Lethal VR – PS VR Review
Lethal VR is one of the cheaper titles on the PlayStation Store right now, with an RRP of AU $22.95, and promises a simple, but potentially fun arcade shooter. Already a neat little title on Steam with the HTC Vive, the hardware with the PlayStation VR is slightly different, so how does the experience compare?
I’m reminded of old-school arcade shooting games like Point Blank when playing Lethal VR, although this game opts for a clean, stripped-back look, rather than the cartoony outlandishness that I kind of miss from those old titles. You’re presented with short challenges separated into various difficulties, all of which take place in a sterile circular shooting range. You won’t find any live enemies here, as every target is inanimate, so the focus is placed more on your own abilities in speed, accuracy and observation.
Requiring two PlayStation Move controllers to track as weapons, challenges range from simply taking out as many targets as you can in a short space of time, to identifying enemies from civilians in crowded shooting galleries. The developers change up the types of levels pretty frequently, and there’s a good variety on offer, including some inspired by movies. A ‘Hard Boiled’ level makes sure you’re pointing two handguns at either side of you body at most times, while a ‘Dirty Harry’ mission loads you up with a six-shooter Magnum.
The variety of mission types is matched by a good variety of weapons too, from the aforementioned handgun and Magnum, to submachine guns, knives, throwing stars and even Mick Dundee’s “that’s not a knife, THIS is a knife” knife. While the style of the visuals may be slick and paired-back, there’s definitely a good sense of humour behind the design.
That all said, there are several problems that hold the title back from being as good as it could be on PS VR. Chief among these is the limitations of the hardware and tracking issues. While on PC with the HTC Vive, the game is a 360 degree experience where targets are all around you, the PS VR version stays within a 180 degree range in front of you. This wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t encounter so many tracking glitches for targets at the very edge of this field – when looking directly left or right, it’s exceedingly tough to aim accurately.
These problems are even more apparent when throwing knives, which is the most infuriating part of the game. It seems like random chance when you throw any of them whether they’ll move at the speed you intended, or even in at the angle you intended. When aiming at targets at your left and right, it becomes impossible to aim directly at them, so the game tries to cheat a little and aims where your headset is looking. This seems like a good way to get around the issue, but it does mean that you could be looking to the left, while throwing a knife directly to your right, and it magically bends around and hits the target.
If it weren’t for these tracking issues, most of the game would be quite simple and quick to get through in a couple of hours. When using guns it’s generally very easy to aim and you can even peer down their sights with one eye to increase your accuracy.
Lethal VR is a simple arcade experience that’s probably best tried on the HTC Vive. The PS VR experience, while offering some cool challenges and the ability to try out a bunch of different weapons in VR with PlayStation Move, is lumbered with tracking issues and a short overall length. If these issues can be patched out, it may be worth a pick-up to see what 1:1 gunplay is all about in VR.