It’s mind boggling to us that there aren’t more VR sports games out there. Sports seem to be the most obvious synergy for immediate immersion into the world of VR. Thankfully, the sports junkie and VR addict can finally come together with this really cool game. Virtual Sports VR is a much needed game in the VR landscape and we’re glad it’s here, but can it live up the high calling it has to bring real sports experiences to VR? Let’s find out!
What is Virtual Sports?
Firstly, I want to say that you should not be fooled by the title of this game and I rather dislike the deception this game plays by using Virtual Sports as their title. Unlike what the title suggests, this game has one idea with two implementations. In this game, you are playing either Ping Pong or Tennis. The reason I say one idea with two implementations is due to the fact that, mathematically, Pong Pong and Tennis are identical in function. The only difference is where the field that you play on is rendered and the size of that rendering. Otherwise, the physics are the same and the goals are the same. So, while you may have been hoping for football, basketball, baseball or hockey, you’re stuck with tennis and ping pong for the time being.
Graphics and Visuals 4/5
The graphics are quite impressive for this game and a lot went into the background detail of the areas that you play in. With that said, the players and the table/field that you play on took considerably less time. This is something I find ironic, but not something that interferes with the impressiveness of the game’s graphics.
Hardware Requirements 5/5
Even though the graphics are really good, the game requires the average among the industry, which is really quite a surprise. For Virtual Sports, you will need an i5 4590 processor with 4GB of RAM on a GTX 970 with 3GB of space. Again, that may be fairly common for the average VR game, but it shows that developers haven’t been optimizing their code.
Because this game is based around Ping Pong and Tennis, the game is very fitness focused, albeit a bit of a letdown that it doesn’t have any other, more mainstream, sports to play. This, however, does not mean you will be pushing yourself very hard though. The game removes most of the maneuverability by taking out the need to walk. Instead, you teleport to where you need to be in order to hit the ball. With that said, the rest of the sports remain unchanged. Additionally, the game is multiplayer, which means that there will be a competitive approach to this game and this furthers the fitness focused goal of this game. How much of a workout is it really? You won’t be running around a tennis court, but you will be swinging and lunging about. Your arms and legs will feel a burn over a 20-30 minutes session and you can expect to burn anywhere up to 100 calories if you really play into it, but it’s not something that’s going to light up your fat loss or build muscle by any means.
The overall gameplay is very easy to learn and get used to, but the game is simply not worth $19.99 when you have competition in other categories that perform much better at a lower price point. The environments do add realism to the game you are playing and you can interact with them, but the game is still lacking in many areas, especially with a deceptive title in place. Many have already stated that Eleven provides a much better experience in Ping Pong. Perhaps once this game has more than just one approach to sports it may receive a better review, but there’s nothing gamers dislike more than being deceived in what they’re getting.
Overall Rating: 3/5
I know that some of you may think I have come over a bit harsh on this game. Good, that was what I wanted to come across. This is not the mobile platform where any developer can release an app and the mobile community doesn’t get a backlash. These are the early years of VR’s rebirth and it is vital to give good games their due while burying bad games underneath a pile of dirt. The VR industry doesn’t need the Flash version of branding where you automatically assume you will get low quality because it is made on that format. VR, like many items to come out in the past two years, has created its own industry of gamers and it needs a powerful image that is not as marred as other technologies reinventing how we deal with technology. If you don’t want me to release a bad review, don’t make a bad game. And, really, don’t say it’s a game for VR sports and only give us tennis and ping pong.