I was sat at my computer, mindlessly scrolling through Amazon, when something caught my eye. PSVR was on offer, with the camera, and VR worlds and Wipeout Omega. Not my usual cup of tea, but I already had one move controller from a bygone era of PS3’s eye camera, god remember that?! And I had Resident Evil 7, just sat waiting for a time that I had enough $$$ to buy the VR. I LOVE horror games, so with the prospect that I could fully immerse myself into a horror game, as in actually become a part of the mechanics and narrative, it was truly a dream come true.
So it was at this point that it all went horribly wrong. I’m all set up, VR headset ready, watching YouTube video on how to limit my glasses fogging up with the headset on. The PSVR headset, with its flappy exterior edges, does a far better job at accommodating people with spectacles than headsets at a far higher price point, so kudos there. I place the headset on and loaded up the game, DualShock in hand. It was at this exact moment that the true enormity of being in Virtual Reality hit. My first problem was not taking the advice of a lot of the YouTube videos I had seen – ease yourself in. Motion sickness was becoming a real problem within half an hour, and I felt the tempestuousness of my stomach beginning to burble up to my mouth. I had to take a break. The next issue I had was neck strain. I was so in awe of complete immersion that I could not for the life of me keep my head still. I was cranking my head this way and that at every given opportunity, turning 360* in my chair, so by the time a full hour was up I had a splitting headache.
My first interaction with the PSVR was not at all what I expected, but I had spent a significant amount of money and I love the concept, so I was not about to let it get the better of me. I left REVII it for the day and tried the VR worlds, which were good, short (sometimes boring) and exactly what they were billed to do, a good introduction into what the VR is capable of. Having
a few hours of that under my belt, I felt much more confident giving Resident Evil another go. It was at this point, as I started making my way further through, that I realised the most significant problem. During particularly scary moments in some of my favourite games, I was always able to look at it as if looking at a TV, to stand up, walk away, pull the headphones off. I was absolutely not ready, for the complete terror that VR gives when playing a horror game. Ripping off a VR headset is painful, and can damage the headset, so you learn that you have to just stay in the world, and that only adds to the claustrophobia. By the third jump scare I was truly in a new level of fear, gripping the DualShock so hard that I ripped the coating of the analogue sticks off with my nails. The fact is, in my sick head, I had found the ultimate way to find fun, and it was on a level that I hadn’t felt before. My only caveat was that I was wary of not spending too long in the headset for fears of motion sickness and headaches, so my escapades with VR horror were short and sweet.
I bought it for the horror games but I have since utilised the free PSN games given to me, Mechanised Combat, Until Dawn Rush of Blood, and all the VR freebies. Other notables are SuperHot VR and WipeOut Omega the latter of which was the most fun I have had with a racing game for years. Not to mention Skyrim VR, which can be a little hard to play and looks like a potato, but SKYRIM!
PSVR is, of course, available now at all major retail outlets.