VR Skater is tough. This PSVR2 skateboarding game's unique controls produce some seriously cool first-person action, but in our experience, it takes some time and effort to find the fun. While patience and practice is required, the result is a super satisfying skateboarding experience.
Essentially, you skate with your arms instead of your legs. You swing your back arm (which depends on your chosen stance) to move forward, and the front arm comes into play for certain tricks. The face buttons on the PSVR2 Sense Controllers are used to prepare an ollie or nollie, and the motion of your arms dictates which trick you'll pull off when you release. Before landing a flip, you'll need to catch the board with a face button to ensure it lands on its wheels. We never ran into any issues in terms of comfort, but it should be noted you'll need space to play. You'll be swinging your arms a lot, and playing seated isn't really an option.
It gets quite complex; you can also perform grabs, grinds, and manuals, with more convoluted inputs resulting in more advanced moves. Fortunately, pretty robust tutorials lead you through each trick, and you'll need them. Putting these tricks into practice can be difficult, especially lining up grinds. However, taking the time to master the controls is really rewarding. Gameplay is responsive, and accurate hand tracking makes it reliable too. It all comes down to your own skill, and it's a great feeling when you start to see improvements in your runs.
Seven levels provide ample opportunities for neat lines. These include a street, school, shipyard, and so on, each more challenging than the last. Each map features spot challenges and other simple score attack modes, and you'll slowly level up as you progress, unlocking later stages and more customisation options for your skateboard. While they're nicely designed with multiple paths, they can feel quite empty, not helped by the so-so visuals. We could've also gone for a few more maps and modes, but there are plans for post-launch updates. Ultimately, when you're in the zone, pulling off sick combos while the THPS-inspired soundtrack blares, it feels great. Once you wrap your head around the gameplay and it all clicks, it works very well indeed.