If you’ve ever wanted to see what a futuristic game of dodgeball may look like, Smashbox Arena has the answer. The game is now out for the PlayStation VR, so I strapped on my headset and took to the digital battlefield to battle both human-controlled and AI-controlled combatants. The game definitely features an interesting concept, but the execution isn’t quite at a level that makes it a must-play VR gaming experience.
You can get my full review of the game below via the embedded video or script.
Hey now dodgeball fans, Matt Heywood here from EntertainmentBuddha.com to review Smashbox Arena for the PlayStation VR.
If you’ve ever wondered what dodgeball could look like in the future, Smashbox may hold the key. It’s a 3v3 multiplayer VR game that offers physics based power-ups and similar rules to a game of Dodgeball.
You use two PS Move controllers, which in-game appear as gun-like devices. With these you can pick up glowing orbs to throw at the enemy team to try and knock them out, as well as use them for defense by catching orbs being thrown at you.
In addition to these standard orbs there are also special pick-ups such as a grenade orb, a boulder orb, a sniper orb, a heat seeking orb and so on. These can really change up a match if you pick one up, as each can take out more than one combatant if used correctly.
In terms of modes there is a campaign, which is just a single-player version of a match that plays out over a series of games and can yield you new character skins to use.
There is also a multiplayer mode to compete against live players from around the world or on your friends list. The campaign becomes pretty dull fast, and your AI teammates are useless, so if you get taken out, your team has no chance of beating the enemy AI. This can lead to having to replay a match, which in turn starts to amp up this game’s monotonous meter.
The gameplay just feels slow and not fluid enough. This is due to how you must move around, which is done through the good old teleport tactic that VR games employ to avoid motion sickness. By doing this you literally re-load yourself on different points of the map, so the gameplay becomes choppy and erratic as you try to get your bearings after each teleportation.
The multiplayer is definitely more fun, but the player base is quite small, so finding a match can take time. I also experienced a good amount of lag in each match I played, which is compounded in a VR game due to the fact that your body movements are delayed in registering the corresponding in-game movement.
Smashbox Arena sounds fun on paper, but in reality it’s a mediocre VR game with a price point that is a bit too high to recommend for what it offers. It earns itself a 6 out of 10 review score. There is potential in a game like this, but Smashbox just doesn’t feel fluid enough to make it a title I’d recommend to other VR gaming enthusiasts.
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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.