After previously being released on Oculus and HTC Vive platforms, arcade sci-fi shooter VR Invaders finally makes its way to PSVR. I’m pleased to say the jump has been extremely successful as VR Invaders is a dynamic, simple and well executed game.
As the name might suggest VR Invaders is a VR arcade game in which you must shoot down waves of enemies using a variety of weapons. The core game play is simple, you hold a gun in one hand and a shield in the other. Both are tied to a move controller. VR Invaders‘ best asset is its impeccable tracking. You might think that in going from HTC Vive to PSVR some of the freedom of movement might be lost. This is absolutely not the case as the game gives the player a surprising amount of space to move around in.
There are points in the game where you must dodge lasers, all the while deflecting bullets with the shield and shooting down foes. It’s moments like this where the frenetic game play really comes into its own. VR Invaders is a very physical game which demands 100% of the players’ attention throughout which really adds a sense of pace.
There’s a light story line to enjoy as well. It’s a fairly cliched sci-fi tale of corrupt organisations and AIs gone amok, but does add a layer of depth to the proceedings. The back and forth between the two main characters is playful and breaks up the relentless action nicely.
The environments are semi-destructible and enemies spin out of control as you fire. Great particle effects and dynamic lighting really spur the action on, and the sci-fi soundtrack really ties it all together. There are a handful of weapon power ups available which all feel unique enough to keep the non-stop shooting interesting. I do wish that there was a wider selection available, maybe some explosives or special moves but what’s on offer is just enough to suffice.
Visually the game is pretty solid. Textures are clear and the environments are interesting enough to draw your attention. Most importantly the game stays steady even when things get hectic, spotting enemies in the corner of your eye and turning to shoot them down always feels intuitive and comfortable throughout the whole game.
Enemy types are incredibly diverse too. While some are your standard cannon-fodder, others require you to shoot specific points in order to destroy them. Boss battles are varied enough to feel challenging every time, with the final boss being a particular highlight.
There are eight levels to play through, a survival mode and a firing range. My only real gripe with the game is how short it is. There’s little reason to return to the game once the credits roll, barre the various leader boards and survival mode of course. During my time with survival mode I did experience an issue where the next wave of enemies failed to load, and due to there being no way to exit a level whilst playing, lead to me having to restart the game. Other than this though the game ran very well indeed. Shooting feels tight and the slo-mo power up is a very nice touch.
VR Invaders is a very simple game, sure. But it also absolutely nails every little thing it sets out to do. The excellent shooting mechanics along with dynamic enemies and laser dodging action make this game a cut above the rest. It also features some of the best tracking I’ve experience in any VR game, allowing for a sense of movement not usually seen on this particular platform.