ChromaGun VR feels like the form the game should have launched in from the start. The campaign is only a handful of hours, which is about the same amount of time most people can handle VR in its current state. The Aim Controller works quite well in this (mostly) non-violent puzzle shooter, even if lefties have to adapt to the control scheme. Still, an undo function could've saved players from some frustration when they either misfire or accidentally use the wrong color. ChromaGun VR is a funny, occasionally challenging first-person puzzler, and one that is enhanced in VR.
DiRT Rally 2.0 features some positively exhilarating racing. While there aren't a ton of different modes to choose from this time around, there are plenty of courses to make up for it. The lack of real-time multiplayer may dissuade some from purchasing it, as they can't directly compete with friends, but the asynchronous challenge events provide plenty of real-world competition on a daily and weekly basis. As usual, Codemasters knows rally racing like no one else.
Metro Exodus is an entertaining post-apocalyptic shooter that isn't afraid to take chances with the series' formula. There are still occasional jump scares, resources are scarce, and often times humans are your worst enemy. The addition of large, open levels really freed up 4A Games to make a world all the more detailed and believable. A few technical issues hold the game back a bit, but they are by no means a deal breaker. Fans of the Metro series shouldn't hesitate to pick up Metro Exodus at launch, and fans of survival horror should also find plenty to like here.
Apex Legends is an expertly-crafted battle royale shooter, which is no surprise when you consider the development team behind it. It feels like the culmination of lessons learned from other games in the genre, almost as if battle royale has finally grown up. Combining the hero shooting concept of Overwatch and others before it with battle royale seems obvious, in hindsight. What isn't so obvious is that injecting Titanfall-inspired gunplay makes the package much more compelling. We are only a week into the life of Apex Legends, but the outlook is looking pretty great from where we're standing.
The Mage's Tale isn't a game that shows hints of what the future may hold for virtual reality, but rather an example that the future is now. It stands on its own as a genuinely fun experience that shows this space has started to mature. Most faults with this adventure lie in the assumption that gamers will have ample room to stand up and stretch in a large play space. Controls are also bound to suffer, since Sony's Move controllers were not designed with VR in mind. Yet the core game is solid, and those hoping to feel like a wizard-in-training need only boot up The Mage's Tale and strap on a headset.
Gungrave VR is a generic shooter wrapped in the new-tech allure of VR. For fans of the 16-year-old PS2 series, this will no doubt bring up some nostalgic feelings. But the incredibly small amount of content on offer will turn off most gamers looking for a fuller experience. The launch price of $29.99 isn't doing the game any favors, either. This is an especially poor launch price when you consider that the last game launched at a $15 price point, and lasted at least five times longer. Only the most hardcore Gungrave fans may want to check out Gungrave VR at this time. Everyone else can afford to wait for a sale.
Big Crown: Showdown is a safe bet for party games to play that most people will enjoy. A large variety of maps helps to avoid tedium, but the core gameplay mechanics may be a bit too simple to sink into for much more than an hour at a time. There's nothing wrong with this, and Big Crown: Showdown is perfect for playing with friends, family, and frenemies, especially those who don't play games very often.
Rival Megagun is a fun, frantic bullet hell game with a unique competitive mechanic. The retro-inspired art style is pixel-perfect, which is paired with an equally retro soundtrack. Each character's campaign may be short at just a handful of levels apiece, but there are six characters, each with different weapons and strategies to employ. Online multiplayer support, plus various collectibles and unlocks only seal the deal. Retro fans should pick up Rival Megagun without hesitation.
RIDE 3 is the bike racing game to beat this generation. A much-improved presentation, with a focus on the thrill of the ride, comes alongside improved load times. With over 200 bikes, plenty of customization options that make a difference in bike performance, challenging opponents, realistic physics, and tweakable difficulty options, fans of the series, and motorcycle racing game fans in general, will be quite happy.
Hitman 2 continues the fun assassination sandbox gameplay that was in the reboot, with scant few details changed in the single-player campaign. The levels on offer are some of the largest, and certainly the most detailed for the Hitman franchise. Cutscenes may disappoint, but Agent 47 hasn't been slacking at the job. He now has more options at his disposal than ever before. Meanwhile, multiple multiplayer options provide for some unique ways to cooperate, and compete, with players, which will no doubt extend the replayability of Hitman 2 for quite some time. IO Interactive has taken what worked well last time around, and produced an even more impressive and robust assassin's playground.
