VRFC has something in its favour, and that's the fact that it's the first real attempt at recreating a full football game in virtual reality. It's not the first football-based VR game, since we already had games like Headmaster, but that game was only limited to headers. VRFC tries to recreate the whole experience of a football game in virtual reality and therefore deserves some appreciation. Unfortunately, it fails spectacularly in recreating its goal.
This is not really football, it's a confusing and clumsy mimic, which although resembles the sport, it never really manages to feel like you're playing the beautiful game. VRFC is played in the first-person, and it requires two Move controllers. Each Move controller represents one foot, which means that you will be mimicking the movements of the feet with your hands. Intuitive? No, it's rather confusing really. In order to run you need to move the controllers as if you're actually running, and before you ask, no, we never really felt that nauseous playing VRFC. There are also several options to change how the player-character's movement works, adjustable to suit your stomach's ability to handle virtual reality. It's another positive for this title by Cherry Pop Games game, but that's about it.
As each controller represents a foot, to dribble the ball you have to 'kick' it with the Move. Then there are several techniques you can use, such as strafing with the ball or trying to kick it with more power and precision. There is even a button to keep the view centered on the ball, and another to keep the run relatively contextual to its position. But is it intuitive? No, it's terrible. Except for running, none of the actions seem natural, and even the art of kicking the ball doesn't work very well. We tried to curve the ball by kicking it from the side and from below, to raise the ball, but the physics of the ball rarely responded as we wanted. If given enough time VRFC starts to feel a bit easier to control, but it's never truly intuitive, and we've never had the feeling of playing something akin to our own our experience of football. Now we know how someone who has never kicked a ball feels when they're trying to play real football.
In addition to the tutorials and some challenges, there is no solo content. There are no real teams, stadiums, leagues, or anything else. Only one online mode for 10 players. The game divides the teams into five players on each side, plus a goalkeeper that's controlled by AI and looks like he's on a fussball table. What follows is total chaos, a mess that may be amusing in terms of how ridiculous everything is, but which never gets close to recreating a football match. To add to the chaos is the fact that the ball never leaves the field, bouncing on an invisible barrier that covers every sideline. You can arguably use it to bounce it on purpose, but if you manage to do that effectively, then you're a better VRFC player then us.
Even graphically, VRFC is terrible. The character models (female and male) are the most basic we've seen in a long time, and the "stadium" isn't really an arena. It's as if your playing in one of those FIFA training pitches. A field, basic models, tutorials, and an online mode. Even for a low-priced game (€20 / £15), we expected more content.
We had a lot more fun with Headmaster, even if that game's limited to heading. VRFC simply doesn't recreate the game that we spent endless hours playing in the street with our friends. Instead, it's a poorly made knockoff that doesn't really deserve your attention or effort. We appreciate Cherry Pop Game's ambition, and we realise how difficult it must be to pull off a true football simulation in virtual reality, but what we've been given here is a game that's lacking in content and burdened with poor controls. Trust us, it's a lot more fun to just kick a ball against a wall than it is to play VRFC.