SKYRIM VR on PlayStation VR Review: A Jumping Hack and Slash

Let’s be honest everyone here has played Skyrim by Bethesda Softworks on one platform or another. Most of us have come away with the warm fuzzies after killing hoards of undead Dragons and Nords alike. Some of us played so long the only reason we stopped was that we got an arrow through the knee - that’s right I went there. So understandably I practically leapt at the opportunity to immerse myself in some sweet Nordic gear.

Story

See Skyrim for the Switch for a story brief.

Game Play

While I was eager to jump back into a great story I was unaware of the gameplay nightmare that awaited me. More specifically the movement both directional and facing will give you a headache. When I first started the game I immediately tangle myself several times in the wires that connected me to the PlayStation. Laughable I know but I loved the view. Soon I learned that to look around I wasn’t supposed to turn my head or body but to push the X or O button on the right VR paddle. That only turned my screen by 45 degrees. This became painful further on in the story.

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Soon I was running from a dragon and I discovered the biggest issue: my directional movement. There was no D-pad or thumb stick. So how did I move? Using the left VR paddle selector button and the placement of the left VR Paddle the character could take short steps in any direction or giant jumps depending on how much stamina you had at the time. Over time it wasn’t too difficult to get used to, until I had to hack and slash. At this point I found that it was all too easy to jump past my target or come up too short. This made fighting fairly difficult, unless you were to fight a fairly large enemy.

The hack and slash of it all was wonderful. Its response wasn’t perfect but fun enough to overlook a slight lag in an attack. Dual wielding, in fact, had me feeling like a child holding two plastic swords only with the much more satisfying after effect of actually killing my enemy. The shield was a little more difficult to use as it wasn’t just a wall I could put up between me and my enemy.  Magic, we should be all pleased to know, was something like firing a pistol. Just point, pull the trigger and roast or whatever you want to your closest enemies. The Bow, however, was slightly difficult it had no discernible aiming device. That being said it was very realistic, which made it all the more fun to use.

The graphics are as to be expected of a budding platform. It was like stepping back in time to my younger years. Everything got blurry much faster than some games we have come to expect from our consoles of late. In fact the further from the center of my screen things got the blurrier they got. Once again this was expected. In this way it even mimics human vision. It wasn’t so horrible that I would even say it needs to be improved. At least not until the technology for VR itself gets better.

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What Could Have Been Better

The movement control needs to be readdressed. The VR system is meant for allowing the user to turn in place and see the whole world. Instead of having a selector button on both paddles a return to the thumb stick for movement would allow more seamless movement and easier over all control of the character. Utilizing a paddle that is in every was similar to the current one with the exception of the thumb stick would allow you to enjoy all the benefits of multi handed weapons play while still keeping the movement natural and fluid.

Verdict

While I thoroughly enjoyed my return to White Run and Skyrim as a whole I do not recommend purchasing Skyrim VR if you do not already own the VR System. If, however, you already own the system, it is worth the 59.99 USD price being asked. While difficult to control the fun of hacking down or burning some bandits with your own two hands is fun enough to have you playing the whole game all over again from start to finish.

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