GamersField-Gaming Reviews
Ian goes hands on with Audica, Harmonix's new rhythm shooter for VR
Sun, 17 Mar 2019 14:00:00 +0000

Beat Saber is an honest-to-goodness VR masterpiece that recently became one of the first VR games in the world to have sold over 1 million copies.

The core mechanic; chopping virtual blocks with virtual swords to a pumping soundtrack is as simple as it is brilliant and if I'm demoing VR to a newcomer, Beat Saber is always top of the pile. This is mainly due to how incredible it feels to play but also because it's just so easy to get to grips with. And I mean, come on, a game that lets you wield lightsabers like some kind of badass, drum 'n' bass Jedi? How could that not be the height of awesomeness?

Obviously the phenomenal success of Beat Saber was bound to spawn imitators sooner or later, so who better to try its hand at some VR rhythm action than Harmonix, the company behind Guitar Hero, Rockband and Dance Central.

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Watch Ian play the first hour of The Wizards: Enhanced Edition live on PSVR
Sun, 10 Mar 2019 13:00:00 +0000

Due to an unfortunate bout of the flu, I wasn't able to record an episode of Ian's VR Corner this week. I'm not about to let some nasty virus stop me from spreading the VR love though, especially when I've been given exclusive permission to preview the first hour of next week's big PSVR release.

From 2pm GMT today I'll be streaming 60 minutes worth of The Wizards: Enhanced Edition gameplay on PSVR to see how this magical adventure game handles on a PS4 Pro. All you need to do is press play on the video below and, when the clock hits 2pm, you'll be magically transported to my VR Corner where I'll be testing the game and giving you my first impressions of the gameplay, controls and comfort settings.

Hey now, hey now, the stream is over... So what did I think? Well I came away feeling mostly positive about the whole experience and definitely would have continued playing and streaming past the allotted time if I'd have been able.

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Honor And Duty: D-Day brings old-school FPS action to PSVR
Sun, 03 Mar 2019 14:00:00 +0000

14 years ago I was mad into Call of Duty 2 multiplayer. It was back during the heyday of Xbox Live on the Xbox 360, when online multiplayer for home consoles felt like a relatively new thing. The amount of hours I sank into COD 2 multiplayer back then was probably bordering on the unhealthy, but time sure does fly when you're having fun and all that.

Playing it nowadays, Call of Duty 2 multiplayer seems so basic and quaint, comprising of simple kill or be killed game modes with none of this modern jet-packing, reviving and loot crating malarky. Even with today's advances in online multiplayer (I'm looking at you, lovely, lovely battle royale games) I often feel a twang of nostalgia for some old-school, WW2-based first person shooter action. That's why Honor and Duty: D-Day caught my eye when it released on the Playstation Store earlier in the week.

The VR multiplayer matches in Honor and Duty: D-Day feel like they come straight out of the COD 2 playbook and you can watch me try it out in this week's episode of Ian's VR Corner, which you can find just below these very words.

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Watch Ian gets to grips with Dick Wilde 2 in this week's VR Corner
Sun, 24 Feb 2019 14:00:00 +0000

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a good penis pun every now and then, but when that's the most interesting thing about your game, you've got a bit of a problem.

The original Dick Wilde was little more than a shooting gallery with colourful graphics and a title that made YouTube want to demonetise videos. While its sequel, Dick Wilde 2 does a few things to try and improve on the old formula, the tedious gameplay loop of standing still and pointing at things remains; as you'll be able to see in this week's Ian's VR Corner.

The original Dick Wilde saw you rooted to the spot on a stationary raft, shooting at wave upon wave of aggressive, swamp-dwelling critters. The gameplay was as varied as the contents of a packet of Ready Salted crisps and it was incredibly tough, a combination that frustrated many of its players.

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Despite a promising demo, PSVR adventure game Eden Tomorrow ends up disappointing
Sun, 17 Feb 2019 14:00:00 +0000

Last month a free demo for Eden Tomorrow appeared on the Playstation Store. The first 30 minutes of this sci-fi adventure game were included and after playing it through on stream, I came away with high hopes. It seemed more polished than your average PSVR title and the demo ended on a cliffhanger which (as any good demo should) left me excited to experience what happened next.

Unfortunately, after recording myself playing through the first hour and a half of the full release, I'm sad to report that the game never really reaches the heights promised by the demo. In actual fact, after passing the point where the demo ends, the overall quality starts taking a noticeable dip and what I thought was going to be a rip-roaring space adventure, quickly turns into a dull guided tour around bland, brown and basic environments.

You can watch my disappointment unfold in this week's episode of Ian's VR Corner below, which kicks off with a belter of a tune, even if I do say so myself.

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Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs is Angry Birds in VR and not much else
Sun, 10 Feb 2019 14:00:00 +0000

Crikey, the Angry Birds franchise is going to be 10 years old this year! How time flies and other assorted bird puns...

