Rather suitably for a game that features a hefty amount of flamethrowers, I recorded this week's episode of Ian's VR Corner on the hottest day of the year so far.
While the incredible heat of my office did compliment the nazi toasting action of Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot somewhat, I do wonder to what extent this unusually hot weather will have affected its first week of sales. As you'll be able to see in the video below, playing VR in a 40°C room is definitely not the most comfortable of experiences. I mean, who knew it was possible to sweat from your eyelids?
Cyberpilot is a spin-off of MachineGames' recent Wolfenstein titles, but you won't find yourself inhabiting the virtual shoes of any of the Blazkowicz clan. Instead you play as a nameless hacker who, thanks to some friendly resistance fighters, is able to control an assortment of nazi mechs from within the safety of a virtual cockpit.
The game can be played on PSVR with either the DualShock or twin Move controllers. I opted for the later as having independent control over each of your characters arms is a bit more immersive and the tracking worked perfectly. Each mech has a slightly different control scheme but all were pretty intuitive, with few of the frustrations that sometimes come with using the Move for first-person controls in VR. There's also the standard comfort settings in there like vignette and click turn, but they can be turned off or dialled up, depending on your preference.
Graphically, Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot is in the top tier of PSVR games. The environments are extremely detailed and its textures remained sharp at a distance, even with the lower resolution of Sony's headset. Excellent lighting, especially in the interiors, helped make every piece of scenery feel solid and real and together with some excellent sound design it created a fantastic sense of immersion.
Because there are multiple mechs to pilot, Cyberpilot's four levels feel nicely varied. Each one has a unique twist and none of them outstay their welcome so you're always discovering fun new things to do. The levels are also bookended with more sedate moments, ones that allow you to interact with the environment, solve puzzles and catch up with the story. I really appreciated the way the pacing worked here, it all flows together nicely and the regular breaks in the action mean the experience won't be too taxing for newcomers.
Sadly, on normal difficulty the game isn't very challenging and when it comes down to it the actual combat lacks any impact and often feels clumsy. It's also rather short, with a runtime of around three hours, although this is balanced out slightly by the budget price tag. Basically, if you're going into Cyberpilot expecting the standard gore-soaked, punchy, relentless shooter you'd expect from the Wolfenstein series, you're going to be disappointed.
There's a lot to love about Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot, not least the presentation which is top notch and an excellent demonstration of just how good a PSVR game can look given the right amount of time and budget. Unfortunately it's let down slightly by the fact that the experience is rather diluted compared to its flat cousins, feeling much more like a companion piece rather than a full on, stand-alone VR game.
Now please do excuse me, because I need to go and sit in a bath of ice cold water for a couple of hours.
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