What do you mean I’ve bought another dead peripheral? No, No. Not that VR-headset thingy. People are still making games for that… *raised eyebrow*, I think…
… Oh they are. How lovely; Rick and Morty’s going to be released soon. Wait, that won’t require the use of a bloody rifle! Let us enjoy a moment of frowning before hitting Google. Let’s see what games are coming out for this shooty bang-bang device.
18 or so games. Most of them unreleased with TBA. Oh… cough.
I have a defence, Sir. I snagged the game and gun for forty quid. Impressive, right? I’ve been impressed with the actual technology. The rifle’s a giant Move controller with analogue sticks and improved gyroscopics. I seldom found the device flicking around like the ancient Move controllers. It’s pretty stable and suitably sturdy.
Anyway, what about this Farpoint game-a-ma-thingy?
A curse upon long-winded intros. No.. not mine! You know I meant Farpoint. I’m holding this virtual rifle listening to some boring-ass convoluted set-up that no one wants to hear, not even the people making the game. I can tell. Here’s an idea. Why not throw you in at the more exciting end? Start with being sucked through a wormhole. Crash landing onto an alien planet! Scrambling around to find a gun. How the hell did I get here? What happened? Taking tentative steps into the alien unknown before it turns into John Carter of Mars meets Starship Troopers.
Just you, your gun and the alien world.
When Farpoint’s not sitting you down for a nice cosy chat between two mannequins, I’m happy to report the Aim controller does its job. Looking around the virtual world still entertains, but I now have the added bonus of running around the environment via the gift of a left thumb-stick on the rifle. Hooray! No more teleportation movement, hello potential vomiting!
Speaking of vomiting, I didn’t feel sickly or giddy at any point, which is handy when you’re in virtual land for a good few hours. Saying that, stepping forward in the real world whilst walking back in VR does inspire mild brain rejection. That was on me… I still don’t quite have those “VR” legs, even after all this time. Farpoint has a generous pace and a pleasant way about it that does allow me to stick around a lot longer then normal.
Side note – If you’re going to force me to sit down to watch a load of dreary dialogue, why is it so fucking quiet! I have to turn the volume up which then deafens me when the gunplay starts. Unless that’s what they wanted in the first place. Smooth move game… smooth moves.
Farpoint is a shooting gallery. Walk forward, ba-doing! Here are some enemies. You take pot shots at them as they ready themselves for attack. It’s a soft introduction. That’s not to say things stay the same. Deeper into the game you’ll be turning around a bit more and diving into the safety of cover (walking slowly behind a rock). I’ve enjoyed the vertical spaces, shooting into a ravine is always fun. You’ll also be in danger of acquiring the stance of a dickhead. You know, you’ll stand like a man that thinks he’s in the film Aliens. Naturally, this is perfectly acceptable behaviour.
It may be a simple shooting gallery, but it’s a shooting gallery in fecking VR! It makes all the difference.
Farpoint is a beauty. I didn’t expect a PSVR game looking this nice. I expected a few more cartoons and Minecraft clones before the technology hit its stride. Sure, it’s a lil blurry, but it holds together extremely well. Ok, yes, I accept the landscape is mostly reddy-brown with some classic sci-fi chrome structures, but it’s a nice reddy-brown. To compliment this standardised computer game, the sound is strangely weak. It never has the right amount of oomph. Also, I’m pretty sure I heard the exact same “Oh my god” dialogue 3 or 4 times at different points of the game.
Unfortunately you never fall too deeply into the illusion. The technology’s still too raw. You can’t walk backwards, you can easily fall out of bounds, and the gun, for all it’s non-flickering excellence, does need resetting on occasion. Everything’s fine, up until you wave a giant light in front of your light-based tracking system taped to ya’ head.
These minor disconnects make you fully aware you are standing in a front room waving around a chunk of plastic. Like a dickhead in Aliens, remember.
The long periods of naff story contribute to this and the alien menace is derivative. Farpoint is a game that wisely, plays it safe. The alien menace is something you’ve already seen in all other mediums. I doubt you’ll truly be surprised at any point. Even with the impressive looking bosses… cough, boss. To make up for this you do get to wave a shotgun around. Oh that’s a lot of fun. So was the sniper rifle… now that felt good.
Shooting galleries lose their prestige over time. That sense of wonder that VR affords does melt away. It doesn’t take long before you’re no longer enamoured by crouching behind a rock to avoid the thousand rockets hurled your way. It’s not the longest game in the world, but it doesn’t need to be. The ending feels like they had to wrap things up as the money dried up. Never mind, the co-op campaign works fine. You can have a cosy chat with your teammate and the experiences have been… well… nice. It’s not something I’ll spend too much time on, but if it’s your bag. It works and affords you more time in this world. This reddy-brown world.
I sat down with a complete review, mulling over the score as I watched a friend flinch. A bug had jumped at his face*. Seeing his twitchy little face light up at each alien encounter softened my stance towards Farpoint. It was enough to increase the score by a single point. Bless his little cotton socks.
I’d love to see… wait, who made this game?… Impulse Gear… I hope they get another crack at a big budget VR game. They really deserve it and next time, I hope they don’t play it safe.
A simple game enlivened by the virtual world.
Farpoint is a short thrill to show off a shiny new product and the score, is almost certainly too generous. Will be superseded in the near future, but for now…