Occasionally here at Player2.net.au, we will play something that deserves your attention but probably doesn’t need a full review written for it. Be it DLC for the latest AAA title, a little indie game or even an Android/iOS title. We play these titles for a blockbusting amount of time (2 – 5 hours) and report back to you the reader on what we found. So grab your popcorn and settle in for the latest episode of Blockbuster Gaming.
Blockbuster Gaming – Skyrim VR
It is a running joke now that Skyrim has been released on every platform known to man. Hell, it even got a Switch version. But, in all those different versions the game has essentially been the same. Sure the graphics might be a bit prettier or it might all of a sudden be portable but Skyrim has always been….well Skyrim. But the latest system to take on Bethesda’s role-playing epic brings with it changes and dragon-slaying will never be the same. Welcome to Skyrim VR.
I was a little sceptical about Skyrim coming to VR. This is after all one massive, complex game and there was always going to have to be changes for it to work in VR. I thought that there was no way the VR experience would be a satisfying one. As it turns out I was wrong, but there are some caveats.
There are two ways to play Skryim VR, the first is pretty much how I have always played it, with a controller in hand. The only difference being I have a whopping big VR helmet on my head and I aimed by looking. This was the most enjoyable way to play and once I had fine-tuned the various VR comfort settings (like turning speed, style of turn etc) I was back in the Skryim grove and actually really enjoying my time. The second control scheme used the PS Move controllers. Now this wasn’t the best way to play, both navigating the game’s menus and moving were sub-par experiences, but the combat was some of the most fun I have had in VR so far. This control scheme allowed me to use each hand independent of each other. Aiming in two different directions, smashing close enemies with a sword while shooting flames at another and blasting bolts of lightning out of both hands so I could pretend I was Emporer Palpatine were just some of the possibilities. The combat experience is A+ and I had a blast, I just couldn’t put up with the rest of the scheme’s problems so I switched back to the traditional contoller before long.
The world its self is still a wonderful one to experience and the addition of VR enhances that. I found that I noticed a lot of small details and graphical flourishes for the first time and despite objects in the distance being noticeably blurrier than the standard editions of the game, this is still a pretty decent looking title. The real buzz came when I took on a dragon for the first time. Let me tell you, that is something special. The size of these winged beasts is breathtaking in VR and that size adds an extra dimension of tension to the battles.
All that said I do have some problems with this VR port. The first is the price. This is a full $90rrp title and there is no discount for people that own Skyrim already. I think this is a bit of a low move by Bethesda and one that is going to hurt their sales figures. I mean even at $50 it would be hard to justify purchasing considering it is now a 5-year-old game. I feel the smart play would have been to give owners of the PS4 version of Skyrim a significant discount and treat the title as stand-alone DLC. The second problem I had is really just a personal one. It made me feel like I was going to hurl, a first for a VR game for me. A couple of Travelcalm later and I was good to go, but if you are prone to the VR vomits you might want to give this one a miss.
That Skyrim VR is a great experience is not in doubt. It is a wonderful way to experience this massive fantasy world. There is a little period of adjustment to get over but fighting skeletons, dancing with dragons and ignoring housecarls is a joy in VR. That said the price is a real sticking issue and one that can’t be ignored. I cannot recommend this title, especially for owners of Skyrim on the PS4, until the price has come down significantly. The experience just isn’t worth the amount Bethesda are asking.