Following the colossal success of Rocket League, future sports are back in a big way. RIGS: Mechanized Combat League, the latest from Medievil and Killzone: Mercenary developer Guerrilla Cambridge, is in essence a mech-based deathmatch experience – but with a twist. Unlike other first-person shooters, your objective in this virtual reality-based multiplayer shooter is not solely to shoot out the opponent, but also to leap through a ring in the centre of the stage. This, after all, is your only means of scoring a goal.
The loop would be fun on a flat screen, but it sings in virtual reality. The developer really plays up PlayStation VR's strengths, introducing you to your team mates in an interactive pitstop-style scenario, where you can look around at mechanics and engineers working on various pieces of machinery in a contemporary warehouse type environment. The sense of scale continues to be the most impressive thing about VR, with your selected mech appearing from beneath the ground, and seemingly towering over you.
When you're in the cockpit, you can obviously observe every element of the suit by looking around. Guns are mounted to its arms on either side, which do look a bit flat, but definitely give the illusion that you're sitting inside a mech. Looking down gives you a view of your "virtual" body, as well as some Atari-esque joysticks which replace your real-world DualShock 4. There's also a heads-up display on the mech, which inundates you with tooltips and score information; it can obscure your view a little, but it's not too obtrusive.
One thing that helps this game to really stand out is its art direction. While its visuals are nowhere near on par with non-VR exclusives like Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, it's got a really clinical look to it that captures the futuristic feel. We played in the Dubai stadium, which is almost coliseum-esque with the crowd audible from around the perimeter. The designs of the mechs almost have an F1-like feel to them, and when you couple this with the clean UI design, it reminds us of a game like WipEout 2048 with its near-future ideals.
The gameplay is simple, but it's good. The triggers operate your rail guns, while the face buttons initiate a series of commands, such as boost, jump, and repair. The mech that we selected had a double-jump, enabling us to get some real air time, which triggers a bizarre feeling of vertigo when you look down. Not everyone enjoys this sensation – your brain tells your body to brace for impact, but obviously as you're sitting static it can be disorienting – but this author found it more than manageable, and quite enjoyable in honesty.
Nowhere is the sense of falling more powerful than when you score a goal. You need to take out opposing mechs in order to release golden globes. Once you've scooped up three of these, you'll enter a supercharged state, enabling you to leap through the aforementioned hoop in the centre of the stage. Leaping through the air and looking down to ensure that you score is a bizarre experience, but it again proves the power of the medium, as it all comes quite naturally.
That said, it's a novelty that could well wear off quickly. We found the demo to be quite slow and sparse, with the six-player battles and tardy movement speed meaning that we were often searching for the action. It's possible that Guerrilla Cambridge dialled down the speed of the game in order to prevent VR virgins from chundering, but we won't know until we get our hands on the final foray. Whether there'll be Rocket League levels of depth to extract from the finished product also remains to be seen, as hearty aim assist suggests that this isn't going to be the most complex of games.
But it's a strong concept with a distinctive art style and a decent gameplay loop – it does feel awesome when you score a goal. And it's also the closest thing that we've experienced to a "AAA" title on PlayStation VR – it feels like a pretty big budget game. It's definitely the launch title that we're looking forward to most alongside Tumble VR and Battlezone, so we're hopeful that Guerrilla Cambridge can quieten our concerns when the release rolls out alongside the PlayStation 4's futuristic face mask this October.
Are you eager to get suited and booted in RIGS, or is this one virtual reality release that you think that you're going to skip? Leap through the loop in the comments section below.
I like the look of this - I hope it has lasting appeal post the 'wow it is VR' effect.
I believe that there will be quite a bit of customisation for your RIG but whether there is any noticeable difference in anything that isn't cosmetic, ,time will tell.
I must admit, this is one of the VR games that had any appeal. As someone who enjoys FPS games, this at the very least could show the potential for any of the 'big guns' in the genre - the likes of CoD, Battlefield etc could play in VR even if the premise is slightly different.
However I can't help feel that it's similar to the level I would expect from an 'indie/budget' game. Funny you should mention Rocket League but that's kind of the level I feel this game is at - something I would get bored of very quickly. I can't help feel that whilst VR maybe its selling point, I think its also going to hold this game back. By that I mean that because of all the processing required just for VR, the scale and options in-game are going to be restricted. The reason we have 3v3 and not bigger scale, the lack of a campaign (although I will admit it doesn't necessarily lend itself to one) etc. It could, I guess, of had some form of 'career mode' (It may well do but I haven't heard of one) where you battle AI - kind of like a racing or other sports (Fifa?) game.
Would MUCH prefer a new Wipeout, but this does seem interesting.
So does this have a single player mode or is it online multiplayer only?
@feral1975 You could play with bots in the demo so it'll definitely be playable offline. Not sure whether there'll be a proper "campaign" or anything yet, though.
This is a really nice preview, good at getting the impression of VR across for those of us that haven't tried it yet. Really can't wait to give it a go!
This is definitely a game I'd pick up if ever I get a PSVR. Looks like it could be a ton of fun.
This will be a nice addition when I get my psvr in October. Just can't wait, and I will probably use it just as much for the cinema mode as I will for full vr games.
Can I play this sans VR?
@get2sammyb I would love to see a training/challenge mode for single player, a "VR missions" style instead of a story for the "campaign"
I do not mind that the graphics are not going to be up to other PS4 games. Its the immersion that will grab me.
@Saintssooners89 Yeah, that would be pretty cool.
@dryrain Worth noting that it's still a great looking game with a very cohesive art style.
Too bad I'm really not into competitive online games. Splatoon has been the only exception to this. So I'll pass. Still waiting for the epic single player VR announcements. If there's still no big single player games by September I may just cancel my preorder. I need at least ONE solid game to run with here...
@feral1975 Wipeout on VR definitely feels like a good idea!
RIGS is by far the most interesting game on PS.VR so far.
I can't wait for this!! Man, I hope the make "race the sun" vr compatible. Well...or just gimme a Wipeout
Tap here to load 14 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...