Let’s be real with ourselves my fellow VR headset early adapters, there just haven’t been many titles that resemble traditional gaming experiences regardless of the VR unit you own. The PC capable VR headsets have faired better with software support than the console-based PSVR, but there really hasn’t been a game that stands out as being a must-play experience. Well, if you own a PSVR unit, that has now changed thanks to the arrival of Farpoint from Impulse Gear. When this game is coupled with the AIM controller, it easily provides one of the most immersive and lifelike shooter experiences around, and it even offers up a compelling sci-fi narrative to keep you engaged with its rather interesting story. Simply put, Farpoint is why I became interested in VR gaming in the first place, and it feels good to know that my PSVR isn’t just a demo playing device anymore.
Farpoint excels thanks to the high level of polish Impulse Gear provided for nearly all aspects of it. Visually, it’s stunning, even if you only have a standard PS4. The mysterious planet you spend most of the game on feels alive, and allows you to slip into the role of the nameless protagonist as if you were the one who got sucked through a wormhole and ended up on an alien world. Everywhere you look provides a sense of reality, and the depth of the world is magnificent in terms of its visuals. The characters also feel alive, and put Mass Effect Andromeda’s animations to shame, even the patched version. The moments where you watch cinematics in between missions were some of my most treasured, because thanks to the high quality visuals and character models, your emotions buy into what is unfolding and you begin to feel for the characters involved. Nothing feels phony or generic about the world of Farpoint, which is a credit to its overall design, especially its visuals.
In terms of gameplay though, this is where Farpoint really blows away the competition. I must add that I played with the AIM controller, which is basically a Move controller configured like a rifle, and I highly recommend it because it completely makes you feel like you’re wielding a futuristic arsenal in the palm of your hands. This is reinforced by the graphics again, because the tracking makes the prop you’re holding look so real in the game that it’s hard not to feel like a badass. As you make your way through the game’s fairly lengthy campaign you’ll be able to wield assault rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles, and even alien weapons, so the variety is nice and offers different ways of laying waste to the Starship Troopers-like bugs that try to kill you every step of the way. I just really enjoyed the combat, because thanks to the VR setting and excellent design, you instantly slip out of your own reality and become part of the game, which hasn’t been the case for most of the available PSVR titles.
Quite frankly though, I appreciated this game’s story the most because I’m a sucker for sci-fi and the way Impulse dribbles out plot points really kept me engaged with the narrative. Even after headset fatigue set in I would want to keep going, which is a testament to this game’s overall design package. With the immersive visuals and the compelling gunplay in place the interesting plot completes this game’s trinity of VR excellence. Developers should look to Impulse Gear, at least those working on PSVR titles, because this studio has finally found the secret to making a VR game that has all the bells and whistles of a traditional one, in addition to also making the experience highly enjoyable and compelling.
If you own the PSVR you must pickup Farpoint, and I highly recommend grabbing it with the AIM controller bundle for $79.99. I’ve appreciated my PSVR, but after playing Farpoint I now feel better about my purchase because it just provides everything I’ve wanted in a VR experience. It has great technical execution, an interesting sci-fi tale, and gameplay that truly does transport you to a different world while also allowing you to become a badass with a gun. If you do pick it up, I suggest enabling turning as it makes the game feel even more like a real-life FPS, but if motion sickness kicks in the default setting is still pretty damn reliable. If going to an alien planet through a wormhole and battling aliens with rad weapons sounds like a good time to you, then you’ve finally found the PSVR game you’ve been looking for in Farpoint.
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Review Statement: The author of this review purchased the AIM controller bundle with Farpoint for the purposes of this review.