Gaming My PSVR impression and demo game's review

Cyan

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I saw there's another thread with "PSVR impressions" but it looks like a more general "will it survive or be lost in time" kind of thread, I intend to talk about each games so I'm making a separated thread.


First impression: Some games are very good, other games not as much.
Overall, I like it and the games I liked are not always the one I expected!

You can skip to the game section if you want !

Now about the details!

The hardware

It's easy to connect and the 5 cables all have a proper length. not too short, long enough to my needs.
The VR cable is about 1m long (3.2f), and there's an extension cable which connects from the VR CPU to the helmet which is 3m long (10f).
When the VR is on your head, the cable is sometime annoying, you have to find a proper position to forget it. I thought putting it behind me was a good idea, but it's not. I found it best positioned in front of me.

I'm wearing glasses, and they are a little stuck and pressing on your face. You can move the screen distance away from your eyes, but you don't see the entire screen anymore if you do. Having the screen too far away from your eyes deform the screen at the side, so you'd want to keep if as near as your face as possible.
The edge of the screen is blurry, maybe because of the glasses I'm wearing and not being able to put the screen even nearer. But it's good enough and not annoying in games, you notice the screen-edge blurriness only on 2D mode (when you are on the console's menu, etc.) because when you are in 3D you usually turn your head to look in front of you, you don't look not on the screen edges.


I tried to put a headphone on top of the PSVR, but it didn't fit! the PSVR is taking too much place.
I tried to put the headphone first, but then I couldn't put the PSVR on my head. Finally, I'm playing with earphone (intro-auriculaire). The one provided by Sony are not very good so I'm using my own.


The software

While in VR mode, the TV often change its resolution to a very small/bad one.
It's not noticeable while in game, but if you open a menu while playing (press Home button) the displayed area is smaller and very blurry on TV, with LOT of ghost effects. Probably a bad HDMI cable, or just bad screen resolution management.
It doesn't bother you if you wear the PSVR but it might be for users not playing with the VR until you return to the game.

There are options to choose the projected screen size when in 2D mode.
Small : the screen is always in front of your eyes. it's a little small and hard to read text.
medium : you can "look around" the screen freely, it's easier to read the text and have a good zoom/position ration, you don't notice the black background around it.
Large : the screen is very big, like if you sit in front of the screen in Cinema. you have to move your head around to see every part of the screen. Could be nice for watching movie, I guess. maybe a little too big.


There's also an option to calibrate your eye's distance.
It's used to change the depth perception in games, like the 3D slider of the Nintendo 3DS.
The problem here is that it's not freely editable, there's no slider <-> result, and picking your preferred value. Instead it's picking a picture of your face with the camera and automatically calculating the proper value based on your data.

I didn't try to change it, default value was fine enough and I suppose if I changed it other people would have to re-calibrate. default is fine.



Position Tracking

You will need enough space around you to play, as you will often "look around, up, down, behind, etc., and you will also move your arms and your controllers around you. if you are not far enough from the TV/camera it will not see you. minimum distance is around 1m (3.2f).
The camera can track you without issue, even if you are not in front of it. At game start, it asks you to put yourself inside the center frame [ ], but if you are not it still work fine.

The position tracking from the hardware is good, but some games are doing it badly. So, I suppose the tracking capability will be part of game reviews.

You can recenter the screen and position displayed in the PSVR by holding the Option button. It doesn't work in all menus.
Doing this is useful and even important! Sometime you will find yourself too near or too far from the expected position if you moved to/from the camera. Re-centering the player position in the 3D space is therefore needed or you'll be at the incorrect position in the game. For example in the read seat in a car, etc.


The Games


The interesting part !
I'll try to take some screenshot later to add visual to this long post.
it will be easier to read and see what the game looks like.

I didn't buy any games yet.
So I'll just give my impressions with the demo and free available softwares compatible with PSVR.


