PlayStation VR Worlds

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Given that every headset already comes with a demo disc that offers a selection of different experiences to try, VR Worlds finds itself in a curious position. A disparate set of tech demos of varying quality, it’s a novelty selection box that would work really well as a permanent fixture in a PSVR demo unit (were it not for the fact that The London Heist has quite the mouth on it, at least) but that falls incredibly flat as a commercial product.

The main reason for this is a complete lack of longevity in all five titles. Ocean Descent is the worst offender in this regard, a barely-interactive diving experience that runs for ten minutes or so, and while cool the first time, you’ll never want or need to run it more than once, especially since the two unlockable dives are just dull truncated versions of the main one. There’s a little more substance to VR Luge, but it’s just not very much fun – a lack of collision with vehicles removes all sense of risk and cripples the experience’s impact and thrill, plus the sense of speed is never that great to begin with and it’s uncomfortable to play.

Things do pick up elsewhere, it must be said, and although we’ve seen most of it before at various preview events, The London Heist is the pick of the bunch. It’s short, sure, but it’s a great showcase for a level of detail and interactivity that should come as standard in VR-centric games. Played with Move (the preferable control system), you can fiddle with trinkets while the Cockney mobsters reel off their so-badit’s-good cliché dialogue, or mess with radios and air-cons while chugging a soda and gunning down bikers – it’s the playful freedom of something like Job Simulator presented as a secondary feature rather than the focus of a game and in something as knowingly daft as this, it works brilliantly.

Some of the minor details really make us excited for future titles that heed its advice, too – NPCs comment on and react to all kinds of gestures and head movements, plus there are a good amount of subtle interactions with the world itself. Scavengers Odyssey, meanwhile, feels like a missed opportunity, its brainbending, stomach-turning gravity-defying leaps a sensation worlds apart from its tedious combat.

Given the nature of the game and how it sees you leaping through space and hurtling around at a fair pace, it’s best played after the others, once your eyes and brain are more acclimatised to the VR experience – like RIGS, it’s an intense ride and so probably not the best place to start your VR adventure.

Danger Ball, despite its name, fits that role far better, a simple 3D version of Pong where the paddle is moved simply by looking around. If you’re likely to be showing off your new headset to a bunch of different people, VR Worlds is a fair showcase for the new hardware, if one where only The London Heist stands out over anything on the stock demo disc. If only one or two people are likely to experience it, though, it’s simply not worth the outlay.

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