PlayStation VR Review: A walk to the mall turned me into a spaceship pilot

Playstation VR Review: A walk to the mall turned me into a spaceship pilot

Did you know that going to your mall nowadays might transform you into a spaceship pilot? Rest assured, you will not have to risk your life or get injured, but the excitement and awesome feelings are just the same. How is that possible? Well, let me tell you how a simple walk in the mall transformed my vision of video games.



 

When I was shopping around in my local mall, I was surprised to see a PlayStation VR booth. I have been a PlayStation fan for a long time, and I was agreeably surprised to be able to try this new technology before launch. Most people were afraid to look weird if they tried it in the middle of a mall! Luckily, I was not afraid.

I tried VR once before, it was a simple video on the Oculus Rift, that blew my mind, and I thought that it was time for me to get another level of experience.

 

Among the five choices, only two PlayStation VR Games caught my attention: Battlezone and EVE: Valkyrie. The person before me was playing Battlezone, and, man, it looked fun. Destroying tanks while being fully immersed in one’s own cockpit was something new. Peoples were passing by, paying little attention, and I couldn’t help but think that the immersion must suffer a lot from the setting. It must be quite hard to let oneself fully enter a game while in the middle of a mall.

 



Eve Valkyrie
Eve Valkyrie – Virtual reality space fighting action

 

Once it was my turn, the choice was easy. I am a fan of space games, so EVE: Valkyrie was the clear choice.

The demo did not last too long, perhaps five to seven minutes, but that was enough. When the headset was on my head, and the demo begun, I felt like, excuse the cliché, I was transported in a new world. I completely forgot about the people around me, and I was turning my head in all directions to inspect my new spaceship.

Every single detail of the ship was incredible. The dashboard was full of details and numbers I could not comprehend, the very seat on which I was sitting seemed real, and even the back of the ship was perfectly designed.

 

PSVR being played
“being fully immersed in one’s own cockpit was something new”

 

The first real shock came when I looked down. I realized that I could not see my own hands anymore.

All I saw were the character’s hand resting on the joysticks controlling the ship. Unable to see my own hands, I could still feel them grabbing the PS4 controller. And to be honest, that was a bit of a disappointment. The visuals felt so real, that I needed to feel the ship’s joysticks in my hands, not the DualShock controller. Fortunately, I can buy my own set of joystick once I get this at home.

 

After a few instructions, the ship started flying.

There I was. Space. The place I loved to explore in other games, but that I could never really experience as fully as I did with EVE: Valkyrie. I have played around 30 hours of other space games, but the most intense, rewarding experience was with the PlayStation VR. I turned my head in all directions, looking for the enemy ships, while the headphones were blasting all the realistic combat noises and the voices of pilots in my squadron.

 

 

I quickly understood that the easiest way to get rid of the enemies was to use the lock-on rockets. That however made the game a bit too easy.

Perhaps my only criticism of the game is how easy it was. Sure, it was just a demo. But I felt so absorbed in the game that I wanted more. I wanted to continue flying in this ship, to help my comrades, to destroy others and to advance in the story.

What I realized after, is that maybe it was so easy because the immersion was so strong. In other games, it takes some time to get accustomed to the controls because we see the ship through a screen. We are not literally in the ship, and that changes how we understand the physics of the game.

 

Eve Valkyrie Immersion
Immerse yourself in the sprawling science fiction universe of EVE.

 

Taking off the headset wasn’t easy. The first thing I asked was “Is that all?”, because all I could think of was that I wanted more! People were waiting to play, however, so I had to go.

But there I was, a simple guy walking into a mall, who somehow turned into a spaceship pilot in a matter of minutes.

Maybe it feels like I am exaggerating, but that is truly how it felt. PlayStation VR and virtual reality, offer a new way to experience video games, that was never seen before. We all have read reviews, but Playstation VR is first and foremost an experience. It is not an objective thing that you can simply read about, you have to experience it.

So I urge all of you to check for the locations of the PSVR booths in your region, and go try it. See it for yourself.



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