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Hands on with Rec Royale, Playstation VR's answer to Fortnite

Ready Player One's Battlegrounds.

As a virtual reality enthusiast and a huge fan of battle royale games, I've been eagerly awaiting a VR version of the last person standing formula for a while now.

There have been a few takes on the battle royale genre on PC based VR platforms, for sure. Games like Stand Out VR or Bullets And More VR cater to those with a Vive or an Oculus but, for PSVR owners like me, the choice has been severely limited.

That's where Rec Royale comes in. Rec Royale is just a small part of Rec Room, a social VR app that acts as part meeting place, part mini-game hub where players can take part in sporting events, fantastical quests and even games of Charades.

When Rec Room first appeared on the PSVR it was in early beta and, while it had a very basic paintball-themed team deathmatch mode, it was terribly limited and was hampered massively by a teleport-only control scheme.

Move forward a few months and now Rec Room has Rec Royale, a fully-fledged, free-movement battle royale game that pits 16 players against each other on Frontier Island, a national park littered with caves, summer camps and loads of trees.

You can tell the game has been influenced by Fortnite from the off. The colourful, cartoony graphics and alliterated place names like Paintball Paradise and Thimble Theatre are dead giveaways. The biggest difference here really is the lack of building, but some (like me) would say that's a very good thing indeed.

This Fortnite inspired aesthetic means the combatants can skew rather young but, unless you're playing with squads, it's always possible to mute the voice chat to avoid a headache.

I spent a couple of hours with Rec Royale and you can watch me play both Solos and Squads modes in the video above (Spoilers: I even managed to win a match). I found it to be a pretty decent riff on the formula, albeit one that's currently rather glitchy.

Audio stutters, frame rate issues and a couple of crashes are the least of its problems. My biggest issue was with the responsiveness of picking up items. There are a large amount of guns and boosts hidden in hampers around the island, but picking them up can be quite a struggle at the moment. Fumbling around with items can easily get you killed in the early moments of a match and that's a frustration that desperately needs ironing out.

Look past those issues though and there's a load of promise here, especially when it comes to squad mode. Physically peering out of windows to snipe at enemies, or leaning around cover to pop-off a few paintballs at other teams is quite a thrill and the adrenaline rush you get when it's only you and a few others left alive is just as heady as in other battle royale games.

Best of all though, Rec Royale is completely free to play and it's cross platform so PSVR players can matchmake with gamers on both the Vive and Rift. It's still a work in progress but updates from the developer come thick and fast so it's worth keeping an eye on it, especially if you've been dying to dine on a virtual chicken dinner since you first played PUBG.

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 and Pixel Ripped 1989.

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Ian Higton avatar

Ian Higton

Video Producer

Ian is a video producer, keen streamer, VR enthusiast, battle royale fan and retro connoisseur. He lives in the West Midlands with his ZX Spectrum collection and a troublesome cat.