GRIP: Combat Racing is an impressive arcade racer, one that harkens back to the glory days of racers such as WipEout, while adding its own innovations. Jumping from floor to ceiling to wall and back sounds like it might be too hectic, but GRIP's excellent camera handling ensures that players won't lose track of what they are doing very easily. Four-player split screen, which is an absolute rarity these days, is a much-appreciated inclusion, and ensures that GRIP: Combat Racing will be played by groups for a while to come.
Heavy Fire: Red Shadow had the potential to give gamers an updated version of Beach Head 2002 from the heyday of arcades. Unfortunately, an incredibly short campaign, terrible graphics, and a lack of any real challenge all coalesce into an altogether underwhelming product. The $9.99 premium VR mode is so minimal in execution, that even that isn't recommended. If you absolutely love arcade, wave-based shooters, it's probably still best to wait until Heavy Fire: Red Shadow is on a fire sale before plopping down the cash.
Soulcalibur VI is a solid entry in the long-running fighting franchise. The new Reversal Edge mechanic gives everyone a chance at a comeback, with a balanced risk that their move may backfire on the player who invoked the move. A decent campaign is paired with a beefier custom story mode, to provide for dozens of hours of gameplay, even if most of the cutscenes are more visual novel than actual cutscene. Barebones online options may leave some players wanting more, but getting to the action is as quick as ever because of a sharp focus. Time will tell if these improvements can translate to better sales, but Soulcalibur VI is one game all fighting fans should pick up.
The Exorcist: Legion VR launches at a perfect time, near Halloween. While the adventure may be incredibly short, it is one that groups may enjoy, to see how others react to the horrors that await within. However, much like a scary movie or haunted house, once you know where the scares are located, they don't have the same oomph as the first time through. With variability all but removed, the replayability of Legion VR dwindles rapidly. Despite this, horror fans should check out The Exorcist: Legion VR for some of the most intense, if brief, scares available on any medium.
It's too bad we may never see the intended ending of The Walking Dead: The Final Season. While the series may not reach the same critical heights it did as with the inaugural season, things were finally starting to get interesting again. The Telltale Tool engine runs well, the art style is unique and fun to look at, and the writing has improved. If this is how things must end, it could have been much worse.
Dark Eclipse has a good foundation, with a good outlook for the future. New players to the genre may struggle at first, given the extra-light tutorial that expects players to figure out mechanics on their own, without so much as a codex to read about the five different tower types. Since online is a ghost town, the only real option for practicing is to play against AI, or in an online-only match against a friend. You can't beat its free price, however, so all PSVR players should at least give Dark Eclipse a shot to see if it's their cup of MOBA and to help populate the servers.
Super Street: The Game is a disappointment in all aspects. Clunky driving, a blurry presentation, generic sound design, boring upgrade options, and mind-bogglingly terrible physics all mash together into one “arcade” racer you're better off avoiding, especially at its launch price of $49.99 USD. Its two saving graces are possessing a decent selection of cosmetic options and split-screen support, but those features do nothing to make this game worthy of a purchase. The game has already been out for over a week, and its online population is nonexistent. The developer has also not issued any sort of patch to fix some of the more glaring issues. If that's a sign of what to expect when it comes to post-launch support, racing fans should look elsewhere to get their tuning fix.
Downward Spiral: Horus Station isn't without issues, but this is an experience worth having for PSVR owners. The Zero-G gameplay remains fun throughout, and a wide assortment of weapons and tools helps to allow players some freedom in the way they dispatch enemies. With death being meaningless, and a story told without any real clues to go off, some players may not feel rewarded enough by simply progressing to the next room. The inclusion of multiplayer does give more reason to head back to floating in a lonely space station, provided that an online population shows up at launch. Sci-fi and VR fans should give the $19.99 Downward Spiral: Horus Station a try.
Boundless has a lot going for it. Seamless cross-platform multiplayer ensures there's almost always other players to interact with. Yet planets are also large enough to eke out a solitary existence if one so chooses. Much like Minecraft, there is a large time commitment required to have any real sense of progression, or to make a lasting mark on the world. In this case, however, any marks players do leave behind will stick around for others to see for quite a while. A constant drip-feed of mini-quests helps to move players along in their progression, as well. Whether with friends, strangers, or by yourself, Boundless ensures there's always something new to do in a connected universe, one which rewards those who put in the time.