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Review – Farpoint For PlayStation VR: The Future Of FPS Games?

“Farpoint is a riveting VR Space Adventure set on a hostile Alien Planet.

On a mission to pick up scientists studying an anomaly near Jupiter, a sudden rupture nearby sends you and your station crashing down onto an unknown Alien world.” – Impulse Gear

Meet Farpoint. It is an FPS experience that lets you step into the boots of a space pilot, stranded on the barren wasteland of a mysterious alien planet. Your objective? To locate fellow survivors Dr Eva Tyson and Grant Moon, and bring them home. Kudos to Impulse Gear for making the first First-Person Shooter VR game with a full Single-Player campaign; and also the very first for the PSVR Aim Controller!

Obviously, being a huge FPS fan my expectations were set very high. Now I’m back and ready to review it. So sit tight!

What’s included in the Box:

  • Farpoint Game Disc
  • Bonus DLC Code
  • PlayStation VR Aim Controller

What else you need:

  • PS4/PS4 Pro
  • PSVR Headset with PS Move Camera
  • Sufficient space to spin around with your gun.

The Aim Controller deserves a big holler here because it is simply an amazing piece of kit. It is nothing like the good old Time Crisis guns. (How many of you remember that?) This is very well designed, very lightweight and never failed me even once while I was committing mass xenocide. Aiming felt very second-nature and I even got feedback vibration with every ounce of lead that I dished out.

Almost all of the PS4 controller buttons are relocated in a way that made it so intuitive to use. The Move LED bulb in front is translucent rubber so that you won’t destroy your furniture while swinging around frantically. Of course, always ensure that you keep a wide berth before hitting something!

After charging it with a Micro-USB cable (included) it packs sufficient juice for a whole day of gaming. Come to think of it, I rarely had to charge it at all.

Okay, so let’s get on with the review.

What I love…

Being visually immersed in an Alien World like never before!

The game did a very good job in conveying a sense of solitude in an unforgiving landscape, filled with things that want you dead. I look around me and I see nothing but cliffs, rocks and caves. Eventually you’ll encounter relentless dust storms and bioluminescent flora – kind of like the ones you saw from the world of Pandora from the blockbuster movie Avatar

Visual effects aside (which are pretty good) the game’s sound engineering is top-notch. The wind howling over the barren landscape, the echo of your footsteps as you trudge through caves and (my absolute favourite) the patter of little feet as arachnid crawlers close in for their kill. If you don’t have a 5.1 home theatre speaker system then do invest in a good surround sound headphone.

I was treated to a great musical score that conveys the appropriate suspense and intensity. My experience was delivered through a sound system, but having a pair of earbuds plugged into the PSVR headset will work as well.

Very responsive controls from the Aim Controller!

Through the PSVR Headset, your Aim Controller will morph into a realistic space marine assault rifle! I could aim through the scope, kill a critter, spin around and pick off another one behind me on instinct. Nice and easy! Along the way you’ll discover more weapons that kill your prey in creative ways. Swapping weapons was pretty straightforward (you flip the gun over your shoulder) but when that got too tiring, I smashed the triangle button instead – like in traditional FPS games!

Some advice for would-be survivors – ALWAYS find cover. You can hide behind a boulder, a wall, or a mangled piece of debris. You can peek around the corner too so take advantage of that and you’ll be fine.

You could also configure the R3 button to rotate your camera on the X-Axis, in case you prefer playing the game sitting down (which is entirely possible but not ideal).

Spine-tingling creatures to kill.

The spider-like denizens of this alien planet are well designed and can really put up a fight. They commonly deploy swarm tactics to keep you busy while bulbous critters lob their toxic projectiles your way. One of the toughest opponents you’ll meet is a giant spider-boar hybrid plated with thick armour that made it nearly impervious to light arms. If you don’t take it out, it will summon endless swarms of small arachnids your way. Rockets or grenades will do the trick but dispatch it quickly or it will smash you to bits!

Two other game modes.

Farpoint packs two other modes to add some replay value, a Co-Op multiplayer mode (self-explanatory) and a Challenge mode. In the latter, you’ll be rushing through the map mowing down swarms of alien bugs before the time expires, accumulating a final score and some bragging rights. It was pretty fun at first, being in a constant rush and having to look over your shoulder, but it got old eventually.

Farpoint_20170607210329

What I dislike…

Linear Maps with no surprises or hidden secrets to discover.

The campaign map may be immersive but unfotunatley too linear! There is only one path forward and you can expect no rewards for exploring the landscape any further. No secret areas, no loot. That’s a big pity because there’s so much potential for replay value there!

The Campaign was fairly short.

The campaign was pretty challenging for me. In all, I took around 13 hours to complete the campaign, but that is because I died a lot in certain areas and really took my time. The whole campaign can be around 5-7 hours long if you’re doing better than me. (Which is easy for 99% of gamers out there!) That makes sense for a game with no secret areas or looting, but still fairly brief for an FPS.

The storyline also felt rushed at times and there was little content to flesh the story out. I’ll try not to spoil things here for those who had not played the game. But suffice to say that many plot points were left unexplained or simply sidestepped, and the ending was seriously anti-climatic. (Actual voice in my head went “I fought so hard for that?!”)

That aside, the voice acting and character animation was pretty well done, and I have to give Impulse Games credit where it’s due for at least doing the characters right.

No competitive multiplayer.

Probably the biggest sin committed by Impulse Games here is the omission of PvP battles! Ever fantasised about emptying a full mag into your buddies in VR? Not going to happen here, at least not yet! For their sake, I hope that they would release a PvP mode soon before someone else does it!

Verdict

Farpoint is seriously engaging and carries with it lots of potential! I have never experienced an FPS title as immersive as this, till now! Also, the alien creatures were quite challenging which kept me on my toes.

The PSVR Aim Controller is the real McCoy here, and the fact that more games will be developed for it propels this accessory to ‘must-buy’ status. Just crossing my fingers for a Call Of Duty VR!

However, its single-player campaign is too linear and brief; its storyline felt rushed, underwhelming and anti-climatic; and there’s limited replay value without PvP battles. Farpoint is great as a new FPS experience unlike any other, but it will be a game that I will only return to occasionally – once new titles arrive for the Aim Controller.

Farpoint is available now. Purchase with PSVR Aim Controller for S$129, or just the game at S$60.70 on PlayStation Store.

Aaron. T.
Aaron's dream is to meet the celestial man in the sky who blessed him with huge ears, and shake his hand with a big smile. His typical day is split between getting Rekt on Battlefield 1 and making exciting YouTube reviews at www.youtube.com/loudwirelesssingapore

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