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reviews
Farpoint

Farpoint

Relative newcomer Impulse Gear has delivered a VR shooter that works with Sony's snazzy new controller. But do they have minerals to take on the big guns?

  • Text: Graham Bellars

The game opens in deep space. Your ship is attempting to dock with The Pilgrim, a space station that sits quietly in the cosmos observing a strange space anomaly. Relax and enjoy the scenery as the story unfolds. It doesn't take too long for the action to begin and you soon find yourself on a seemingly uncharted, barren planet. After emerging from the escape pod, your main goal is to attempt to find your missing colleagues who you believe to be somewhere amongst the wreckage. Stepping out with an assault rifle in hand you are introduced to the new Aim controller.

Farpoint utilises this sleek, minimalist, light gun with great effect. Reminiscent of the old PS3 Sharpshooter, it combines all the functions of a DualShock 4 with the motion tracking of a Move controller. It may be simple in design, but that is soon forgotten when you pull on the headset, as the Aim can be transformed into a whole arsenal of impressive weapons. The button placement on the Aim is intuitive and even those unfamiliar with gun games will be prompted on screen to remind you the placement of the Menu, Reload, and Secondary Fire buttons. The vibration of the haptic feedback is also essential in making the Aim feel more real in your hands, from the rumble of your assault rifle, kick of the shotgun blasts, or the thump of the grenade launcher, the level of detail is superb. Farpoint can be played without the Aim controller and the DS4 does work relatively well, but we found the necessary accuracy needed to deal with some enemies made it to frustrating, so we would highly recommend the Aim controller as your weapon of choice. This, added to the fact that more upcoming games will incorporate the Aim, such as The Brookhaven Experiment (a new update will be available on June 6), zombie shooter Arizona Sunshine, as well as Dick Wilde and ROM: Extraction, which means that getting the Farpoint/Aim bundle is definitely worth doing.

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With many virtual reality games, movement can be key to making or breaking the experience, with nausea being a major problem for some gamers. Farpoint helps ease the player in gently, though, and through a whole host of options lets you pick your desired choice of movement. Smooth movement was our preferred option as it uses the front stick to move forward, backward, and strafe, and rear stick to turn, just as you would in any ordinary FPS. It feels more natural and fluid, especially when the action heats up.

Making your way through the wreckage of The Pilgrim you notice that, although you may be following a fairly linear path, you are able to explore and backtrack, as well as taking slightly different routes to the next objectives. The views and vistas set out before you are on a grand scale, the ability to take in your surroundings while in VR help impact on how remote, desolate, and alien the planet feels. It soon becomes apparent this planet is not what it seems, and arachnophobes beware! Large spider-like aliens that could have been plucked straight out of Starship Troopers scuttle and screech in the shadows, ready to pounce. The sound effects are great and help build the tension while exploring, and a punchy action soundtrack also kicks in when they inevitably attack, so after a fierce firefight, when you hear that score come to an end, you know you can calm down, breathe for a while, and regain your composure as it can get a little disorienting focusing so intensely while playing in VR.

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