In the past, the Angry Birds have spread their wings and hung out in the Star Wars Universe, they've starred in their very own Hollywood movie and they've even opened a theme park or two. That's why it's rather surprising that, aside from some fan made mods and prototypes, Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs is the first time the burbs have officially made the jump to VR.

So far the game is only available on Vive and Oculus and you can watch me play through a selection of levels from the first two worlds in this week's Ian's VR Corner. Apologies in advance for the singing at the start.

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Red Matter is PSVR's best 'escape room' game to date
Sun, 03 Feb 2019 14:00:00 +0000

Have you ever found yourself staring in slack-jawed amazement at a pane of glass? I'm not talking about that fancy stained glass you might find in churches and cathedrals here, I'm talking normal, everyday glass that's seen a bit of wear and tear. The sort you might see in the windows of a bus perhaps, or a train. You know the type, it's grimy, it's covered in scratches and smudges and subliminally it shouts, "People have been here before!".

In real life I wouldn't give that kind of thing much more than a passing glance, but if glass is done right in VR? Well then it adds this undeniable sense of realism to your surroundings. Simple things like slight smears on the smooth surface of a window can subtly reinforce the illusion of depth. A reflection of light viewed at just the right angle might illuminate dozens of tiny scratches, which suddenly makes the world feel lived in. These may sound like small things, but they all contribute to something every VR adopter wants; heightened immersion in a virtual space.

Why am I telling you this? Well, there's a couple of moments where I get positively giddy about simple panes of glass in this week's Ian's VR Corner and you can witness them for yourself in the video below, where I play through the first hour of Red Matter on Playstation VR.

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A Fisherman's Tale lands some great VR moments but it won't leave you hooked
Sun, 27 Jan 2019 14:00:00 +0000

You know how when you hold up one mirror in front of another one you can see yourself reflected into infinity? Well, A Fisherman's Tale is a bit like that but with added Sou'westers, puppets and talking crustaceans.

This odd but charming mixture of narrative adventure and physics puzzler does its best to entertain and there are some lovely moments in here that demonstrate the wondrous possibilities of VR. Sadly the incredibly short run time means that A Fisherman's Tale's inventive and original premise ends up feeling rather underdeveloped. There's a potential for greatness here but it's not quite reached and instead of thinking "Wow, that was great!", when I finished the game, it was more a case of, "Wow, was that it?!".

If you'd like to see the game in action, you can catch a glimpse of me playing the first two levels of A Fisherman's Tale in this week's episode of Ian's VR Corner. Oh, and if you don't get the little visual gag and song at the start, congratulations, you're not old!

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Ace Combat 7 in VR is phenomenal (if you have the stomach for it)
Sun, 20 Jan 2019 14:13:00 +0000

I'm absolutely terrified of flying in real life. Even just stepping onto a passenger plane is an ordeal for me so the thought of piloting a jet-propelled fighter plane in real life? Well lets just say I'd have to be wearing the brown flight suit that day...

Flying in virtual reality however is a different story. The moment the wheels of my F/A-18F first left the deck of the Aircraft carrier in Ace Combat 7 and the plane took to the skies, I whooped out loud. I grit my teeth and held my breath during my first VR dog-fight. The chase was intense, twisting and turning through the air before flying into the thick clouds above us. Water droplets started forming on the glass of my cockpit and then suddenly I burst out into the clear blue skies above, the droplets turning into trickles as they quickly ran off the glass. It was at this point that I launched an air-to-air missile at my target, it thundered through the skies, connected with the fuselage of the plane in front of me and then BOOM, scratch one bogey!.

As I flew through the fiery wreckage left behind, I let out and even louder whoop. The adrenaline rush had me hooked and I hurriedly scanned the radar for my next target so I could do it all again. I don't think I'll ever forget flying through that first explosion though. The initial rush of the combat was incredible but being able to crane my neck around to watch the debris disappear into the distance brought it all to life. I might be scared of flying in the real world but up in the virtual skies? Oh my word, it's thrilling to the extreme.

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PSVR gains a competent, competitive first-person MOBA with Megalith
Sun, 13 Jan 2019 14:00:00 +0000

MOBAs are genuinely one of my least favourite video game genres so I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself thoroughly enjoying Megalith; the newest addition to the PSVR's ever expanding library.

If I had to pinpoint exactly what it was that caused this change of heart, I'd say it was probably the new perspective that VR brings to the genre. Instead of playing from above like some kind of omnipotent being, in Megalith you experience the action in first-person perspective, something that makes the proceedings feel a lot more immediate and exciting.

If you want to see Megalith in action for yourself, you can watch me play through a couple of matches in this week's episode of Ian's VR Corner. In the video below, I cover the gameplay basics, demonstrate a couple of the Titans and even manage to do some wins. I know, incredible, right?!.

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