Oculus Rift Game Reviews – Windlands

Image Credit: https://www.oculus.com/experiences/rift/989322321141039/?locale=en_GB

Windlands for the Oculus Rift is a very strange kind of game to review. I would say that this is actually more of an “experience” than it is an actual game. Still, I love the idea behind what this game is offering and I have to say that it is one of the most relaxing and addictive games that I have messed around with on my Oculus Rift.

There is not actually a story in Windlands for Oculus Rift. You are in this strange place where an ancient civilization used to live, but that is about as much story as you are going to get. There is no major narrative, no big plot twist or anything like that. This is a game that is 100 percent all about the gameplay. I can see what they were going for here, but I do wish there was just a little bit of story to get me that little bit more invested in what I was doing.

So, what is the point of this game? Well to put it simply, getting from point A to point B is the purpose of this game. You have a nice amount of levels/areas to explore and you will be placed in a starting position and then you need to make your way to the end of the level. What is really cool about this and where the fun comes into play. Is that you are free to do this in any way that you want. So, you can take things nice and slow and go and explore these strange places and start to picture what this civilization may have been like.

While I did like doing some exploring. For me, the real joy of playing Windlands was in using the grappling hook. In many ways, this is what I imagine a Spider-Man VR game would play like. You aim your grappling hook and then shoot over to that area. Once you get the hang of the momentum system in the game, you can zip from place to place and pretty high speeds. There is a lot of trial and error in each level, where you figure out where you can go and where you cannot and that is part of the fun.

I played this using an Xbox One controller and felt that it worked very well. You walk with the analog stick. Use your grappling hook with the trigger and the A button is for jumping. The controls are very simple, so this is most certainly a game that anyone is going to be able to pick up and play. It is the kind of game where you can spend five minutes just screwing around and have a good time doing so. Or, you can fire it up with the intentions of playing for five minutes and still be playing an hour later.

I had way more fun with Windlands for the Oculus Rift than I thought I would. While you could argue there is “no point” to the game. I do feel that as an overall “experience” it is a good time. It also makes me hope that the folks behind this game can use this same game engine and make a story-driven game at some point!

Pros:

Using your grappling hook makes you feel like Spider-Man

The level designs are rather clever

The controls are super easy to learn

It is way more addictive than you would think

I liked the overall presentation

Cons:

No story to drive you forward

Price is a tad high for what it is

Oculus Rift Game Reviews – Robinson: The Journey

Image Credit: https://www.oculus.com/experiences/rift/1162702973806457/?locale=en_GB

When you watch a trailer for Robinson: The Journey. It is near impossible not to be blown away and want to dive right into this alien world. It is like a movie that you are part of and for me, this is what more VR games need to be trying to do. The developer, Crytek is one of the most ambitious around when it comes to VR and the scope and ideas behind this game are huge.

Let me start by talking about the story. As a sci-fi junky, I was so in from the get-go with this the story that this game is telling. You play the role of Robin who is a young guy. You crash land on a planet called, Tyson III. This is like a prehistoric kind of planet filled with all kinds of strange and dangerous creatures and there is no other human life here. You are all alone except for your AI companion and a baby T-Rex that takes a real shine to you. You explore this strange land, trying to survive, look for a way to get off it and also uncovering why you crashed in the first place.

The gameplay is not as action packed as you would think and at first, I was a little bummed out by this. I do feel that Robinson: The Journey could have had just a tad more action in it. Still, exploring and puzzle solving is truly awesome. I found that using my controller with the Oculus Rift and this game worked very, very well. The game lets you move around in the first person, but Crytek has been very clever with this. You can snap with the right analog stick and move with the other and it works very well. You can move at a brisk pace if you are looking straight on, but you move slower if you are not. It is hard to explain, but it works very well and reduces any chance of motion sickness.

