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RIGS Mechanized Combat League

RIGS Mechanized Combat League

Perhaps the best PSVR game available.

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If Rocket League and Titanfall had a baby, it'd be called RIGS Mechanized Combat League. Guerrilla Cambridge's latest offering is a PlayStation VR exclusive, and in our opinion it's probably the best launch title out now for the virtual reality headset; but that doesn't mean you should go running out to buy a copy. It's a game about futuristic sports and online competition, but it also caused the most discomfort across the entirety of the GR team.

It got so bad that we had to pass the review around a little until it landed on someone that didn't need a bucket beside them while actually playing. Initially, yes, RIGS Mechanized Combat League caused some light dizziness, but we think there is a solution for this, but we'll get there later.

RIGS is a game that portrays a futuristic sport that pits two three-person teams against each other. Each player takes control of a robot that comes with specific characteristics, and naturally players must utilise their various strengths and work together if they want to achieve victory. The entire game is played from a first-person perspective, in stadium-like arenas, and with mechs that boast great mobility (and this final factor is the one that can cause discomfort among players).

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RIGS has you playing from the pilot's perspective, viewed from inside the mech's cockpit, and the immersion it creates is fantastic. Look around and you will see the detail inside the mech, with panels showing important information (ammunition, radar, score ...); it's an amazing feeling that is only possible in virtual reality. If RIGS were not released on the PSVR it would still be a fun game, but it's undeniable how much RIGS benefits from virtual reality when it comes to player immersion.

It's played with the DualShock 4, like you would a traditional game. Each trigger corresponds to a weapon, and you can jump, slide to the side, and run for a frontal attack. Then there's two camera control modes, and in our opinion one is a lot more aggressive on the player's stomach than the other. The default setting has you controlling aim and direction with your head movements. If you look to the left, both the aim and the mech will turn in that direction. As RIGS' movement is fast and fluid, this can cause some discomfort. Fortunately there is an alternative option.

You can instead pass the camera and the turning controls over to the right analog stick, while your head will only control the aim (independently from the actual camera). This means you can aim left without having the mech turn that way, involving less sudden movements. Although the first set of controls might be slightly faster (and the best option if you decide to get serious about it), the alternate control scheme is friendlier for the first few hours.

There are four base mechs that you can control, and they come in different sizes and with various abilities. For example, one is small (there are certain passages where only this mech can go) and can glide in the air, while there's another that's strong and tall, and when that mech jumps it's able to perform a powerful attack on the way down. Then there are several classes available for all the base mechs: one is able to recover health after eliminating an enemy, another can steal elements (like the ball) at a distance, and so on. You can also control different weapons depending on the robot and the class you choose, but you'll need to earn money to buy different classes.

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All the mechs have something in common; they're energy focused. You can direct the energy to either have them walk faster, attack with more power, or repair themselves. The way you use this mechanic is essential to your chances of securing the win. On top this balancing act there's also an overdrive mode, which is triggered with three consecutive kills. While active, overdrive mode will power all three energy settings simultaneously.

As for game modes, there are three. Team Takedown is basically Team Deathmatch. Endzone is a variant of American football, the aim being to take the ball into the enemy area. You can pass the ball, useful because a carrier will drop it when killed. There is also Powerslam. This mode puts a giant hoop in the center of the arena, and the goal is to score points by passing through the hoop (from above) while in overdrive mode.

RIGS is a competitive game focused on online gameplay, and it works quite well. The microphone built into the PSVR fulfils its function and enables easy communication between all team members, and we rarely had any lag or frame-rate problems. In addition to the online mode, there is also an offline league, and although it isn't as interesting, it does let you compete across entire seasons. You can hire AI-controlled teammates and participate in a championship and a cup. In another mode you can customise the pilot's look and get sponsorships for online and offline variants. These sponsors are linked to challenges (scoring two points in Endzone, or eliminate five enemies in a game, for example), and they're worth cash rewards needed to buy new classes.


The moment to moment experience in RIGS is excellent; the implementation of virtual reality is impressively done, and the game is both competitive and fun. It's all wrapped up as part of a polished package that comes with decent graphics. The team leader can be a bit annoying with comments made during matches, but the sound of the audience, the audio effects, and motivating music; it all adds plenty of atmosphere to the game.

There is, however, something we have to point out about RIGS, which is the lack of content. Being a full-price game, it should have had more robots, more arenas (it only as four), and more customisation options. It's possible that Guerrilla Cambridge will add more content in the future, but as a base, it feels a bit short. Another possible negative factor is linked to the player base. It's limited to PS4, people that bought the PSVR, and those who grabbed a copy of RIGS (and finally those people that can actually play the game without feeling ill). It's a small player base, and although we found no issue at the time of writing, we fear that there might be a lack of players in the future.

You should of course consider the shortcomings mentioned above, but the most important thing that you need to remember is that RIGS is one of the games causing the most motion sickness among players, so you really need to try it first (there's a demo on the disc/PS Store). No one wants to spend money on a game they might not be able to play. However, if you do have a stern stomach and thus a resistance to virtual reality-related motion sickness, then RIGS is one of the best games you can buy for PSVR, especially if you like getting competitive.

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08 Gamereactor UK
8 / 10
Stunning virtual reality experience. Great incentive to competition. Decent production values. Includes a good offline mode.
It should have more arenas, modes and competitions. It requires an stomach of iron.
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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