There might be a lack of eye-catching exclusives on PSVR2 right now, but the launch lineup is a treasure trove of VR gems that have previously appeared on other systems. We’re checking out Demeo, Cities: VR – Enhanced Edition, Jurassic World Aftermath Collection, Townsmen VR and Vacation Simulator today – all of which are now available on PSVR2 with new enhancements.
We reviewed the Quest version of Demeo almost two years ago, and because of plenty of post-launch updates it’s a title we regularly went back to. With the technical advances of PSVR2, we couldn’t wait to jump in yet again, as it’s one of those games that makes you understand why there’s a loyal group of Dungeons & Dragons players out there.
Although the basics of having two actions per turns and being able to trigger actions through cards haven’t changed, the roster of characters and abilities has clearly been refined since we last played. The development team at Resolution has also added other features we wished for in our original review, like the ability to play together with others through cross-play, even with flat screen versions.
On a technical level, the PSVR2 version is quite similar to the Quest one when it comes to controls, but it’s the visuals that have gotten a real boost here. Coming from the Quest version, this is the visually superior version of the game, and because Demeo is a seated experience there’s little value in the Quest’s wireless abilities here either. As a result, we can safely label this one the best version of Demeo out there, and it’s a must-play for headset owners who’d like to figure out how well a boardgame setting can work in VR.
Cities: VR – Enhanced Edition
We reviewed Cities: VR last year when it launched for the Quest, which felt like an incredibly ambitious undertaking for a relatively underpowered headset – compared to the PCs that usually run Cities: Skylines. We were very eager to see the end result of the game on a combination of the processing power of the PS5 and the new tech that comes with the PSVR2 headset – dubbed the ‘enhanced edition’ of the game that came out for the Quest.
You can see that extra horsepower at work fairly quickly when playing Cities: VR on the PSVR2, because where the Quest version always felt like the developers had very carefully tweaked the game so they could just about get away with a certain level of detail, things feel less restrictive here. This can be seen, for instance, in the fact that you have more building plots to work with – letting you create grander cities. Not Skylines-grand perhaps, but certainly a lot more ambitious than in the Quest build. In addition, everything that’s on screen also have more detail than it did before, making your projects impressive to look at besides the fact that they have a larger scale to them as well. That “enhanced edition” moniker isn’t just for show – this version’s a big leap forward for the game.
Jurassic World Aftermath Collection
Jurassic World Aftermath launched on the Quest back in 2020, with its second chapter launching the next year. The Jurassic World Aftermath collection combines both of these for one continuous experience, which really is the best way to play this one as it boosts the playtime to a respectable 8 or so hours.
The PSVR2 version of the game boasts the same impressive production values of the Quest game – complete with film actors reprising their roles and the iconic musical score, but the 3D audio that the PS5 offers is an amazing fit for a game like this. Hiding from a raptor is scary enough as it is, but it’s so much better when you hear them pacing all around you. You may also remember that the Quest version has a clever solution for its lack of processing power – using a cel shaded style that was distinct and still delivered that “Jurassic” feel. This version doesn’t change that, but the development team has upgraded the visuals to run 90 frames per second in 4K while also improving the lighting and post-processing effects. We’d love to see a Jurassic game with more realistic visuals on PSVR2 some day (imagine Robinson but with a Jurassic license), but for now this is a solid fix for VR dino fans. And as two nice little bonus touches – the game features a PSVR2 exclusive dinosaur viewer that lets you check out the animal models in 3D, and also comes bundled with a PSVR1 version of the game for those who haven’t dropped a big amount of cash for the new model yet.
Townsmen VR feels like it’s been in development for ages at this point, but it’s gotten better and better over time. We were first introduced to the game during the trade show season of 2019, and since that time it’s gone through Early Access and has now been ported over to PSVR2 as well. It has a simple concept to it as well, and anyone’s who’s played some of the classic god/city builder games on a PC will instantly take to it.
A good in-game tutorial teaches you the ropes, so that the people on the island you’re managing start to make use of its resources and build structures. There’s a storyline as well, and new mechanics get gradually introduced to you, making this a game that really draws you in and keeps you hooked – which is helped by its nicely detailed art style, with tons of fun little touches that’ll have you zooming in to check them out.
What’s also fun is that you can take matters into your own hands, so if you don’t want to wait for your workers to take resources from A to B you can just pick them up yourself (in bulk) and move them. Careful though, since you don’t want to drop something heavy where it can cause problems. With some good mechanics, plenty of wit, a story and diverse objectives, this is a really fun god game/city builder that works extremely well in VR. Those years in development were well spent.
In the PSVR2 launch lineup, Owlchemy Labs is features prominently with three titles – and all three are excellent games that don’t break the bank. We already covered Job Simulator and Cosmonious High in our last PSVR2 roundup, but the title they released in between also received a PSVR2 port: Vacation Simulator. As with their other two games, it’s a sandbox-like environment where there’s a ton of stuff to do, only this time it’s built around the concept of…. vacation!
It’s more similar to Job Simulator than you’d think though, especially visually – with robots rather than humans interacting with you, and most of them just looking like a monitor with a face and a little stand below that acts as a body. But with three distinct areas to discover – each filled with a ton of fun activities, you’ll quickly forget about the similarities and get lost in the moment. The first area for instance (a beach) has all kind of ball games, and completing activities will even unlock additional ones.
As such, Vacation Simulator feels like a mix of a sandbox and a collection of minigames, but thanks to its extremely simple controls (it’s mostly just a matter of grabbing and using stuff with your in-game hands) it’s easy to get lost and immersed in as well. The game’s also never looked more crisp than it does on the PSVR2, so if you’re not just looking for a more traditional narrative-driven videogame experience but rather something that’s almost impossible to not adore playing around with, then give this one a try. Try not to smile when playing this – you’ve probably had worse real life vacations than what you get in Vacation Simulator.