Have you ever wanted to go on a trip to a distant unknown world? For example, on another planet, located hundreds of thousands of light years from Earth? It is simply impossible to do this with the help of existing technologies. Perhaps our descendants will one day learn to travel on such huge distances, but so far we can only dream. On the other hand, there is one wonderful way, thanks to which you can be almost anywhere. This method is called "virtual reality". And to visit the distant planet with us will help you play Farpoint, released exclusively for the Sony PlayStation 4 game console and the PlayStation VR helmet.
Since I first became acquainted with virtual reality, which happened a few years ago, I literally turned into a "VR-missionary". It turned out that most people do not quite understand how wonderful virtual reality is, even with all of its current technical limitations. Most often people's familiarity with this technology is limited to devices like Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR, which, to put it mildly, was not even lying around with the experience that can be obtained from high-end VR-headsets like HTC Vive, Oculus Rift or PlayStation VR. Therefore, it seems to me that in order to make the virtual reality technology popular, first of all, it is necessary to organize free demonstrations and illiteracy among the interested population as often as possible.
I like to introduce people to a completely new world of interactive entertainment, so from time to time I invite friends to visit me and I suggest trying out a few VR games. I sincerely love to watch how a person literally five minutes ago claimed that it was impossible to surprise him, enthusiastically waving virtual pistols, shooting back from bandits, or as if a fifth grader was screaming with fear, being inside a frightening horror. Virtual reality spreads very slowly for several reasons, one of which I have already outlined above is the lack of a clear idea of it in people. The second problem is the high current cost of devices: HTC Vive will cost you 70 000 rubles, and PlayStation VR – at 35 000. Plus, you will need a powerful computer or game console, as well as related accessories that also cost money.
The third important problem is the shortage of really large high-budget games. Here everything is quite understandable: gaming publishers are afraid to invest in the development of serious AAA projects a lot of money, because it will be very difficult to recoup them at the current time. The virtual reality market is quite young and the number of VR-headsets sold is still small. The Japanese company Sony is one of the few who understands the problem of lack of content, therefore, struggling to provide its users with worthy VR-projects. For the PlayStation VR headset, games such as Batman: Arkham VR, Eve: Valkyrie, Robinson: The Journey, Rush of Blood, Here They Lie, Dirt Rally VR, Driveclub VR, Resident Evil VII, Job Simulator, Psychonauts in the Rhombus Of Ruin, RIGS, StarBlood Arena and many others. Not far off is the release of zombie shooter Arizona Sunshine, a car simulator Gran Turismo Sport, a flight simulator Ace Combat 7, a dating simulator Summer Lesson, as well as a fighting game Tekken 7 with VR support. And we still do not know what the E3 2017 will please us, because it is possible that Sony will announce other major games for virtual reality from its in-house studios.
I was waiting for the Farpoint game with great impatience. Since the moment when I first tested the shooter in the framework of last year's exhibition "Igromir", I literally counted the days until the moment when the game goes on sale. Farpoint is a very important release for Sony, because in the complete set with the game the user receives a special plastic rifle PlayStation Aim. Japanese engineers have long worked on this accessory, trying to make it as convenient, intuitive and safe for players as possible. As you already know, Aim is developed on the basis of the already existing system for tracking luminous spheres used in the PlayStation Move controllers. On the rifle body you can find almost all the controls that are available on the DualShock 4 controllers, except perhaps the touch panel. Do not think that Farpoint will be the only game supporting this accessory. Sony plans to regularly release new shooters with support for PlayStation Aim, so that without a rifle will not lie.
The plot of Farpoint tells the story of a nameless pilot who arrives at a space station engaged in exploring an unusual cosmic phenomenon. According to the law of the genre, everything goes out of control, and the protagonist, along with several other staff of the station, is abandoned to a distant unexplored planet where they will not only have to survive, but also find a way to return home. The planet is populated with creepy giant insect-like creatures, representing a mortal danger for humans. The protagonist breaks through the hordes of alien monsters and tries to find the survivors of the disaster people, simultaneously discovering their audio and video diaries, as well as opening more and more secrets of the unfriendly planet. The scenario of the game is quite good and it was very interesting for me personally to follow the fate of the main characters. The final of the story somewhat greases the big picture, although for sure someone will like the ending.
Moving a character in the three-dimensional space of VR games is a painful topic for any developer. In the case of Farpoint, the movement of the main character in the locations is carried out using two analog handles. Several control schemes are built into the game. The first one, active by default, is the almost complete absence of a turn around its axis: you are moving forward, slightly correcting the direction of movement with the rifle of the rifle. It should be noted that the locations and gameplay are designed in such a way that the player simply does not need to turn back. Enemies attack exclusively from the front, so worry about a blow in the back should not be. If you do not like, when you are deprived of complete freedom of movement, at any time you can use the second analog stick. The rotation is carried out in two ways: either by a smooth movement, which is not very friendly with respect to the vestibular apparatus, or with the help of a turn for a fixed number of degrees around its axis. The size of this angle can be adjusted to your taste. Surprisingly, I have never experienced in Farpoint even a hint of dizziness or nausea. Is that a couple of times almost fell to the fifth point, like a penguin, staring at the plane flying over it. But this is entirely my fault, and not a miscalculation of game developers.
