Since Sony’s Playstation VR became available, we’ve reviewed over two dozen games for the platform. We’ve also regularly commented on how the VR library (for Playstation as well as other platforms) seems to gravitate between titles that are close to traditional games and others that can better be described as an ‘experience’, often rather thin on gameplay. Perfect by nDream definitely fits into the latter category.
While that may sound like criticism, it’s not. Robinson is one of our favorite Playstation VR titles even though it offers very little in terms of traditional gameplay. The experience of being somewhere you could previously only dream of is an exhilarating one, even if it comes without the thrills and quick responses you need in a lot of ‘regular’ games.
Where gameplay was sparse in Robinson, there’s almost none of it in Perfect. Instead, Perfect offers you a chance to be whisked away to a distant location to experience the tranquility that its remote areas can offer. Six different areas are available, ranging from campsites to log cabins and from beaches and water to snow-covered landscapes. They’re all well rendered and often beautiful to look at, although nDreams has opted not to make use of the Playstation Pro’s extra horsepower to deliver more graphical fidelity.
To a small degree, Perfect allows you to explore all these locations, but there is never a narrative or goal to work towards. You’re also not allowed to walk around freely, instead opting for the ‘click to move’ mechanic that we’ve often seen in mobile VR titles. While stationary, Move support does allow you to manipulate your surroundings – making it possible to toss stones into the water, throw snowballs or even interact with a burning campfire.
If that description makes you think “what’s the point?”, then Perfect isn’t for you. Its sole goal is to take you away from the stress and haste of everyday life, and to transport you to a distant location away from all that. VR works as a great conduit for such an experience, though Perfect’s lasting appeal is debatable. Its visuals, combined with a fitting ambient soundtrack, make for a nice change of pace that is easy to enjoy if you’re open to such a digital experience. The downside of Perfect is that, for many, its effect on you can be replicated by other ways to achieve a change of pace as well. Those ways that don’t involve having to wear a VR headset – like sitting on the couch with a good book or flipping through some pictures.
That doesn’t mean that Perfect is without merit – far from it. It’s an experience for those not interested in playing a traditional videogame for a little bit, and somewhat ironically it’s available on a videogame system (though Sony probably sees the PS4 as more than that). That means it’ll have a tough time attracting its target audience, but those who are interested in a different kind of VR experience won’t be disappointed. Similar experiences are available for mobile platforms, but we can’t think of one that’s executed as well as Perfect is – even though the title is a bit of an overstatement.