PlayStation VR, in this author’s opinion, is at its best when it’s offering brief bursts of immersive gameplay like SUPERHOT VR and Batman: Arkham VR. Despite this personal preference, it’d take a very closeted editor to ignore the pent-up demand for meatier experiences from PlayStation’s very vocal fanbase – and games don’t get much bigger than The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
The virtual reality version of Bethesda’s best-selling role-playing romp came as something of a surprise when it was announced at E3 2017: could such a colossal title really be converted to Sony’s Daft Punk-inspired goggles? Having spent some 15 minutes or so with the port, we can confirm that this really is Skyrim on PlayStation VR – but there are a few caveats.
For starters, the developer seems intent on showing the title with PlayStation Move controllers, which makes for a less-than stellar experience. Navigation is handled using teleportation, a mechanic that’s irritated us in previous games. Yet it seems slower and more cumbersome than ever here due to the sheer size of Skyrim’s world; flashing forward a few feet every second or so just isn’t fun.
The combat isn’t great either. To be fair, the developer’s at least attempted to construct a motion-based control scheme, allowing you to swing your sword around with 1:1 precision and push out a hand to launch magic attacks; the bow-and-arrow even leverages old Sports Champions mechanics, as you notch your arrow with one hand and pull back to release.
But the tracking is buggy and frankly it’s just not very fun. Flinging a virtual sword about was barely entertaining in the PlayStation 3 era of the PlayStation Move, and it’s not gotten any better in the years that have followed. The fact is that it just feels really squidgy, because you’re effectively swinging a fake sword at fresh air, so it doesn’t really feel like you’re doing any damage at all.
The good news is that, as far as we understand, the DualShock 4 will be supported as well – and this is how you’ll probably spend most of your considerable playtime. Sure, the gameplay will feel identical with a pad in your palms, but it can’t be understated how much PlayStation VR adds to the experience; seeing locations ingrained into your memory suddenly represented in virtual reality is impressive.
Yes, of course the visuals have been simplified, but the sense of scale is unparalleled; underground labyrinths which once felt small and claustrophobic suddenly tower overhead – and even old adversaries seem more threatening than ever when they loom over you at a full six foot tall. It’s that sheer sense of size – so often a highlight with PlayStation VR – that once again shines.
It’s just a shame that loading screens completely break the immersion each time they arise. Rather than transport you to a nice three-dimensional space, the headset boots into cinematic mode – prompting a loading screen within a loading screen – before displaying a flat splash image and then reversing the procedure back into the game. Awful.
Representatives did tell us that the build we were playing was very old, and we hope that means that a lot of our concerns will be ironed out come launch. We were also playing on a bog-standard PS4, so there’s no question that the PS4 Pro will improve upon everything that we saw. At the end of the day, though, there’s a real novelty to visiting some of gaming’s most iconic locations in virtual reality – even if the added PlayStation Move controls perhaps take the idea a little too far.
Have you got the energy to pour another 150 hours or so into The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim now that it’s coming to PlayStation VR? Are there any other RPGs that you think would be a good fit for the format? Level up in the comments section below.
I wouldn't expect Bethesda to make a competent port of anything on a Playstation system.
Yea, I don't think I'll play Skyrim in VR.
The spiders were already terrifying, I don't need them in my face in full VR. I'd probably die from a heart attack.
This will play best on ps5 with psvr 2, since ps5 will have more power to render the game, and psvr 2 will hopefully have 4k screens.
@wiiware I mean, you could say this about every game until the end of time.
I planned on using a controller for this. Hopefully that works well. I am a little concerned at these loading screen problems you’re talking about though.
Ive no interest in teleportation, I would otherwise have bought this. No thanks.
@get2sammyb: disagree. No one will say that about Skyrim as soon as the super anniversary edition launches on the PS6 with PSVR3
Definitely hope they iron out the movement stuff. Free-roaming is a must, or if they're itching to get motion gimmicky, they should rip off "Sprint Vector" and have you move by pumping your fists. Sounds stupid, but look at it in action - its really cool, been well received everywhere its been shown off, seems to be a good workout and is SUPER preferable to teleporting
@Deadlyblack You and me both. Just seeing one in the screenshot made me double back hard enough, I hit my head on the wall behind me.
VR Spiders? No way in my lifetime.
But can I fight a giant mudcrab with a top hat and a monocle? No? Well then...
Sounds like a work in progress.
Once DS4 support and alternative movement is implemented I'll probably jump on board. It's important to support the medium, just give me a game that I can actually play.
It would be great to be able to use different move techniques. For example Farpoint utilizes type of moving where you can move only forward and backward. Direction is made by headmove. It’s true that in Farpoint you usually go in one general direction with few head corrections, but I can imagine being able to fluently go forward and backward, switch general directions on controller and make corrections with head. It should be much better then simply switch positions.