The presentation of Robinson: The Journey is amazing. I love Tyson III and would actually spend most of my time playing this just exploring, climbing up high ledges, going into dark and creepy looking areas. A lot of attention to detail is here and that really does wonders to make the whole world feel like a real living and breathing place. The different “creatures” you come across have a very dinosaur kind of feel to them and that is something I really do love. For me, I would say that Skull Island is probably the best comparison I can give to what this strange place is like.

Most of your gameplay is about exploration and basic puzzle solving. You can pick up many things and then you can throw them and use them to solve puzzles. The gameplay, in all honesty, is not doing anything that I would say is groundbreaking in the world of VR. However, it does what it does very well and thanks to the gameplay being nice and tight and there being no technical hiccups, I had a fantastic time with the game.

As far as first person adventure games go on the Oculus Rift. I would have to say that Robinson: The Journey is one of the most ambitious I have come across. Clearly, a lot of time, money and love went into this game. It is a game I had a great deal of fun with and if you want a VR experience that has some real substance to it, you have to check this game out.

Pros:

The planet, Tyson III is awesome

The story is well written and very engaging

Plenty of puzzles for you to solve

You have a baby T-Rex companion!

The presentation from the sound to the visuals is great

Cons:

A little more action would have made this a 10/10

Some still might get a bit motion sick

Oculus Rift Game Reviews World of Mazes – Episode 1 (Chapters 1 & 2)

Image Credit: https://www.oculus.com/experiences/go/1450630291726754/?locale=en_GB

I actually first played World of Mazes on the Oculus Go so seeing how it ran on its big brother the Oculus Rift was something I was very interested to see. There are many first-person maze style games for all VR platforms, but one that always gets brought up as one of the best is World of Mazes and we are looking at the first episode today.

One of the things that many people do not realize about World of Mazes is that this is actually a very story-heavy kind of game. Many puzzle games are just about the puzzles and there is no narrative that puts the puzzles together. What World of Mazes does is very clever as it actually makes you care about what is happening?

The story has a fantasy kind of vibe to it and that is pretty cool. You are a prisoner and a cellmate called, Gelavon tells you that he serves a princess called Maya and she has been kidnapped. You join his quest to escape the maze and save the princess. You come across some interesting characters across the way and I think the game does a great job in making you actually care about what is happening with the story.

The story is great, but of course, as this is a maze game, the gameplay is what you are really here for. World of Mazes is actually quite a challenging game. I do feel that it is a fair challenge and the fact that each of the mazes you will be trapped in has their own rules makes going to a new maze an exciting and rather nerve-wracking experience. Getting to the end of the maze is the main goal as you will be sent by a portal to the next one.

I like how the mazes are so diverse and having to deal with NPC’s that you come across, monsters and puzzles makes for a very exciting game. Actually, the more I think about it the more I have come to realize that World of Mazes has a lot more in common with adventure games that it does your standard maze game. You can go from a maze that is all green to one that looks like hell!

The presentation of World of Mazes on the Oculus Rift is great. This is not the most graphically advanced game I have ever played. However, the Oculus Rift keeps things moving at solid framerate and as someone who has also played the Oculus Go version of this. I did notice that overall, this version is a bit sharper and smoother than what the Oculus Go version offered.

Controls are nice and solid and I played using the standard controllers and had no trouble at all. The whole game felt very responsive and in terms of the controls, I had no issues. There are some glitches here and there. For example, I got stuck at this one section with a ghost as I did what I needed to do, but the game did not register it so I had to restart that level. It was rather frustrating and I have heard this has happened to other people.

World of Mazes for the Oculus Rift is a fantastic adventure/maze/puzzle game. While I got the whole package, you can actually play the first part for free so there is no reason not to check it out. I had a lot of fun with this and I am greatly anticipating the second part of this game… if it ever comes!

Pros:

It looks great on the Oculus Rift

There is a nice variety to the mazes

Many of the NPC’s that you deal with are fun

You can play the first part of the game for free

It is far more story-driven than you would think

Cons:

It does have some glitches here and there

Where the heck is the next part???