Farpoint is finally here! After being teased as a possible Playstation VR release title last year, Farpoint and the much coveted Aim Controller were delayed for more fine tuning. Luckily, all that extra polish seems to have paid off, as this is one hell of an experience.
Farpoint quickly strands you on a mysterious alien world and slowly reveals its story through holographic logs that you find while searching for your fellow crew members. While the story is decent enough, it’s not anything particularly original or compelling, but that’s ok because it’s really all just an excuse for you to annihilate hordes of enemies.
The game starts you out nice and easy with some smaller bug enemies to practice on, but it’s not long before things get serious and you find yourself faced with increasingly large and aggressive groups of foes. You’ll blast your way through various Starship Troopers-style bugs, killer robots, and angry aliens, and they aren’t going to make it easy on you either. They’ll ambush you, flank you, and call their buddies to help if you’re not quick and accurate enough.
Lucky for you, the combat mechanics and the Aim are both very well designed. Movement is simple and effective with the little thumbsticks on each handle. Aiming is precise and satisfying, whether you’re shooting from the hip by eye or using the nice holographic sights that most guns offer (which is a pretty cool little visual effect in 3D too).
Hopefully the Aim will work as well in future games as it does here. It’s really a nice immersive feature, with comfortable grips/controls and impressively varying rumble effects that really make you feel like you’re carrying and firing the weapons you appear to be holding. It really goes to show that full-on first person shooters are possible on PSVR too, as opposed to the basic arcade style wave survival shooters that seem to comprise the majority of VR games so far.
Farpoint‘s main campaign is relatively short, clocking in at roughly 5-6 hours, but there are also a selection of challenge levels that open up afterwards, and some co-op levels to be played if you happen to be lucky enough to know someone else that has a PSVR and Farpoint (Which I am not…yet!). The game itself sells for less than full price though, so it’s still a pretty good deal of content for your money.
Now for a few complaints though. While motion sickness is a subject of much debate in the world of VR, with different games having completely different results on different people, Farpoint was a bit disorienting for me when played standing up as the game recommends. I had to make some adjustments to the game settings, relocate my camera, and move my seat forward a bit so that I could play sitting down. Luckily it’s still completely playable this way, but it was a slight hassle.
Also, while Farpoint itself is still freely available everywhere, the Aim Controller, in both solo package and the Farpoint bundle, apparently sold out almost immediately everywhere. Not expecting this, I didn’t pick the game up on release day, and so ended up having to pay a bit extra for the bundle on eBay, the only place I could find it for sale. As of right now the controller and the bundle are already selling for about twice their original price. I’d like to think that this is just temporary and that this isn’t a case of Sony pulling a Nintendo, but one never knows. You’ll have to decide for yourself if you want to rush to buy one now before it gets worse or try to wait it out (If it helps though, neither Aim or regular Move controllers are required to play Farpoint).
In the end though, Farpoint still proves to be one of the best titles I’ve played in VR so far and hopefully it will serve as an example for others to take the risk on producing high quality VR shooters. The Aim is also a very fun and capable peripheral that’s definitely a worthwhile investment if you’re into this kind of thing.