloading that sell the game. Manually pulling out a mag and grabbing one from the ammo pouch to slam in is satisfying, you can also just wield a single weapon using both hands to stabilise shots a little. Most actions require you to interact with the world in this way, even climbing ladders requires you to grab and pull yourself up. Once you get used to it all you can throw your gun in the air and catch it in the other hand mid fight like a badass. Melee is also an option, but can feel a little wonky outside of beheading heretics and requires more space in the play area for full weapon coverage – something I realised after banging my arm on the corner of a wall, leaving it bruised a few days. Superfluous injury really in the service of the emperor.
As a fan of 40K games and the lore, Battle Sister is quite an enjoyable VR blast – especially for the price. Didn’t manage to find it at any other key sites so just purchased through Steam directly this time, At only £15 its a no-brainer for Warhammer fans and could even appeal to those looking for a cheap & cheerful VR shooter
The first game I purchased when starting out on this VR journey before realising it was motion control only, finally got to sample it recently with the headset upgrade. The game has you taking up the role of a cyberpilot who is tasked with controlling various mechs from the Wolfenstein series in skirmishes for the resistance in Paris. If you’ve played the recent Wolfenstein, in particular Youngblood, then much of the game will be recognisable with things looking good enough in the headset.
You don’t ever really leave your chair on this one, from the start when hacking a lowly Panzerhund, to the decked out machines later, you’ll be sat within the confines of a virtual cockpit. Most missions will pretty much follow a similar route, freely make your way around a set area and engage any groups of nazi’s or other mechs that drop in. Variety comes from the various machines on offer, the Panzerhund has a lowly flamethrower and a pounce ability that can even send cars etc flying through the air to crush enemies, later machines offer different weaponry and agility. Movement is handled by one controller and the other freely aiming and also turning the bot, looking around doesn’t effect your machine so is good at getting a handle on enemies outside of the your frontal vision.
Its a relatively short experience at just a few hours, so long as It doesn’t crash and force you to redo closing sections, but luckily it can be had relatively cheap these days. At the £5 I paid at CDKeys a few months back, its worth a blast for sure and should appeal to fans of the recent Wolfenstein releases.
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Rocking the world of gaming since the Atari 2600, has now settled down to bask in the warmth of moe. Moe is life for a moe connoisseur.