There are 3 big categories
• Games
• Movies (360° movies)
• Applications


Games

Games I tested:
- PSVR demo disc
- Playroom VR
- Gunjack
- VEV
- Tomb Raider (the manor)


PSVR Demo Disc

If you bought the European PSVR, don't bother installing and playing the games from the European demo disc! There are only 8.
There is an update available for the demo disc (v1.0.3) but it doesn't include the new games. The update enables online gaming and score sharing. I didn't find how it works yet.

Instead, go to PSN and download the full version of PSVR Demo with ALL the games! even the one USA got on disc :D
No need to have both version installed. The Demo disc is 32GB and digital version is 34GB. go for the digital right away.

Games on EUR disc:
- VR Worlds (another multi-game : contains 2 playable games in this demo)
- Battle Zone
- Headmaster
- Eve Valkyrie
- Rigs
- Driveclub VR
- Thumble VR
- Wayward Sky

Additional games on EUR PSN version:
- Job Simulator
- Harmonix Music VR
- Thumper
- Until dawn - Rush of blood
- Allumette
- Here they lie
- Rez infinity

I think USA demo disc version has even more games.

• Position Tracking: game dependent.
• Impression for the PSVR Demo : VERY LONG LOADING TIIIIIIIIME ... and it resets after every game you play, so it's VERY frustrating that you have to reload it to test another game.


VR Worlds
This game is a pack of different VR experience. There are two playable titles.
The game selection screen looks nice. You are in a temple, and you can interact with a ball. the ball change shapes based on the game you select. Water bubble, stone, fire, rubber, etc.
You can interact with it and shoot it in your environment. The PS4 controller position is very well detected and reproduced on screen. it feels natural and follow your movement at perfection.

VR World - ocean:
This one is just a movie.
You are in a sea cage and descending into the abyss though a see hole. you can move around a little inside the cage which is nice. You are not stuck at an unique position.
It last about 5 minutes.

• Position Tracking: very good. you can look around, even upside down and move a little in your environment.
• Impression : that's just a video, but it's a nice one to show people who want to experience virtual reality for the first time.
Only issue is that if you want to show it to few different person, it takes a hell of time to reload both PSVR demo, then VR World, then Ocean within it....


VR World - London Heist :
This one is a target shooting game like you can find on funfair and shooting training.
There's no moving involved, you are always at the same place, looking in the same direction. You occasionally have targets appearing at defined position and you have 3 seconds to shoot at them.

• Position Tracking: does its job. Controller movement precision is enough to hit the targets quickly.
• Impression : Nothing spectacular here.

Battle Zone
My first surprise !
I'm not a tank fan, but this game is the first I like from the demo.
It's not a big visual game with detailed textures (it's more 3D simple colored blocks), but the game is a fast paced action game, where you have to shoot waves of enemy attacking you from ground or air.

The game is displayed from inside the tank, you can look around you inside the tank, which displays your external environment in a 180° mode.
You can move the tank really fast in all ground direction, it felt like I was piloting an overboard instead of a tank. It made me want to play Mechwarrior in VR !

• Position Tracking: good and fast. your head position is properly restored in its initial position after looking around inside the tank. (some games don't...)
• Impression : I'm surprised and liked that game. I'll try the demo again.
• Motion sickness : None ! I've read some developers preventing free "FPS" movement because of motion sickness, but I didn't have any issue. That's even the contrary, you'll see "here they lie" game is pretty bad even if movement restricted!

Headmaster
Actually a funny game.
You have to hit a ball with your head and hit designated targets to earn points.

There are 40 different mini games (the demo has 4 or 5 of them).

• Position Tracking: good.
• Impression : funny mini game. not my kind of games.
• Motion sickness : N/A

Eve Valkyrie
This is the game I thought I'd buy, because of lack of other game I'm interested in (Robinson is out November 8th!), but wanted to test it first.

