Farpoint has intrigued me since it was announced at E3 last year. It’s the true Triple A game which early VR purchasers have been waiting for since they spent $549 to pick up their PlayStation VR kit in October.
After playing both the single-player campaign as well as the co-op challenge mode yesterday, I’m glad to report that Farpoint has all the signs of a proper AAA game.
It’s complete with a proper single-player campaign which is told in chapters. Each chapter will start with a cutscene before you find yourself immersed in this massive world that’s unlike anything I’ve experienced in VR, so far.
One of the negatives when it comes to VR titles so far though have been the fact they largely feel like tech demos, rather than fully-fledged games. But I think Farpoint has a genuine shot to prove that VR can provide Trriple A experiences, rather than a majority of the shallow titles we saw at launch.
Seth Luisi who is the Founder of Impulse and Lead Designer of Farpoint confirmed to me “Farpoint’s main campaign would last about 5-6 hours and that there’d be other challenges for gamers to partake in”.
It’s still probably a little below what you’d expect from most single player FPS campaigns, but once you get the PlayStation VR headset on, you’ll realise just how much work must have gone into creating such large environments and what could very well be the best-looking VR game to-date.
The singe-player campaign thankfully eases you into the impressive immersive experience in the opening scene where your spaceship crashes on a foreign alien planet, before you gain the ability to move. However, it wasn’t long before I had a gun and having a blast killing anything from human-alien hybrids to deadly spiders which are obsessed with eating your face.
We had the opportunity to test out three guns which all had different loading mechanisms. The main assault rifle had a cool down which was visible on the actual gun, whilst the shotgun had to be manually reloaded with the square button. You also changed weapons by literally throwing the gun over your shoulder via placing your old one over the top of the one you want to pickup. There’s some really clever design techniques which we’ve not seen in VR yet present in Farpoint.
It’s very hard to talk about Farpoint without going into detail about the PlayStation VR Aim Controller. At first, it looks pretty basic but it really surprised me just how much is built into this controller. It’s essentially has all the components of a DualShock 4 and PlayStation Move controller mashed together.
All the buttons are nicely mapped out so you’ve got easy access to your two analogue sticks, your regular face buttons, D-Pad, R1 buttons, options/share buttons as well as your PlayStation button. There’s also built in rumble, so you can get a tactile feel for your in-game happenings.
It’s immersive because you can literally see your gun tracking in real time and Impulse Gear have done really well to not restrict you. If you want to point the gun at yourself, go ahead and do so. If you want to tilt your gun and shoot gangsta style, that’s great too. You’re also able to physically duck and hide in cover whilst holding your gun above the cover to shoot your enemies. It just works from the get-go and was incredibly satisfying.
One of the more surprising elements of Farpoint is the fact you’re forced to use the sight of your gun. You need to physically lift the PlayStation VR Aim Controller in order to ensure you’re looking through the sight. It’s just another little detail which adds to the overall immersion and makes you feel extra badass.
Farpoint takes advantage of online co-op too. You’re able to play online with a friend and take on a series of challenges which are separate to the games’ main story mode. I was told that the mission I was playing through was one of the harder stages, which was honestly quite tough. I was dying constantly and needed my teammate to revive me regularly. You’re also able to shoot your teammate, which is a little morbid albeit fun to do.
However, I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t experience a little bit of motion sickness in co-op mode. I believe it was due to the fast paced nature and quite frankly getting my mind around the fact that I was trying to run away from these people eating spiders. It was non-existent in single-player mode though, which makes me feel like single-player should definitely be your first port of call.
All in all, I’ve got a really good feeling about Farpoint. The game has a genuine chance of being the first AAA game to really sell PlayStation VR. Coupled with the PlayStation VR Aim Controller, it’s the most immersive gaming experience I’ve ever enjoyed and I can’t wait to see what other games use the combination.
Farpoint is out on Wednesday May 17th, exclusively for PlayStation VR.