Sony’s not stupid, and it seems to recognise that titles like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Borderlands 2 VR need to exist in order to get potential PlayStation VR adopters through the door. While headset veterans will accurately argue that it’s the titles like Astro Bot Rescue Mission and Beat Saber that really shine in virtual reality, sceptics will always demand those bigger brands before taking the plunge. And so here we are reviewing another PlayStation 3 port in a different dimension.
Gearbox’s loot-shooter isn’t quite as ubiquitous as Bethesda’s infamous action RPG, but it has popped up in a multitude of places since first debuting some six years ago. This is the full original game, minus its DLC and co-op functionality, which may make it a tough sell for some in 2018. While it’s missing some key components, however, this isn’t the half-hearted port that it seems to be on the surface, as it’s clear that 2K Games has invested a fair amount of effort to make this work in virtual reality.
There are two control schemes: DualShock 4 and PlayStation Move – support for the very popular PSVR Aim Controller is an unfortunate absentee. The former is a fairly familiar option, with aiming mapped to the head and everything else functioning more or less as you’d expect. The PS Move is a little more complicated, and while it feels more natural actually aiming your weapons, the convoluted control scheme takes serious adjustment – even if it does, for all intents and purposes, work.
To the developer’s credit, there are ton of control and comfort options available here. You can use teleportation if you choose to, but it’s not enforced, and free movement is available across both control schemes – as is the ability to turn in increments or in a more traditional style. You can turn on and off blinkers, set the intensity of them, and even toggle when you’d like them to appear, and you can fiddle with the control scheme until you get something that feels right.
While it results in a lot of options, we reckon it’s important in virtual reality to allow you to tailor the experience exactly as you’d like it to, because it’s becoming increasingly clear that everyone has different tolerance levels when it comes to motion sickness. As such, the title deserves serious credit for going out of its way to allow you to shape the game to your own personal needs and requirements. This is the way forward – particularly for intense titles like first-person shooters.
The gameplay does feel a little bit dated these days, which isn’t necessarily the fault of PSVR but just a consequence of the release being several years old now. There’s still an abundance of loot to collect, but missions generally devolve into fetch quests or combat gauntlets, which aren’t really all that exciting. The cel-shaded backdrop of Pandora does look vast in virtual reality, but it doesn’t have the same kind of appeal as Skyrim did a year ago. The cut-scenes are pre-rendered, so unfortunately you have to watch those in Cinematic Mode, which can be jarring.
There have been some subtle tweaks to the gameplay: a new time slowing mechanic can be used in combat, perhaps to compensate for the fact that you won’t have any partners in PSVR and to give you a breather during particularly extreme firefights. Vehicles can also now be driven from a first-person perspective, which makes sense in virtual reality and keeps you immersed in the experience much better. They’re minor additions, but examples of care.
There’s clearly a lot of effort been invested into bringing Borderlands 2 to PSVR, and that’s appreciated. The gameplay does feel dated these days – and the lack of DLC and co-op is a real shame – but there’s still fun to be had with the loot-shootin’ loop, and Pandora scales well to virtual reality. The PS Move control scheme is cumbersome but the game plays fine with a DualShock 4 in hand, and an array of comfort options mean that you can tailor the experience to your exact needs.
Yeah using the Move doesn't look like been much fun to use in this.
This needs the DLC and PSVR aim. And also, does anyone miss the analog stick companion to PS move? We can have both and not use a Move controller to awkwardly move around you know Sony.
And no PSVR aim really is inexcusable. It sounds like it would make the game substantially better.
Im loving this so far and i dont mind the move controller but this game would suit the PSVR Aim perfectly, surely they will patch it in...
Bravo for supplying so many 'comfort options'. Seriously
This would have been a day one purchase if it had aim support. I really hope it is patched in.
I enjoyed this game back on the PS3 but having played it recently it just feels a little slow for the type of game it is. To be honest I'm still looking to get DOOM VFR and Skyrim (particularly now after it's updates) before considering this
Just disappointed there is no physical release. Oh well, sale it is then.
Not for me but happy to see more full size games getting ported to VR. Disappointing that the aim controller has been ignored. That's a little worrying.
@Dange There's talk on the PSVR reddit that Gearbox has mentioned (I think the link was to their twit account) that they are looking into implementing Aim support. However, words vs actions, and all that.
@AdamNovice In my opinion, the Move wands are only useful for titles where you're stationary, and you only move your arms, e.g. Rush of Blood Archangel, etc.
If the game features walking with the Moves, then they do more harm than good, in terms of immersion. The reason why, is because you'll be constantly dragged out of the game and back into reality, due to the inherent, inaccurate, chunkiness of the button presses, when compared to the precise, accurate movement of the DS4's analog thumb sticks.
I've enjoyed what I've played so far, it's a shame that there's no aim support. On the subject of PS3 games to port to PSVR I would love Far cry 3 or even fallout 3....with aim controller support of course .
As someone who dislikes the moves, it works really well for BL2VR, I probably end end up switching from ds4 and moves depending on my mood, tho Aim would be the best control method, really enjoying this game, and highly praised by the big PSVR streamers like Without Parole, DavestationVR, Polish Paul etc.
The fun of the game was playing with other players. So will give this a miss and no DLC is nearly half the original game.
I'm either waiting for a sale or for aim support. It looks like I'd have fun, but I don't know if I'd have $50 fun without being able to use the aim.
It deserves 7-8, 6 is definitely not enough.
Still haven't taken the plunge with a vr yet
I've never played any Borderlands game, but this might be the incentive I needed to give it a shot.
I have put over 30 hours into this game so far and having a total blast. I have not tryed the move controls but the game play is just fine with the dual shock.Most of my psvr titles start to gather dust after a hour of gameplay with the exception of skyrim and resident evil 7. For me this game is a push in the right direction for psvr and is sorley needed.
The aim controller and co-op would be a nice addition but still overall is a fantastic psvr game. 10/10
@Scobby2 tempted to give it a go off the back of that. I haven't tried an FPS games on PSVR yet because I seem very prone to motion sickness (Wipeout destroys me on the first lap) but might give this a go and see how I get on.
Borderlands 2 is in my top 3 games of all time. This was an instant buy. Because of the fast paced shooting, dodging and jumping in the game, the move controllers are too clumsy for me. DS4 all the way. I'd like to try aim support if it's ever patched in the future, but I'm totally happy with the current package. Good to see another full length game given the VR treatment, as there's too many 2-4 hour "demos" out there. Highly recommended for those who want a single player FPS on the VR, with plenty of replay ability, randomness and humour. 9.5/10
Borderlands 2 really helped to sell the Vita. What, maybe 20-30 million people bought a Vita just for a new port of an old game? I’m sure this release will have the same impact on VR sales.
In all seriousness, though, Borderlands 2 is a fantastic game, and if I didn’t have motion sickness issues, I’d consider getting VR...and if I already had invested in VR, I’d probably pony up the bucks for Borderlands 2. I mean, in the last few years I ponied up the bucks for the PS3, PS4, and Vita versions, so, hey, why not VR, too, right?!
@fuzzy833 The game has a lot of options and comfort settings that you can fiddle around with. It seems that default settings are set up for people who may suffer from motion sickness and as i don't suffer from it i turned everyting off and adjusted everything as i played through to get it just right. You can walk+teleport walk+jump or just teleport, you can change the speed of how fast you walk and has alot of field of vision options plus alot more. I think it has the bragging rights for the most options avaliabe for a vr game so far.
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