My first impression is : hard to navigate in space !
You can move in all direction and I spend more time trying to find my targets than knowing what to do.
I didn't suffer motion sickness, but I felt more "I don't know where I should look or in which direction I should go".
The demo is very short (or maybe I died?), I think it didn't even last 5 min and automatically close and you have to reload the entire PSVR demo if you want to play again.

• Position Tracking: I didn't get the time to notice any issue with it.
• Impression : looks nice, but I'm not good at shooting games. lacks a little tutorial to get the hand of it.
• Motion sickness : A little disoriented at time.

RIGS
Probably one of the "games that count" from the release day.

It's a nice game, but not my kind. I don't like match and online games.
Visually I found it blurry and doesn't feel 1080p. The background is not detailed, but I guess it's not what's important in that game.
There is a visible filter limit around the center of the screen (you know, in 3D games you can often see a depth limit where the texture looks better/worse)
The action is not easy to master on the first try.
I shot at every moving robots, I didn't understood it was a 3vs3 team work until I lost :P

I tried to aim at the other players with the controller, like a lot of other games I tried before, but only later in the game I noticed the aim was done with the VR ! You have to look where you want to shoot, you don't need to turn around. Well, maybe it's easier to turn around instead of moving your head. it's tiring to do it.
I'd have preferred to shoot with the controller, and look around freely.

On my second try, I played better and managed to get second place and my team won. It was more interesting and I understood better what to do.



• Position Tracking: Tracking is good. Sometime the screen seems "not in front" anymore, you have to recenter the screen with Option button.
• Impression : looks not so nice, not a "HD" games. Fast paced and probably good once you understand how to play. again, VERY long reload time before doing another party, too bad you can't just retry without reloading the PSVR demo.
• Motion sickness : fine, a little disoriented sometime. maybe I shouldn't play when tired.

Driveclub VR
I'm not fan of car game either so I can't compare with other car games, but it looks good and it's great to be inside the car while playing.
The VR gives a good experience for this type of game. You can look at your rear mirrors by moving your head, it feels natural.

The background looks a little blurry to me, but it's not a big issue.

The demo has one race and one time attack.

• Position Tracking: Tracking is good, but there's not a lot to track in a car.
• Impression : looks nice.
• Motion sickness : none.

Thumble VR
A lot of mini-game where you have to grab objects and turn them around.
There are different mini games, the demo has these ones:
- pilling cubes and different objects form to reach a specific height without falling
- move objects to guide light with mirrors
- make pill of objects fall

The nice thing is that you can use only one PSMove ! (I don't have two).
Using PSMove is probably better than the controller, BUT the tracking is not very good.
That's not a good thing for a precision game, really !

When you grab a cube, it "turns/move/resets its position" in weird movements, I don't understand why I can't just "grab" the object in the position I see.
for example, a dice has the "six" facing up, you point at the dice from a side and grab it, the "six" is not facing top anymore, but a random direction. very unnatural behavior :(

I don't know if it will be improved in the real game, or if the demo is the final version.

• Position Tracking: Tracking is weird. The desk where you work and put cubes is as time too far, at time too near.
• Impression : can be a good puzzle game.
• Motion sickness : N/A. there's no movement involved.

Wayward Sky
I didn't hear of that game before launch, so it's always a nice surprise to get more games to choose from.
It's a "walk, look and click" game. a little like point&click, but you only push buttons or grab objects to interact with. there's no big and difficult clue solving.
You always move forward for the next mini-game to "look and click".

The design is nice and looks like clay. But the environment is "shaking" because the PSVR or controller position is not correctly detected.

Nice surprise : You can play with 1 PS4 controller in one hand and 1 PSMove in the other at the same time :D
The PSMove is recommended!

• Position Tracking: Very bad.
• Impression : Not a very good game. Nice to have anyway and see developers interesting in virtual reality but it needs a little more efforts to make it good.
• Motion sickness : None, but camera always go to one or another position without notice.


:!: From here, this is only the games available from the PSN version of the PSVR demo game.

