What makes a good virtual reality first-person shooter? Give me a analog stick to move my feet and a giant plastic PlayStation Aim gun to steer me by. The hordes of alien spiders are optional. Seriously, stop it with the spiders, Farpoint.
I only recently acquired PlayStation VR, so Impulse Gear’s Farpoint is my first encounter with console-based virtual reality. It’s a game about a pair of scientists stranded on an alien planet and the well-armed shuttle pilot who plans to fight his way through the spider-coated hellscape to rescue them and bring them home.
But really it’s about this big honking PlayStation Aim controller.
Farpoint does not require the Aim controller. You can purchase the game for $49.99 and have a fine time just using your Dual Shock. But for an additional $30 you can look like a lazy cosplayer and feel like Captain Spidercide of the Special Spider-Shooting Space Squad.
As silly as the Aim controller looks, it works incredibly well, both as a gun and a navigation device. As a virtual weapon it’s got a cool holographic sight you can stare down as you mow down alien insects. One trigger on the outside of the front grip handle alternate fire types like rockets such, the other scans holographic echoes, basically log entries for the scientists you’re tracking across the surface of this strange planet.
As for movement, there’s an analog stick on the inside of the front grip that steers, with the default controls moving the player forward in the direction the gun is pointing. It’s a little awkward at first, but no more so than a normal first-person shooter that leaves a weapon at the bottom of the screen at all times.
It’s a nice feeling, wielding this fake weapon as you explore a fake planet filled with creatures that aren’t technically spiders but close the hell enough for me.
I was expecting a very awkward experience. Instead, I almost forgot I was in virtual reality at all. No, I didn’t mistake Farpoint for actually reality. I just wasn’t constantly thinking about it, which is something you do when you’re in a bad VR game.
You can watch me play, commentary free, in the video atop this post. Note the outstanding voice acting, the copious special effects and the way my arm jerks every time a damn spider creatures comes skittling out.
That’s my biggest problem with Farpoint so far. In case you haven’t noticed, I have a thing against spiders. Maybe I’ll try a little online co-op later. Someone to push in front of the spiders is always helpful.