Not content on releasing just one Playstation VR title, Sumalab (who also made TrainerVR) has released a second PSVR game in the span of a single day. Crisis VRigade, out earlier on Steam but still in early access there, is now out for PS4 – here are our thoughts.
When you look at TrainerVR and Crisis VRigade and do a side by side comparison, it’s like night and day. TrainerVR is a (mostly) relaxing game/sim about building train sets, while Crisis VRigade is an adrenaline-filled shooter revolving around SWAT units, bank robberies and hostage situations. It’s a little bit like The London Heist and Superhot, only smaller in scale and much more “indie” in its audiovisual approach.
Sporting a cartoon-like style not unlike what we’ve seen in many PSVR titles (it’s an efficient way of getting around possible performance issues), Crisis VRigade is played with a pair of Move controllers that transforms into in-game guns that you dual wield. It doesn’t have Superhot’s time freezing mechanic so everything plays out in real time, and cover is essential if you’re to survive. Literally, because Crisis VRigade isn’t exactly a forgiving title – take two hits in quick succession and you’re down for the count.
Instead, what materializes is a kind of gameplay where you stick to cover, wait for your (CPU-controlled) squad mates to move or the bad guys to stop firing, and then you peek out. Get off a few shots, then return to cover. It’s a sequence that quickly repeats itself, but it’s thrilling in its simplicity.
Its short rounds of gameplay almost give Crisis VRigade an arcade-like feel, but while most arcade games are pretty forgiving in letting your progress enough to get that “One more coin!” feel, this one’s not afraid to quickly put you in your place. Calling Crisis VRigade punishing wouldn’t be an overstatement, and that makes it a poor choice for the more casual VR shooter fans among us. Games like Rush of Blood can be enjoyed by everyone, but if you prefer a challenge you can look for it by chasing high scores and trophies – here, you’re thrown in at the deep end.
Although it might scare a few people off, the challenge in Crisis VRigade is also what makes the game interesting – and makes it stand out from the growing crowd of VR shooters. It’s a budget title as well, so well worth a look if you’re looking for something a little more difficult than the norm.