@get2sammyb I think ps4 graphics is enough for me, I mean, after seeing battlefield 1, uncharted 4 and horizon I'm okay if ps5 graphics is like those game but 4k and 60 fps.
After playing psvr on ps4 a couple of month ago (I bought ps4 pro after I sold my psvr) I think psvr 2 with ps5 will blow that graphics out of the water, like ps2 graphics compared to ps1.
Is this another full release or some sort of patch for the existing special edition? Assuming thats even possible.
Also what do you mean by simplified visuals? Is the resolution scaled down.
I most likely will buy it and play Skyrim for the first time. Glad I waited!
I've already pre-ordered Skyrim VR, I'm not a big fan of the move as the tracking is atrocious and you're more likely to be facing away from the camera after a while which makes it even worse but so far I enjoy using the PS4 Dual shock controller on PSVR Games, it worked well on Robinson and the assembly so that's the way I'll play on Skyrim. I'm looking forward to seeing the scale experienced within VR which is a completely different plain than on a TV.
Teleportation in VR is dumb. I get that some people are prone to motion sickness, but could devs not include an option for people who don't get it?
@Orpheus79V it’s because the move controllers don’t have navigation on them. The DualShock will be available to use without teleport.
This teleportation thing is a deal breaker, I never used move or VR, am I right in thinking that you basically stand still at all times, and just 'jump' around from a fixed place to another, and then use whatever the control scheme allows for from there? This is ridiculous, isn't there a d-pad on move or something? Crazy.
All of you who haven't played and are glad you waited don't know what you are talking about. I got the Plat on ps3, I am close on ps4 and I have every intention of platting this in VR as well.
@finalstan Quite a lot of VR games use it because it can help reduce motion sickness. Almost all games have multiple options, though, and I expect that will be true of Skyrim too.
@get2sammyb ...which I don't know yet if I will suffer from VR and Skyrim are on my Xmas shopping list, worst case I will play with the pad, but the idea of using both hands tracked was very appealing, for that to work I need smooth movement (I think!).
I certainly wouldn't expect PSVR to be the 'only' VR headset Sony make. I am sure we will see PSVR2 with maybe 'upto' 4k (more likely be 1440p but could be wider to create a wider FoV). In a perfect situation, you would hope VR can match the quality of the images we see on a flat display. The trouble is with VR is that if you have a 1080p screen, you are still splitting the image down into two halves - essentially 960 x 1080 and as 'each' half is a 'duplicate' (albeit slightly different view to give the 'depth'), you are not actually getting a 'full' 1080p image. Then of course there is the need to run motion tracking software with no lag and try to keep a much higher 'frame-rate' too. Any game that runs at an actual 4k in VR with the same quality visual settings and at least 90hz etc, should easily run on a flat screen TV at much higher resolution/frame rates. I really can't see the PS5 being 'that' powerful - not without either being very expensive OR not arriving for many, many years.
I think 1440p is more realistic for PSVR2 and I think the PS5 will be good enough to run games at 4k with maybe more chance of hitting 60fps too. Because of the resources needed to boost frame rates and run motion tracking, dropping the Res down to 1440p would free up some of those resources. 1440p would be a step up from Vive/OR with their 1200p. HP and Acer have built 1440p VR headsets that also don't require motion tracking cameras so it will be interesting to see if Sony go this route in the future too. The HP uses 2 cameras built in to know exactly where it is and could allow for more 'freedom' as you won't always need line of sight to the tracking camera. I also think Sony could do something to remove that box - have a separate HDMI for the TV and VR headset.
I can honestly say though, that Skyrim VR isn't on my wanted list. and I think Fallout would work 'better'. You don't have that 'sword' issue and maybe could use 'Aim' controller instead. From my perspective, being 'Disabled', I am more interested in VR from a non-gaming stand-point. Some games, like racing for example, would be great as these are 'naturally' seated. Games that involve 'walking' or at least better if standing, are unlikely to appeal so much to me.
@MadAussieBloke you mean the intermewebs on my comutermbobthing WON'T tell me everything i need to know, i have to actually think about something and use my brain!
i thought the internet was supposed to do everything for me?
I think I'll be holding off on VR of any kind until it's well into full body tracking, wireless headsets, and less bulky units. Probably 5 years or more away, if it even lasts that long, but i can wait. I tried samsung VR for an hour and it was barely tolerable in terms of heaviness on my head.
Bagged an interview with a dev at egx, talking through the seven month old build on display there, the teleportation is genuinely because of the move controllers, seamless normal movement with a dualshock. Expect the same in Doom etc.
