At a small media room in Los Angeles’ E3 conference, away from the hubbub of the show floor, we were treated to the latest and greatest in Virtual Reality from Sony, exclusive to PlayStation.The spinoff VR title for 2015’s surprise hit, Until Dawn. Rush of Blood is billed as a completely standalone experience to Until Dawn, being a first person shooter experience completely on rails. The short demo I experienced had the player sitting in a cart, whilst being led through a nightmarish roller coaster of grisly scenes, jump scares and some nifty shooting segments. Utilizing dual move controllers as guns, I had to frantically aim, shoot and reload at killer clowns and freakish enemies whilst experiencing some truly gory scenes of pigs getting chopped up and chainsawed. Perhaps the most exciting part of the demo was where I physically had to lean and duck under obstacles like saws in order to avoid damage, really boosting the immersive experience which suffered from the low resolution and low graphical quality. Fortunately. the framerate was solid and I didn’t experience any motion sickness, other than a rather loopy bit with the rollercoaster.While Rush of Blood certainly was fun, it’s clear that to fully utilize the true potential of the shooting experience you needed two Move controllers, which may be difficult to attain in the immediate future of VR’s release, not to mention pricey. I’m also unsure of how long the full game will be, as a low price point of $24.95 suggests an experience that will only last a couple of hours, at most. Thankfully the scoring system will create a bit of replayability, aiming for better scores and better accuracy against enemies.In another visceral horror experience, Here They Lie offers a much more subtle horror show, with a much slower pace and minimal gore elements, opting for a more psychological experience. In a short demo, we were shown a small slice of gameplay, for lack of a better word, of this surreal horror VR game.
And gameplay is a bit of a stretch, as the demo consisted entirely of walking slowly through creepy subway tunnels, occasionally being startled by a light breaking, a door opening or the very unnerving site of a shadow moving in unnatural ways.There isn’t much to say about Here They Lie, and it’s clearly still quite early in development. This is also possibly the only PSVR experience that wasn’t exclusive to VR. Ironically enough I don’t see this being successful outside of VR, being a game that seems to rely on the immersive experience of VR to truly create scares. However this was a very small slice of gameplay so hopefully, the full game will carry some more unique material.Next was Rigs, a multiplayer focused sports based mech assault game, made by a subsidiary of Guerilla Games (known for Killzone). Rigs is clearly taking pages from the massively popular Rocket League in terms of delivering a simple yet strong gameplay system, which basically boils down to a violent version of hoops. Controlling mechs in different classes which specialize in different styles, the VR game directly puts you into the helmet of a mech pilot, turning and moving with the joysticks but physically moving your head to aim at enemy mechs. Collecting orbs or gathering kills with trigger an overdrive mode, which is where you have to basically slam dunk your mech through a hoop in the middle of the arena.It’s fast paced, frenetic and susceptible to motion sickness due to the extremely fast-paced nature of the game, but it is a huge amount of fun. Using your head to fine tune your aim and racking up kills quickly really feels satisfying, and mixed with the challenge of changing your mech’s style between speed, repair and offense using the face buttons of the Dualshock 4 adds another element of strategy that makes surviving a 1v1 a true test of skill.
It’s still in development and the graphics aren’t impressive, but keep an eye out for this one. Unfortunately, the pricing for this game is beyond ridiculous. Charging $80 USD for a multiplayer focused game like this is pure insanity; it simply isn’t good enough or deep enough to warrant this price. If Rocket League can get away with charging $20, how does this cost 4 times as much? Hopefully, the price will drop because people are already spending a significant amount on PS4 VR.