Job Simulator
Requires 2 PSMove.
I can't test it. But look on youtube, you probably won't want to test it. And don't look the price...

Harmonix Music VR
A 3D equalizer with visual effect. works with all your music file on your console/usb.
Kind of useless.

The demo has 4 different modes. It requires 2 PSMove to use one of them, so I could test only 3.

The beach : look at object in a 3D beach scene to activate a visual effect.
The DJ : set different animation to strange creature, then be a DJ and see them do the action you set.
Psychedelic : At least, this one looks good! It's a kaleidoscope in 3D.

• Position Tracking: Very bad. The Move controller position doesn't match your movement. The PSVR "target" is higher than your horizon and point of view.
• Impression : Useless ... and expansive.
• Motion sickness : N/A

Thumper
Very nice surprise !
When I watched a video on internet, I didn't understand a thing.
But I actually liked it a lot !

This is a rythme game and you need to press X at the right time.
Sometime it's X+dPad direction. The full game will probably have more buttons and combination available.

The Demo contains the first level, which is cut un 10 mini sections.
The first sections are tutorials and teach you how and when you need to press a button. Each section are moving faster than the previous one.
The music is .. I don't know how to define it. Probably electronic. But it was in theme with the psychedelic visual.

The game is like a car game on a rail, and is moving faster and faster. The last boss require high reflexes.


• Position Tracking: nice, but not required. You can look around, or "below" the track you follow to see what's coming next.
• Impression : I really enjoyed that game ! Watching video of it was confusing, but playing it is very good :)
• Motion sickness : didn't notice any issue, even with the speed of the game.

Until dawn - Rush of blood
A survival horror on rail.
I never watch or read anything about that game before, and was worried about the "on rail" element and not being able to move.

It's well done, the visual is very good, the sound is immersive and you will frightened!
I liked it and I could pick this game as a choice to show what VR is to someone who never played. Though, that person shouldn't be afraid of clown ! haha

You hold two guns and aim with the controller position (not with the VR).
This game is compatible with two PSMoves, but I have only one so I played with the wireless controller. The aim method is probably based on the selected controller, but both weapons were always aimed at the same place. I couldn't point them independently at two different locations.

• Position Tracking: very good. The game is immersive and you will surprise yourself moving your body to pass behind object or move away from different elements blocking the rails.
• Impression : I liked it a lot! maybe I'll buy it, it's one of the cheapest VR game. probably short, but good!
• Motion sickness : none. it's on rail.

Allumette
This is a 360° Video. It can be downloaded independently on PSN.
See the Video section below for a brief description.

Here they lie
A survival horror game.
Actually ... it's the FIRST and ONLY game which gave me motion sickness...
It took some minutes before I understand how this game worked, but at first it was very bad.
At the end, it's better when you understand how to move, but your character is walking very slowly, which is frustrating.


It plays like an FPS, but you can't shoot and the worst part is ... you can't turn with the right stick!
All FPS games are moving freely and letting you turn Left/Right to look around you, but this game is limiting your movement, probably to prevent motion sickness, but it's making it worst.
When you press Right or Left, it's reloading the screen with a fixed rotation to the left/right. Something like 30° every time you turn.
Not having a free movement made me sick because it wasn't natural. You want to turn, it's not turning...

You have a flash light which you can direct with the wireless controller and I found the direction to be always badly pointed. To add even more issue, every time you "turn" and it reloads the screen, the flashlight position is reset, even if you didn't move the controller, which makes you having to "recenter" the flashligth every 5 seconds...

After 10 minutes, I noticed that the flashlight wasn't only moving around with the controller, but with the direction I was looking !
In fact both the VR and the controllers are trying to move the flashlight and conflict each other, making it incontrollable.
After I understood this, I stopped trying to move the flashlight with the controller and it became a looot simpler to see around me.

After another 10 minutes, I noticed that I didn't need to "turn" with the right stick, I could just "look around" and press "UP" to move in that direction.