@RedMageLanakyn to be fair to Microsoft, they're spot on when it comes to VR for this evry reason - console VR should be wireless. I have a psvr and I'm a big defender of it, but the PS5 version will render this one laughable, the cables, basic screen and other huge handicaps will definitely be addressed in PSVR v.2
@BowTiesAreCool Right, the next few years will hopefully steer things in that direction. I just can't stand having a device strapped to my head, motion controllers in hand, and being tethered to wires.
It's m'y most anticipated game right now. And I know that Bethesda wants to communicate a lot on those PsMoves options, but it is imperative that people KNOW (not think, or hope) that regular controlers are supported, and that you can play "normaly" (as in not teleporting yourself) with a DS4.
Resident Evil proved that you could immerse yourself in a world, holding a controler in your hand (and not a Move to pretend it's your hand). The same will be true for Skyrim. I just can't wait to immerge myself in this HUGE world ! It's like The Matrix ! I know I'll never want to unplug, then !
This is pretty much the only reason and RE7 that I am buying PSVR.
This was the version I was actually waiting for, even though I own the game on PS3 and wanted to upgrade anyway. Guess this will be the one I will get anyway, just to have another game for the VR...still playing Robinson The Journey and my second time through Until Dawn Rush Of Blood...and there's also wanting to pick up some other ones after I finally decide to dip into purchasing Move Wands ($100 new for 2 is kinda expensive in my book...glad I can get a used Wand for $30 each).
If I ever get a PSVR, this will be like number three on my list of things to own for it.
..this is such a tough sell... as a PSVR day one owner, spending £50 on this AGAIN (which would be the third time if I bought it) - after only recentish-ly getting the legendary edition.. I dunno... going to wait for reviews... if it looks anything like RE7 then count me in... but it barely runs that well in 2D, I shudder to think how many flying cows are going to appear in this version... (and the pop-in and muddy distances...) eeeesh... it'll either be a technical marvel or a complete avoid... :/ fingers crossed it's good!
@RedMageLanakyn yeah, for any sense of freedom at all you have to have big pockets to tuck the tiny wire box into so it doesn't weigh you down a little.
So with a controller does it play exactly same as non VR version? Teleporting just doesn't appeal to me.
Added the video.
@FaultyDroid The graphics will look a little closer to the PS3 version than the PS4 remaster.
@Bad-MuthaAdebisi this guy doesn't know what he's talking about, u don't have to teleport cuz free movement is an option as well. I have Skyrim VR and even tho I've already put at least 400 hours into it on other consoles and ports, VR has made it fresh again. Playing with the move controllers is so amazing after the 30 minute learning curve. I find it very easy to play with the move controllers and being able to fire arrows with the same motion you'd use in real life is very empowering and so is firing different spells from both hands in separate directions. It's to the point now where i can rapid fire arrows at 5 enemies and kill them all within seconds. It's soooo much fun, I promise you. Get it, u won't regret it. Oh and the loading screens aren't as bothersome as in RE7 where they can last several minutes
@Deadstanley you can, u don't have to teleport. Playing with free motion on the move controllers is amazing and works really well imo
@Imagremlin playing with the move controllers is the only way to play Skyrim VR imo. It's sooo immersive and works really well imo. Being able to shoot spells out of both hands in different directions is awesome but the real winner is firing arrows with the same movement you'd use IRL. I'm so good at it after a few hours that there can be 5 enemies near me and i can rapid fire arrows to kill em all in about 20 seconds lol
@bbq_boy u can play with free motion with the controller or the move controllers, u don't have to teleport. Imo playing with the moves is the only way to play cuz it's sooo immersive and works awesome imo. Firing arrows with the same motions you'd use irl is soooo much fun and very empowering
@1ManAndHisDroid I haven't had any issues in the 25+ hours I've put into Skyrim VR and let me just say, I've put over 400 hours into Skyrim on other consoles but VR has made it fresh again and playing with the move controllers and free motion (no teleporting) is soooo immersive and incredibly fun and empowering. Rapid Firing arrows with the same motions you'd use IRL is just frickin fun as hell 😁
@Bobobiwan you can also move freely with the move controllers instead of teleporting and imo that's the best way to play. It's 10x more immersive and works really well ime and I've already put over 25 hours into Skyrim VR with the move controllers and I only got it 2 weeks ago lol
@BowTiesAreCool u don't have to teleport with the move controllers so that dev must've been mistaken. Playing with the move controllers with free motion has been a transformative gaming experience. Most fun I've had with a game in a looong time lol
@BAMozzy I play Skyrim with free motion (no teleporting) with the move controllers while laying in my bed in a half seated position lol. U don't need to stand to play and imo its the most fun I've ever had with Skyrim even tho I've put over 400+ hours into it on other systems. The sense of scale with PSVR is incredible and firing arrows with the same movements you'd use IRL is sooo much fun and very immersive. So I HIGHLY recommend picking up Skyrim tbh. Getting the bundle was the best $350 I've ever spent period
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