VR roundup: The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, Walkabout Mini Golf & Synth Riders

With the arrival of a new headset on the market, the VR scene is still going strong. We’re checking out three recent releases as we look at the new PSVR2 port of The Walking Dead – Saints & Sinners, a brand new DLC course for Walkabout Mini Golf and the new PSVR2 version and Gorillaz pack for Synth Riders.

The Walking Dead – Saints & Sinners arrives on PSVR2

We reviewed The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners when it launched on the original Quest headset over three years ago, and then went back to it for Chapter 2: Retribution recently. Both have now landed on Sony’s PSVR2 headset, and although this new version is identical in terms of content it’s a big leap forward in visual fidelity. We played it, and came away impressed.

The Quest version of Saints & Sinners was always impressive, because despite the technical limitations of the headset it delivered a real sense of atmosphere, putting you in the middle of the acclaimed show in virtual reality. And while you won’t run into new content here, it’s that sense of atmosphere where the game really benefits from the additional horsepower that PSVR2 offers.

walking dead2

One thing that instantly stands out is that the draw distance has been dramatically improved. Where the Quest version features a fog in order to keep things running well on limited hardware, that’s been lifted here. You’ll also notice that textures look much better this time around, as does the lighting for the game – which is another area in making things look more lifelike in an atmosphere-rich title.

Is there a downside? Yes, as the PSVR2 version isn’t wireless like the Quest one, so if you prefer to play while standing up so you can more freely move around that’s going to be a minor downside. We think the visual upgrade is more than worth the sacrifice though, and because Saints & Sinners is a lengthy adventure we prefer playing while seated anyway.

Walkabout Mini Golf gets Upside Town DLC

Although our Quest headset is always running out of storage space, a few titles are never eligible for deletion – one of those is Walkabout Mini Golf, and we’re always excited to see it getting new course content. The latest DLC is called Upside Town, and as with previous DLC addons you get a lot of new content for a very low price.

Upside Town is a bit different from previous courses though, as its 18 holes seemingly defy gravity – being set in a visually eye-catching environment that’s somewhat reminiscent of the (best bits in the) Doctor Strange films. And while you may still have your feet firmly planted in the ground, the hole you’re aiming for might be oriented differently, with gravity playing tricks on this course.

upside town

The result of that is Upside Town feels less “casual” than the previous courses did, and it won’t be for those who easily get visually disoriented. The same is true for the gameplay itself, which can put you in some challenging positions to putt – even physically! We had a blast with it though, as it meant a real change of pace for the game and a great choice when you want to move away from the more zen-like courses you can also play in this game. An easy recommendation for those who want to see a new direction that Walkabout Mini Golf can be taken in.

Synth Riders launches on PSVR2 alongside Gorillaz DLC

One of our most-covered VR games is definitely Synth Riders, which over the years has branched out to several platforms and has received a variety of free and paid DLC content. That free content in particular is a wonderful touch, and something that makes the game stand out among the crowd – constantly keeping it fresh even for longtime players. Now, it’s made the jump to PSVR2, while receiving a new Gorillaz set of songs for all platforms at the same time.

And while we love that Synth Riders has over 50 songs to play without even touching the DLC options, it’s great to see well-known tracks getting added to the game. After the Muse pack, the new Gorillaz selection includes some of their biggest hits, from Clint Eastwood to Feel Good Inc and Dare. We definitely hope that they can keep this momentum going and add more well-known artists to the tracklist – Synth Riders has a unique style that makes it very suitable for some genres. Can we have Jean Michel Jarre in here, please?

synth gorillaz

If you’ve played the original PSVR version, then the new build for PSVR2 also feels like a big step forwards for the game. This starts with much-improved controller tracking thanks to the DualSense controllers, which feels a lot more responsive than the old Move ones – bringing the gameplay experience to the same level as the Quest versions in that regard.

The support for haptic feedback, however, actually makes the PSVR2 version superior in terms of controls – they work great in tandem with the rhythm of the music. And as a bonus, this new version also features visual upgrades, making it look better than both the Quest and the original PSVR version by quite a bit. The future for Synth Riders is looking bright.

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