This became again easier to move (no need to reload the screen by 30°), but added even more motion sickness because now I could "turn" without pressing a direction.
My brain didn't register a "turning event" because I was still pressing UP and not Right/Left.

Really, that game is bad with that. I'm sure the developers tried to make it this way to limit motion sensing people from having issues, but that's the only game which gave me issues!



The game is frightening enough to make it interesting nevertheless, but the player is soooo slow. please, make it run !

• Position Tracking: Bad. reseting the camera very often.
• Impression : Good game (The motion sickness issue is not affecting the game's story and interest). I want to walk faster!
• Motion sickness : Very bad.

Rez infinity
This is a shooting game.
You have to look around to find ennemies and target them.
Ennemies are everywhere and you end moving your head like a fool, it's tiring and not even funny to play :(

The game could have been interesting with a different control.

• Position Tracking: didn't see any issue.
• Impression : could be good, but you have to keep your head moving in all direction, that's tiring.
• Motion sickness : didn't notice.


:!: And this game concludes the PSVR Demo.

It was nice to try different games and see which one will interest you.

I liked:
VRWorld. the demo'd games doesn't show a lot but they were nice.
Battle zone
Thumper
Until dawn



The Playroom VR
Few mini games, but most of them require at least 2 players.
completing mini games earn you PS coins which you can spend in an Arcade Claw Machine. Each won prize adds 3D animated elements in the desk around you.


I could test the only game which is single player:
It was nice and had a "Nintendo/Mario 3D world" feeling to it. You have to rescue lot of mini-asobi robots, to do so you control Asobi in a colorful 3D world.
The VR lets you look around, but you control Asobi independently of the VR. On your journey, you have to pick coins too.
At the end of the level, you have a count of coins and rescued mini-Asobi.

It was nice. too bad I can't test other games.

Gunjack
This one is a simple shoot'em up. The game is part of the "Eve" series (Eve valkyrie).
You don't move around freely in space, instead you are always at the same position and you need to look around you to target waves of ennemis.

It's one of the "issue" I noted for "Rez infinity" : you have to move your head everywhere.
Though, here, the ennemies are not all around the screen so you have the time to look around, shoot the first wave formation, wait for the next one, etc.
It has a oldschool shoot'em up feeling for the way the waves are managed (life force, axelay, R-type, etc.)

This is a good game, with 50 different levels.

It would be a great game if it didn't suffer from Tracking position issue !!!
Because that game is regularly losing your position and this is kind of bad :(
You have to press Option regularly to recenter the screen.

another issue is that the target is too high and not in front of your eyes or on the horizontal plane.
Sometime there are enemy wave coming from bottom and it's not easy to shoot them with a "high target", you have to almost look "upside down" or between your legs.


I played the first missions only for the moment, I'll continue playing it !
It's cheap (less than 10€), and it's a fun first game.

• Position Tracking: not good, you often have to re-position the screen!
• Impression : good little shoot'em up! too bad it suffer from tracking position, but it's not "that bad". just recenter after every mission.
• Motion sickness : you don't move, you only look around so there's no issue here.

VEV
A Microsopic life form exploration.

This game was released in May 2016, but the developers recently added PSVR Compatibility !

The game is played at the third person, the VR movement is linked to the game's camera.
The VR experience is... hard

The VR is well recognized and you can look around freely.
The camera can also be controlled in ALL direction with the stick, which let you move your life-form in this spheric environment 360° x 360°.
You can turn in all direction, and look in all direction.
The result is .. whuaaa, a little confusing and disorienting.

The game let you choose the camera rotation speed (the one you control with the Stick).
Slow: that's fine, but 15Min game session is enough. The movement are a little too slow.
Medium : That's better to move around.
Fast : You can finally rotate fast enough to grab all the ressources in your environment, but this is really bad for your internal ears. disorientation and nausea is sure to come.

The game is limiting each level to 15min, and that's sometime too long. I couldn't bear the second level.

