Farpoint is the latest big Sony developed VR title that is meant to remind you that PlayStation VR still exists. It’s been a little bit disappointing to see software for the VR headset not live up to the otherwise fantastic hardware, with developers still cautious over its appeal and penetration. So it’s really up to Sony to keep that fire alive, and Farpoint has been one of the poster titles for PSVR since day one. But how does it fare now that it’s actually out?
Reviews for the VR games have started pouring in, and there’s a general tone to all of them. Farpoint seems to be a fantastic use of both VR and the new PlayStation Aim Controller (which allows you to use the Move controllers in a gun configuration). But it doesn’t hide the fact that Farpoint is a pretty run of the mill shooter by modern standards.
While Farpoint‘s different parts, taken individually, lean a little too heavily on inspiration from existing pop culture properties that have already been strip mined, they all fit together into a neat package. The game nails the basics of aiming and firing a gun in a way that’s incredibly satisfying — even if the Aim controller feels more mandatory than optional. Farpoint may seem basic in a few years, once VR design has progressed past the point of simple shooters. But right now, as developers are still wrestling with the language of virtual reality, it’s tough to get the basics right in any VR game, much less a big budget shooter. Farpoint isn’t perfect, but it nails those basics.
My enjoyment of Farpoint is inherently tethered to my experience with it in VR. As a shooter it’s only slightly above average. But the team was able to incorporate various elements of sight, sound, and touch (by way of the Aim Controller) to elevate it. Here’s hoping that more games actually make use of it.
Farpoint is a game that does its job well, showing off PlayStation VR and the PlayStation VR Aim Controller. The act of shooting feels great and intuitive in the game thanks to the controller. Unfortunately, while VR adds to the experience, it doesn’t hide what’s a fairly rote and basic shooter from an earlier era of gaming.
At its heart, Farpoint is a budget game, sold and promoted as a AAA title. The Aim controller lifts the gunplay above the mediocre but once that novelty wears off it’s hard not to notice just how basic everything is. For newcomers to VR it can be a jaw-dropping experience made all the more novel thanks to the Aim controller. For everyone else, especially VR veterans, Farpoint is simply a shooting gallery whose one grand idea is placing a slightly bigger lump of plastic in your hands.
Farpoint leans on novelty to make up for its shortcomings elsewhere, but wielding the PlayStation VR Aim Controller is such a unique experience that it papers over some dated game design. The story is cheesy but has some nice moments, and the action really ramps up towards the tail of the campaign. With an arcade mode and co-op included, Impulse Gear’s inaugural outing is a fulfilling offering, and while there are obvious improvements that could be made, there’s enough here to prove that blockbuster first-person shooters could find a home on PlayStation VR yet.
That’s slightly disappointing for a game that has been synonymous with PSVR marketing since its reveal. Farpoint might help justify your purchase of the headset with some novel uses of its hardware, but if the game isn’t that captivating it again forces you to ask why you own the headset in the first place. We’ll have our own review for Farpoint up soon.
Last Updated: May 16, 2017