Tag Archives: VR

Blasters of the Universe review (PSVR)

Wave-based shooters are a dime a dozen on PSVR, so why should you invest in another one? If you’ve played one then you’ve played them all, right?…Wrong. Thanks to Blasters of the Universe’s high quality, compelling action, and customisations options galore it stands out from the crowd…oh and then there’s the bullet-hell.

After the novelty of a new VR wave-based arena has worn off, I rarely returned for more but Blasters of the Universe nails that “just one more go” vibe. The style of the game sits somewhere between Blood Dragon and Tron. The self-proclaimed bullet-hell shooter paints the story of an arcade champ whose fame has gone to his head and he becomes fully digitised into the world he loves, challenging the next wannabe champion to best his creations.

The four wave-based worlds demand a variety of skills to be mastered, from being a crack shot to side-stepping and ducking the torrent of incoming fire that will ultimately be flung your way. Each world is climaxed with a boss battle, which forces you to mix up your tactics in order to grind down their health bar, and in terms of difficulty, normal mode has its moments but is a fairly easy going romp through VR bullet-hell. Hell mode however, can get pretty intense.

Despite having a portable shield you will inevitably need to keep on the move. With only five hearts of health you can end up becoming derezzed pretty quickly if you don’t keep your head on a swivel. It really puts you on your toes. Despite ducking and diving, which I’ll admit to picking up quite the sweat, the PSVR unit didn’t mist up – a real testament to the build quality of the headset.

Blasters of the Universe’s world is bright and vibrant – full of arcade tropes and neon blemishes – it looks great, and the experience of a tunnel of bullets passing around your head is pretty darn cool. Thankfully the devs have seen fit to only make your head the ‘hit area’ so you needn’t worry about your arms or the blaster your wield, this makes the prospect of surviving far less daunting.

The blaster itself is an odd construction of random parts that wouldn’t look out of place in the world of Fallout. Once unlocked, you can mix and match a variety parts to construct a blaster that suits your play style. From magazines that recharge, to barrels that fire more rapidly, there are tons of combinations that can be assembled and tested within the armoury.

A timed challenge mode resets periodically with new objectives, which will keep returning fans hooked, while those addicted to the intensity of gameplay will undoubtedly want to better their scores in the campaign, best the hell difficulty or just see how long they can survive in endless mode. Beyond that there is a limited amount of gameplay with only four worlds to choose from.

I was super impressed by the response of the PSVR. I could duck down low and still pull off an accurate shot. I could dance about like a loony, dodging multiple bullets and not find that my PSVR had misted up. But most of all, I had a lot of fun. Blasters of the Universe has nailed bullet hell VR, but it’s a shame more couldn’t have been made of the story, which I found extremely lacking – especially considering the premise of the title.

Wave-based nasties, boss battles, challenge modes and a whole host of customisation options, Blasters of the Universe is easy on the eye and will entice you with its soft approach but snare your attention for hours on end.

Thanks to Wonacott Communications, LLC for supporting TiX

We’ve launched a new site: This is VR

We are very pleased to announce that we’ve launch a new site dedicated to covering VR games: This is VR.

So please head on over to the new site, add it to your favourites, follow their Twitter feed @ThisisVRUK and keep an eye on the VR news, feature, reviews and previews coming your way.

Already they have two reviews for you: The Collider 2 and FATED: The Silent Oath, as well as an interview with Frima Studio’s Vincent Martel.

What Virtual Reality Could Mean for Gaming

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With virtual reality rapidly becoming the “it” topic to discuss in both tech and gaming, it’s only appropriate to think about the impact of VR on gaming as we know it and what it could mean for our favorite pastime. Of course, we’ve seen some previews of what developers have in store, but what about when these games become properly available for all to boot up and, hopefully, enjoy? Of course, the outcome of all this depends on how the general public receives VR in the gaming realm and whether or not people decide to spend money on it. However, it’s still worth thinking about what this piece of tech could do for gaming on multiple levels, from the best Xbox titles to casual/old-school games.

