What a pleasant surprise Vertigo 2 has turned out to be. Waking up in a cell, held captive by the omnipotent — and possibly sinister — Brian, you are eventually let loose to explore a massive scientific facility housing a quantum reactor. The similarities to Half-Life are striking and immediate, but dev Zulubo hasn’t shied away from this, and the results are spectacular.
Environments are varied, but again, lean into the look of Half-Life. You have plenty of office cubicle areas evoking Black Mesa, but you’ll also see dangerous industrial areas, and even lush, tropical alien environments. Something for everyone, then. The game does a phenomenal job of bouncing you between different settings briskly, allowing everything to feel fresh at all times.
Fun environments are great, but what if there’s nothing fun to do within them? Well, rest assured, Vertigo 2 offers plenty of fun. The gunplay feels great, with phenomenal tracking and a wide array of armaments. Individual weapons have a weightiness to them that makes wielding them feel deadly. While the starting pistol is rather dreadful, everything that bolsters your arsenal afterward is a noticeable improvement. You’ll get standard stuff like a shotgun or assault rifle, as well as more adventurous things if you can locate all the secret weapons. Acquiring these is much more involved, usually requiring a sequence of puzzles to unlock. Each weapon also has an upgrade tree, so if you find you don’t like a certain weapon, you can beef it up until it’s more to your liking.
The writing is fun too, though the sound design can often undercut things by blaring over the top of dialogue on default settings. We missed some jokes early on before making corrections. It's great that the title is so fun though, because it also happens to be quite a bit longer than we’ve grown accustomed to with VR titles. Clocking in at nearly 10 hours, Vertigo 2 is a PSVR2 must-play. This is achieved through a combination of great gameplay, fun, often insane boss fights, a playful tone, and oh so much more.