While it’s still in its infancy, PSVR has already begun to accrue a variety of different gaming experiences. First impressions have much more weight than ever before as each game attempts to convince players of virtual reality’s potential worth within the industry. Lethal VR lies among the system’s first born, jumping headfirst into uncharted territory along with the rest of its ballsy brethren. As the game submerges your primary senses into a 360 degree shooting gallery, so begins the tug of war between unexpected delight and unfortunate distraction.
Precision is important–especially when it’s made mandatory when trying to aim for a target holding a future cardboard casualty hostage. Tracking issues are frequent yet fleeting, but there’s an abrasive disconnect every time your weapon wanders around independently. Specific spots on each target–typically the head and chest–will grant you extra points that help make up your final score for the stage. A single miscalculated shot, whether from your own poor judgement or the game’s inability to stabilize your aim, can mean all the difference when trying to complete each stage’s challenges without shooting a grandma in the head.
Missing your target does not negatively affect your score, however, so your trigger finger is free to freak out when civilians aren’t present. Even with the aiming issues associated with the unpredictable tracking of the Move controller, it’s pretty easy to top the local leaderboard on your first attempt. Blazing your way through the rising levels of difficulty is a simple task when you’re not worried about accuracy, quickly turning Lethal VR into a game that asks “how fast can you shoot the targets?” instead of “how well…?”.
Slinging sharp objects is the highlight feature of Lethal VR. It may take some time to familiarize yourself with the proper way to sling knives all around the room, but it’s a nice departure from the click-to-shoot mechanic exclusive to each gun. Despite their visible differences, throwing stars and knives feel nearly identical to one another. There’s not a lot of flexibility in controls here, either. You have to perform the flick of the wrist with a meticulous exactitude or watch your knife flop onto the ground three feet in front of you. Throwing the razor-tipped Bowler hat like a frisbee feels pretty awesome, though, and taking off the heads of statues feels unexpectedly fulfilling.
Weapons and scenarios are heavily influenced by a range of action flicks including Robocop, Crocodile Dundee, Kill Bill, and more, although the allusions found in each stage may be too subtle to recognize. Lethal VR provides enough information about what to do and how to do it, and even displays a small report on each weapon’s real-life characteristics as you unlock them. The game is considerate to continuously ask if your play area is clear without interrupting the flow of gameplay, which saved my spectating roommates from an accidental punch in the face on more than one occasion.
Prolonged moments of stability are few and far between. If you can stomach the moments when Lethal VR‘s tracking issues turn the PSVR into a pair of drunk goggles, you’ll find an entertaining 90 minutes filled to the razor-tipped brim with curses and cheers alike.
Review Statement: The author of this review received a PSVR code from the publisher for the purposes of this review.
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