Skydance Interactive’s first ever video game IP has hit the hands and eyes of gamers this week with the launch of Archangel VR for the PS4 and PC. I strapped on my PSVR and took to a 60-foot mech in epic fashion as I blasted my way through the game’s 4-6 hour campaign. Overall I found it to provide a solid VR FPS gaming experience, so it’s more than just a tech demo, it’s a real deal video game set in a virtual world.
You can check out my full review below via the video or included script.
Hey now you mech-loving gamers, Matt Heywood here for EntertainmentBuddha.com to review Skydance Interactives first ever title, Archangel VR, which is now available for PC and PS4.
In Archangel you are immersed in a virtual world that is set in the year 2089. The Earth has been decimated due to in-fighting over resources, and the HUMNX corporations has taken over the world with its technologically advanced war machine.
You play as Gabe or Gabby Walker, who is codenamed Guardian, and is a hero of the Free Forces still fighting back against HUMNX. Guardian just so happens to be a driver of a massive Pacific Rim-looking mech, which is your main tool of destruction throughout this game’s 4-6 hour campaign. It’s up to you, your VR headset, and two motion controllers to take the fight to HUMNX while also experiencing the sadness and rage that accompanies the loss people feel when they’re loved ones are taken from them.
I first became a fan of this game back at this year’s E3, which is where I got to preview a demo of its final build. Even back then I new SKydance had crafted a fine VR gaming experience, and now after playing it in full with the PSVR, I can say it’s definitely one of the more fine crafted VR titles around, and is easily one of the best overall VR games to release to date.
Visually it looks phenomenal, even on the under powered PS4. I definitely for the first time felt like I was missing out on a game’s full polish by not having a PS4 Pro, but even on the standard PS4 Archangel looks great thanks to its use of Unreal Engine 4.
Textures are crisp and not blurry, the sense of scale of sitting in a massive 60-foot tall mech is empowering, and the varied environments you play through help to keep the game’s campaign feeling and looking fresh.
The game also has fantastic tracking, which just adds greatly to the immersion factor. Every move of my arms was instantly translated to the arms of my mech, so I felt one with the machine, just as Guardian does ever time he jacks in and connects with its AI M1, who ends up being a solid companion throughout the campaign.
In terms of gameplay the excellent tracking only makes the on rails shooting aspect feel that much more precise. You are given a gun on your right arm, and a rocket on your left, so using the PS Move controllers you essentially become the mech yourself as you blast legions of HUMNX soldiers and machinations to smithereens.
Each level also features some sort of boss fight, and there is also an endgame boss, so like Farpoint, which I consider to be the best overall VR game of 2017, Archangel manages to feel like a full on FPS set in a VR world, and not just a VR tech demo pretending to be a FPS.
Archangel is no slouch when it comes to difficulty either, as things get pretty hairy the deeper you wade into the campaign. You not only have to be quick with your two arms firing weapons, but you must also use the energy shields on both of the mech’s arms to defend incoming attacks. This is not a game where you can just spray and pray, you actually have to work out patterns and attack strategies, which I appreciated greatly.
The only bummer about the difficulty is that if you die Archangel at times has crappy checkpoints that require you to retrace your steps and rewatch unstoppable cutscenes. It also takes a bit to load said checkpoints, so the waiting game does get a bit frustrating if you hit a snag.
Archangel, like Farpoint, is a real game set in a VR world. It doesn’t feel like a tech demo in the least. It has an interesting enough story to drive you through each level. The gameplay uses VR tech very well, providing for high levels of immersion, which makes it very easy to slip away from reality and become a pilot of a badass Jaeger-style mech. I wish it lasted longer, but for a VR game its 4-6 hour campaign is about par for the course.
If you liked Pacific Rim and have always wanted to feel what it would be like to pilot a massive mech, then Archangel is for you. It earns an 8 out of 10 review score from Team EB, and comes with a high recommendation to play if you have the gear to do so.
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Review Statement: The author of this review was provided a PS4 code by the publisher for the purposes of this review.