If you're looking for an episode of Ian's VR Corner over on our YouTube channel today you're going to be disappointed - there isn't one. Don't worry though, the series isn't over, it just went up a little earlier in the week instead!
Our regular Tuesday streaming slot collided with the launch of this week's big PSVR release, Evasion, so I thought I'd try combining the two for a special, streamed episode of Ian's VR Corner. That means there's 90 minutes of unedited and uncensored, VR visuals for you to enjoy in the video below.
If you've watched the pre-release trailers for Evasion you'll be forgiven for thinking that it was some kind of follow-up to Farpoint, Impulse Gear's sci-fi shooter that launched alongside Sony's Aim controller last year.
The visuals in Evasion are strikingly similar to those in Farpoint's earlier levels, featuring dusty Martian landscapes littered with rocks and metallic debris. In Farpoint however, the levels evolve as you progress, going from claustrophobic sandstorms to nail-biting balancing acts along a narrow cliff edge.
Farpoint was full of jaw dropping views and vistas that worked spectacularly in VR to create a grand sense of scale and the feeling of being left stranded and alone. Thanks to the unimaginative level design, moments like this were sorely missing from Evasion and ultimately this feels like a waste of VR's potential.
Aside from the occasional man-made base to fight on, the scenery in the first 90 minutes of Evasion was often bland and repetitive. You've put me on an alien planet for Pete's sake - give me something exotic and alien to look at rather than just another pile of rocks!
As with Farpoint, the core gameplay mechanics in Evasion basically boil down to 'shoot all the shooty things'. The comparisons end here though because instead of one character with multiple guns, in Evasion you can choose from four classes, each with its own unique skills. So, you have the heavy with a shotgun style weapon and a large shield, a medic with a semi-auto gun and a healing ability and so on.
Not that this has much effect on the look of the weapons though, no matter which class you choose the gun model stays pretty much the same. Plus, considering this is made with the Aim controller in mind, there are no weapon sights to look down. Raising the peripheral to your face to look down a virtual sight is one of the simplest, but most pleasing gimmicks that the Aim controller provides and it seems strange that it's not included.
On the plus side, free-movement around each level does feel really good and there are a lot of comfort options available in the settings. While you can play the game with a Dual Shock, the sheer amount of enemies the game throws at you means that the Aim really is the best way to go. You'll need to be constantly moving to avoid the hail of bullets from your enemies but once I got used to deflecting those bullets with my gun mounted shield, defeating each wave of enemies really wasn't much of a challenge.
What I will say though is that the firefights can get pretty intense, so much so that I worked up a bit of a sweat during the stream. You get that familiar rush of adrenaline once you start getting overwhelmed sure, and the feeling of firing guns in VR will never not be cool, but as a whole package everything feels mediocre and in the end I was mindlessly forcing my way through the story.
At a base level, Evasion is just another wave shooter, albeit one with a bit of mobility thrown into the mix to ratchet the action up a notch. But, by concentrating on the gunplay and leaving the world building as an afterthought, Evasion seems devoid of some of some of the most basic VR thrills.
In a world where we have Astro Bot Rescue Mission and Firewall Zero Hour, games which push VR to its limits and bring you stunning moments of immersion, Evasion, which tries nothing new at all, is sadly forgettable.
If you enjoyed this episode of Ian's VR Corner, you can catch up with my previous adventures over on YouTube in our VR playlist, where I get silly with Kona VR, Salary Man Escape, The Exorcist: Legion VR, Killing Floor: Incursion, The Persistence, Detached, Pixel Ripped 1989, Rec Royale, Arizona Sunshine, Transference , Zone of The Enders 2, Downward Spiral: Horus Station and Astro Bot Rescue Mission.