Farpoint is half a game at the maximum length. So short that I was going to simply write my first impressions of the game but I said “Meh, let’s see what happens next.” *Roll credits.* “And I’m done here.”
I’d argue that Rush of Blood would take around the same amount of time to complete and that game is on rails. What I’m trying to say is that Farpoint is short. Really… short. 8 levels, I think? The first one is mostly orientation/tutorial/introductory stuff, the next are pretty easy as you get used to the freedom of movement. Then around level 5 or 6, that is as difficult as the game will get and either you’re crushing it or you’re moving through at a reasonable pace. The levels are not very big but they are designed well enough that the action doesn’t feel too claustrophobic or expansive. The whole thing is simply over before it can even get going.
By the way, I think this game is fantastic but… moving on.
The plot revolves around two plucky young explorers named Eva Tyson and Grant Moon. (I think those are the names.) These two are on a space expedition when of course, shit hits the fan. I must note the exceptional voice work of Laura Bailey who crushes every single scene she is in. Her character alone is the only reason I cared about anything going on anywhere at any time. Grant Moon is a wimp that couldn’t learn how to fire a gun so Eva could rest her legs ONE TIME? — Anyways, chivalry is dead and Grant Moon is a dick. Where was I?
Eva and Grant are sucked up through a wormhole and moments later, you are too. The rest of the game is about finding these two. As you make your way through the alien landscape, you will come across holograms you scan to advance the plot and with them comes Laura Bailey and her excellent voice work. However, every scan is little more than “Here’s debris. I’ll keep following it.” After some levels, you’re treated with an actual cut-scene where you remain static in the environment and you watch it play out. During these scenes, spoiling nothing, it is important to pay attention to time. Then two levels later, the game is over. Right at the moment where the game’s story turns into one worth telling, the game just ends with two major cliffhangers that could easily be tied up with one additional level or another few to make the game longer and FINALLY have compelling storytelling. I guess they are saving it for the sequel but (and I am definitely not a developer) make it twice as long, guys.
To make matters worse, you are introduced to a third character you know you’ll probably meet, and when you do, she’s a … brat. She’s just so… rude! I know it is just a character but without the player character she cannot achieve her goal so it is just absolutely ridiculous she’d be such a … brat! That’s all I can really say without spoiling anything.
OK, so the game is short and the plot is just slow exposition until a double cliffhanger explodes your face. What makes it fantastic.
Without VR. This game is an extended tech demo from 2006. As a shooter it could not hold up to anything without VR. The firefights in VR change the entire experience. Having the feeling of being in the middle of a battle and mimicking the gestures required to survive give you a completely newfound set of feelings of accomplishment. The new set of battlefield awareness needed in an exchange is fulfilling when executed properly. For the most part, enemies will spawn in front of you and advance towards you. In those instances, it is better to pick your shots and pick off small fast enemies first and work up to the larger ones. However, though some of the sheer chaos that can happen, you may find enemies above, in front and beside you all at the same time. Without VR, that situation would take a bunch of fancy thumbstick maneuvering to navigate but with VR and the PS Aim controller you have just over 180 degrees of rotation to gesture towards within moments.
There are five weapons; an assault rifle, shotgun, precision rifle, plasma rifle and spike launcher. You can only carry two at a time and you will only come across weapons randomly so make sure you like a weapon before you swap one out. All but one weapon has a secondary function. The assault rifle fires homing rockets locked on to your laser. The shotgun fires grenades. The plasma rifle as an energy shield and the spike launcher can detonate embedded spikes. The real genius of the secondary fire button is that it is located below the scan button so be careful of which one you hit inside and outside of battle. You’re not trying to scan your enemies or blow up holograms.
This game is a lot of fun as a pack-in to the PS Aim controller. Marketing Farpoint as a full on game is almost misleading. It is a great title to pack-in with a new peripheral. Calling it a Triple-A title suggests VR games need to be shorter, easier and involve less production value than something like Borderlands or FarCry when they don’t. *Cough*Resident Evil 7*Cough* (Side note: Resident Evil 7 needs PS Aim support NOW)
The PS Aim controller is great. It is light without feeling cheap or awkward in my hands. Every button on the controller except the PS and R1 buttons are intuitive and easy to find when I am wearing the PSVR headset. The R2 trigger provides enough resistance so you wont accidentally pull the trigger but not too much that it takes any more effort than pressing a button. What was excellent was the fact that Farpoint knew where the gun was in the space so I could do things like hold it outstretched around a (virtual) corner or over a (virtual) rock and hit my target. It was a completely rewarding blindfire experience.
1 and a half thumbs up your pooper.