From the point of view of game mechanics, we have quite an ordinary first-person shooter before us, but the thing is that virtual reality, along with the PlayStation Aim rifle, is just doing some miracles. No, you can play with the usual controller DualShock 4, but, believe me, you will not get a tenth of the pleasure that can provide you a new accessory Sony. I really did not think that I would live to the point when inside the game it will be possible to aim, putting a rifle to the shoulder and looking into the collimator sight, screwing up the second eye and looking for the right angle, under which the projection of the aiming mark is visible. From now on, you can target the video game just like in reality, while the convenience of such a control scheme is incredibly high. Literally in 10-15 minutes you begin to forget that you are inside the game. Shootings with evil aliens consume you completely, forcing you to believe unconditionally in what is happening around you.
Arsenal Farpoint includes an assault rifle, shotgun, sniper rifle, as well as a few more guns, whose names I deliberately do not want to disclose. Each of them behaves individually, each has its own aiming system, so you will have to get used to the use of this weapon from scratch. And this, dammit, just wonderful! To change the cannon during the game, you can press the "triangle" button or simply raise the PlayStation Aim rifle to the shoulder, as if pulling out another weapon from behind it. In addition to the basic function of shooting, each weapon also has a second, additional ability. For example, launching missiles with semi-automatic guidance on the target (you have to correct the trajectory of their flight with their movements) or an under-barrel grenade launcher. In total, the protagonist can carry with him two types of weapons. As you pass, you will find more and more guns. To change the current weapon to the found, you will simply need to bring your virtual rifle to a new trunk, after which a replacement will take place. Periodically, you will also run into additional ammunition sets of rockets and grenades, which you just need to touch to collect them. Cartridges and other main ammunition in the game are endless, but some types of rifles overheat or take some time to recharge.
The bestiary of the planet on which the action of the game Farpoint unfolds resembles the film "Star Troopers" (1997) directed by Paul Verhoeven. Remember this? The same, based on the novel by Robert Heinlein, in which brave space infantrymen fight with huge beetles. At times it seemed to me that the developers were also inspired by the film "Alien" – too little were the arachnids that flashed in my face. I was very pleased with the wonderful giant boss-arachnid, which I managed to fill up only with the tenth attempt. But what was my surprise, when for the rest of the game to me more than one boss did not meet. I was truly upset. You will have to fight not only with alien insects, but also with other types of enemies. I can not tell you anything about them, since in this case I will reveal the plot spoilers. I think that all this you will have to discover for yourself.
The visual component of Farpoint does not disrupt the stars from the sky, but it looks very dignified. I played on the regular PS4 console, but eyewitnesses say that the PS4 Pro graphics are noticeably more enjoyable. On this console, the game demonstrates more detailed textures and advanced image smoothing. Most of the events of Farpoint unfold on the desert surface of the planet with giant active volcanoes and sandstorms, but from time to time you will descend into caves with luminescent living plants and blue-lava flows. On the one hand, the lack of a great variety in terms of locations can be attributed to minuses. On the other hand, what else do you want? Another's planet is harsh and does not intend to pamper you with picturesque views, although from time to time, they will still meet even among the endless barkhans. But what really impressed me was the animation of the characters. Their facial expressions are performed at a very high level. I was genuinely surprised when I saw the tears of one of the heroes flowing down the cheeks under the glass of the helmet of the suit. Among other things, the game has a wonderful voice and realistic surround sound. If you have high-quality headphones, you can determine with high accuracy, from which side the alien is going to attack you. The detailing of the binaural sound is so high that when you twist your head, you can hear in the headphones how the material of your spacesuit will be fixed. These tiny details allow you to even better immerse in the atmosphere of Farpoint.
In some places the game is incredibly complex. Opponents take not advanced artificial intelligence, but a huge amount, stepping on you with waves. On the one hand, it's nice that Farpoint is not going to make concessions to players. On the other hand – at times I was a step away from psycho and angrily hurl the PlayStation Aim controller into the wall. Another thing that bothered me was that the "checkpoints" were too far apart. After the death of the protagonist, you have to pereprohodit quite a long section of the location on the new one. Over time, develop your own strategy of fighting, learn the strengths and weaknesses of each type of opponent, you get used to futuristic weapons, after which it becomes much easier to play. The duration of Farpoint is from 6 to 8 hours, which is more than enough for a VR project.
After the game is completed, you will be able to test your skills in the arcade mode "Tests". In the allotted time, you will be offered battles against hordes of enemies, for the killing of which points will be added and additional bonus time will be put on. Your records will be uploaded to the online table along with the results of other players. But this is not the most enjoyable game mode Farpoint. After all, you can invite your friend into the game and, together with him, shoulder to shoulder, to fight with alien monsters. That's where the real fun, I tell you! However, of course, for this you will need a friend with the PlayStation 4 console, the PlayStation VR VR, the PlayStation Aim rifle and, of course, your copy of the Farpoint game. If all the conditions are met, be sure to try the cooperative mode – it's worth it!
Farpoint – the first large-budget game, allowing at least a corner of the eye to see the bright future of the virtual reality tandem and first-person shooters. The PlayStation Aim rifle is a wonderful VR accessory, providing a complete immersion in the gameplay. Apart from virtual reality Farpoint, most likely, would be just an average quality shooter. But as soon as you find yourself in the virtual world, everything changes instantly. Here it is – the natural evolution of the genre! And this is only the beginning. The intriguing plot is somewhat smeared not by the most successful ending, but the game mechanics in places suffers from monotony, but this does not detract from the merits of the game. Developers from the studio Impulse Gear together with Sony specialists managed to create an excellent model of character management in VR-space, relieve the player of discomfort and nausea, and also to realize in his game entertaining and very dynamic skirmishes. Personally, I stayed with the game in full ecstasy, so Farpoint receives from me well-deserved 8 points out of 10 .