In dreaming up images of which games on the 360 and Xbox One would be best for virtual reality, it’s difficult to think of anything else but first-person shooters and MMORPGs, especially those with a strong narrative. With that in mind, one title quick sprang to mind: Bioshock Infinite. If you read our review of this game or played it for yourself, then you are certainly aware of just how utterly fantastic it is. If not, you have two options:

  • Find a way to play it immediately, because it’s probably better than whatever game is sitting in your console. Seriously.
  • Read through the compelling arguments being made for why it’s the best game of this generation.

Now, that all being said, can you imagine a game like this being play in virtual reality? Of course, it almost goes without saying that properly executing a game such as Bioshock Infinite in VR is probably impossible at this point. However, if it could be pulled off, can you imagine how many people would scoop up the Oculus Rift or Morpheus? The things would fly off the shelves faster than Tickle Me Elmo or whichever toy is popular with the youngsters these days.

The same could be said if, somehow, the phenomenal Elder Scrolls Online—yes, we reviewed this one too—made its way to a VR device. Some tech writers have opined that Sony and Microsoft are likely getting ready to shell out big money to translate their best titles to the land of virtual reality. Whether or not this happens is anyone’s guess, but the power of these devices is apparently there in terms of handling current generation games.

When it comes to the more casual games mentioned earlier, there’s really nothing that VR tech shouldn’t be able to accomplish. And in some cases, that’s happened, such as with the virtual casino title released for the Oculus Rift in summer 2014. In this game, the player can virtually play all the typical casino offerings like slots and blackjack. As intriguing as that sounds, it all happens in a “virtual” setting that can’t capture the feeling of playing against an actual human dealer. Sure enough, that technology already exists, with offerings like Texas Hold’em and roulette available for gamers who want the Las Vegas experience without having to actually travel there. Now just imagine being able to do that while wearing an Oculus headset and interacting with other players and dealers (with projected, life-like imagery, of course)?

And if that type of setup was possible, let’s take it one step further for consoles: transform the emulation approach of backwards compatibility and make it exist in VR. In other words, make it so you have to “walk” to a different room or area in your Xbox Live dashboard to fire up an original Xbox or 360 so you can play those games (that are then instantly brought to the forefront of your headset). Are we getting carried away? OK, we are absolutely getting a bit carried away—a virtual arcade just sounds so awesome—but it’s tough not going above and beyond with your hopes for VR when the technology is advancing so rapidly.

The Assembly VR demo playable at EGX 2015

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EGX, the UK’s largest games event, and nDreams, the UK’s biggest specialist VR developer-publisher, are excited to announce that nDreams’ immersive virtual reality game The Assembly will be playable publicly for the first time at EGX this 24th – 27thSeptember.

The Assembly is an incredibly immersive story-driven, character-focussed first-person adventure game built from the ground-up for all the major VR headsets, including Oculus Rift (Windows PC), Project Morpheus (PlayStation 4) and HTC Vive (SteamVR). At EGX the team will be demoing the game on the Oculus Rift. At its core, this unique VR experience offers players moral dilemma, discovery, exploration and mystery. All from the dual perspectives of the game’s two main characters.

Over the summer, we’ve been busy enhancing every part of The Assembly, from its story and setting to its gameplay and graphics

, said Patrick O’Luanaigh, CEO of nDreams.

Until now, we’ve only exhibited the game to the press, so we’re thrilled to be giving The Assembly its first major public outing at EGX in Birmingham. We’re really looking forward to seeing what the gaming community make of our adventure in VR!

David Lilley, Managing Director of Gamer Events, added,

nDreams are at the forefront of virtual reality storytelling. We can’t wait for the public to get their hands on The Assembly for the first time and experience what is possible with this incredible new technology.

Check out nDream’s E3 2015 trailer for a taste of what to expect