Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Star Wars Battlefront have gone head-to-head in the VR spectrum by releasing very similar and free (that magical word) space fighter VR levels to their games.
I bought a day-one PlayStation VR, and ever since, I have been balancing my enthusiasm for VR with the reality that there are a very limited number of good #VR games available. Like any avid gamer, I excitedly set upon these two titles with the expectation they would be the bee's knees of VR awesomeness.
What I have found though with these two VR games is that my longing to be a space fighter pilot is still in a galaxy far, far away.
Star Wars Battlefront Rogue One: X-Wing VR Mission
Star Wars Battlefront Rogue One: X-Wing VR Mission sounds like a dream come true. After watching Rogue One, my love of all things Star Wars is seriously at new heights.
Following the success of #RogueOne, it was logical that Electronic Arts (EA) would look to bring players back to Star Wars Battlefront through a groundbreaking Rogue One X-Wing VR. Regrettably, after the "ooh" and "aah" phase of flying in an X-Wing wore off, the shallow and all too familiar boring gameplay presented itself once again.
Don’t get me wrong, it's beyond cool to be sitting in an X-Wing as part of the Rogue Squadron – it’s all Wookie hugs and kisses. What's so disappointing, is the decision to only allow safe and boring VR gameplay.
Compared to Eve Valkyrie, the movement of Battlefront Rogue One: X-Wing VR might as well be on rails. EA have played it too safe to reduce the likely chance of nausea. The lack of any speed, or freedom to do any special maneuvers, detrimentally reduces the feeling of immersive skill-based gameplay.
Even when hitting the boost button, it feels like you are playing an X-Wing space bus. All I wanted for Christmas was a VR Rogue Squadron style game....
Call of Duty: Jackal Assault VR Experience
Call of Duty: Jackal Assault VR Experience, hints at the potential of this type of VR game, but still ultimately falls a little short. In direct contrast to Star Wars Battlefront Rogue One: X-Wing VR Mission, Jackal Assault lets you twist and turn, making you feel like you are actually in an aerial dogfight.
Sadly, the level of immersion is still noticeably measured well below Eve Valkyrie. Gameplay was not on rails as such, but it wasn't much more than a bumper car in space. No matter what you fly into, or how many enemy ships get away - the outcome is nearly guaranteed to be the same once your time is up.
Any real proficiency or skill required to be a fighter ace requires only the ability to look at targets to aim, and then pressing R2 on the controller to fire tracking missiles that never miss. Lame!
It’s as if developer, Infinity Ward considered its player base to be nothing more than new-born gamer noobs who cry at the notion of not being a winner every time.
Call of Duty: Jackal Assault VR Experience feel more like the VR space battle experience I was looking for. In the heat of battle, the ease of gameplay makes you feel like you are Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica, and it’s fun. But the limited interactive gameplay, and lack of skill required to play, removes any reason to try it. Ever again.
I Wanted These to Be Better
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Star Wars Battlefront are two gaming titles that have, for the most part, missed the mark of being great games. It’s unfortunate, because just like SCHWARZENEGGER rolling across the opening credits of Predator in 1987, the strong brand recognition of both CoD and Star Wars already gets fans invested – this is gonna be good!
But alas, neither experience was.
Either through an obligation to jump on the Virtual Reality hype train, or from nothing more than a good old fashion mid-air arm-wrestle of competitive superiority, Infinity Ward and EA both decided to add a free VR level to their games. After playing both, I am genuinely perplexed to know what the actual objective was in making them.
It was a briefly entertaining experience, but in terms of quality gaming that have any real substance or longevity, these VR missions don't live up to their brands.
What has been your experience with Call of Duty: Jackal Assault VR Experience and Star Wars Battlefront Rogue One: X-Wing VR Mission?