The Final Fantasy XV PlayStation VR Add-on is Gimmicky but Fun
Sony surprised the gaming world at E3 when it revealed that the PlayStation VR would come into play with Final Fantasy XV through an add-on experience, which would bring virtual reality to the Final Fantasy universe. While at the show I got to check out a demo for Final Fantasy XV’s VR add-on, and I found it to be very similar to an arcade light gun game, albeit in a virtual world. The experience is a bit gimmicky, but kind of fun, so as long as the add-on is priced appropriately I think it could add a fun component to the game on the PS4.
In the demo you play as Prompto, who is a gun wielding member of the FFXV squad. Using a Move controller you must take potshots at a massive beast who is also being attacked by two of your teammates. At first holding the Move controller feels a bit awkward as a pistol, but once you let go of your reality and just immerse yourself into the virtual world, your brain quickly starts to believe that you’re holding a gun, so the shooting action starts to feel very natural. It’s not a full on on-rails type of light gun experience, because you can use the Move controller to teleport yourself to another location, but you don’t have free movement, so it feels a bit scripted.
With that being said it was still fun to be inside of a Final Fantasy game. The visuals are competent enough to keep you engaged with the experience, but if they were truly HD I think this add-on would be even more rewarding for Final Fantasy fans. The less than HD visuals do hamper the immersion factor a bit, but not to the point where it feels completely hokey.
There was also a non-interactive part of the Final Fantasy XV demo, which involved you riding in a car next to Prompto, and like the shooting part it did manage to suck your senses into the game world. You could look at the surroundings in 360 degrees of virtual reality goodness, and it did feel like I was once again in the game interacting with its cast.
The Final Fantasy XV VR add-on experience definitely has potential, but due to it being an add-on and not part of the full game, it does feel a bit gimmicky. Although, even as a gimmick it’s still a cool new way to immerse yourself into one of gaming’s most iconic franchises, so as long as it doesn’t cost too much, I think most FF fans will enjoy what it has to offer if they own a PlayStation VR.
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