20Min is enough for my first time.

• Position Tracking: very good.
• Impression : Could be fun, there are 7 levels, but I played only 2. I couldn't complete the second...
• Motion sickness : Whuaaaa, going to toilet and tell you how I feel



Tomb Raider 2 (The manor chapter)
The manor exploration is accessible from the title screen after completing the first chapter.
In this bonus chapter you need to find clues by searching the manor to solve the story's mystery.
You can choose to enable VR or play without it.

You don't see Lara on screen, you are playing Lara's role and the game is played at the first person mode.

The game allows you choose from two different modes: Confort or free movements.
The confort mode lets you position Lara by "teleporting" her at the desired position around you by using the PS4 controller's tracking position.
This mode is best played by standing between your couch and the camera as you have to look around, crouch and explore a little the environment to look for objects.

The free movement mode unlocks after you leave the first room. This mode is best played sit.
It lets you move freely using the Left stick to move and right stick to "look around" (like the VR). It plays like a FPS game. At the same time you can look around you with the VR and Lara will "walk" into the direction you are looking.

There is an option you can activate to move toward the PS camera when you press "UP" instead of moving toward the place you see. I find this mode a lot more confortable than the others two.
It lets you move freely without the need to teleport and lets you look around you with the VR without Lara walking to that direction (like in real life, if you look on your side while walking straight, you can look around you without changing the direction you walk).


The manor looks great, though I find it blurry, but I find it's a common thing with all the PSVR games I tested.
There are a lot of details and it's a good experience to be able to investigate and find clues to solve puzzle in virtual reality.

I didn't complete it yet, I feel dizzy after playing it 30min... Probably after effect of playing VEV just before that.
Being tired is probably a bad thing when playing VR.

• Position Tracking: a little weird. VR : good. Controller : bad! the direction is wrong, so the "fake" controller you see on screen doesn't match your own controller's position.
• Impression : great game idea and it's nice to look for clue in Lara Croft's manor.
• Motion sickness : bad, but you can choose different options to find what suits you best.








Kitchen
This is Resident Evil 7 demo for PSVR.
USA version of PSVR Demo contains this game. You can download it independently if you got the EUR version.

Not tested yet.

Super Hyper cube demo
Not tested yet.



360° Movies
Invasion
Short movie, colorful and funny animated video. You are a bunny meeting aliens from outerspace *scarryyyyy* but a friend rabbit will help you push them back from earth.

• Position Tracking: Good, but you can't move. You can only look around.
• Impression : Good choice for a first VR experience if you want to show what VR is to your family which usually don't play games.

Allumette
This movie is part of the PSVR demo (USA and PSN, NOT on the EUR disc)
You can download that video for free and independently on the PSN.

• Position Tracking: Very good ! you can actually move in the scene :D that's a good surprise for a movie.
• Impression : nice little movie. longer than I thought. it doesn't have any voices and is a little boring maybe, but it looks very good.

Applications
I think there's only one for the moment.

LittL Star Cinema
Located in the media category. It contains some short video filmed with 360° cameras.
It has different categories, music like live concert, or video clip, to travel and country discovering, or Animation, gaming, etc.

The resolution is VERY bad, everything is blurry. It's like all their movies are in 640*480 zoomed with a filter to hide pixels :(
That's plainly horrible and useless. too bad.

Note that it contains one of the free "movie" available on PSN : Invasion, but has inverted sound left/right ...
You better play the real thing from PSN, it's free and high 1080p quality !


• Position Tracking: Tracking is fine, but visual is bad.
• Impression : Really a bad experience and not a good application.

PS4 Media player
The PS4 media player is proposed in the PSVR section on PSN. I don't know if it's already capable of playing 3D videos or 360° Videos.
I don't even know which format these videos are using. I don't have any so I can't test it.
I'll test the 2D mode to see how playing a video looks like in PSVR cinema mode.

 
Last edited by Cyan,
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