Review: Surgeon Simulator: Experience Reality (PSVR)

Formats:

  • PlayStation 4
  • HTC Vive
  • Oculus Rift

Format/Hardware Used:

  • Blu-ray Disc / PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • PlayStation VR Required
  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move Optional (2)
Title: Surgeon Simulator: Experience Reality
Format: PSN (1.5 GB)
Release Date: December 3, 2016
Publisher: Bossa Studios
Developer: Bossa Studios
Original MSRP: $19.99 (US), €19.99 (EU), £15.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: T
PEGI: 18
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Do not buy Surgeon Simulator: Experience Reality. It is a waste of your time, money, and sanity. I wish those were not my feelings and opinion on this port of a seemingly popular game. It should work so well in a stationary VR environment but it fails miserably.

Gameplay:
I just had to let you know as soon as possible, this is a terrible game. Not because of the gore and gross aspects of digging around in a sedated body, that should be the silly and crazy fun, and it might have been if it were not for the disastrous controls.

You can control (I say that in the loosest sense of the word) the game with two Move controllers acting as your virtual hands, or a DualShock 4 that forces you to swap between hands in a stupidly awkward and pointless way. I patiently waited to write this review, as I was sure an update was quickly being written and submitted. Sure enough, I was right.

Sadly, the update only made things worse. Having played other games where you control a graphical representation of some virtual hands, I thought I knew what to expect. It would be easy to gouge out a heart and fling it across the room, little did I know it would be mental anguish and frustration to even pick up a pen in the reception area let alone perform surgery of any kind.

Before the update, your hands would change to a skeleton when you had moved too far in real space, however the boundaries for this were so miniscule it became a chore when attempting to pick anything up. When you eventually coerce the virtual hands into holding an implement, it will sporadically hurl said implement away and you cannot always reach those things again.

… a brutal exercise in frustration and misery …
After failing miserably on my first patient who needed a new heart, I attempted to calibrate the controllers and even restarted the game with similar results. Do not get me started on the laughably impractical DualShock 4 control scheme. Then there is the matter of the finger movement or lack of, three buttons should control the grip of the fingers and thumb but on the Move, one of those does not work.

Now, since the update, the virtual hands intermittently freeze in place with a gray corpse-like skin tone. It is only brief but it happens often and makes the game unplayable. In fact, I am not sure why I keep referring to this as a game; it is more of a brutal exercise in frustration and misery.

It was only out of blind luck that I managed to swap hearts and complete the first task. Every other time resulted in a struggle to break apart the rib cage, cut the arteries, and even open the container with the new heart.

Just freeing and grabbing the old heart was a nightmare, nothing would cut the stupid pipes (those artery and vein thingies, I’m not a doctor dammit) and more often than not, the patient would die. On a few occasions, the laser cutter or knife just fell from the incompetent virtual hands into the open cavity and caused massive blood loss or a heart attack and it would be over.

… consider swapping places with the sedated fool on the operating table …
Visuals:
The game has average graphics, but painfully bad collision detection ruins things and makes it impossible to enjoy, let alone play. My guess is that the gray hands of death update failed to fix the issues that run rampant in this expensive simulation of a lone medical student as they man the reception and operating theater because everyone else has given up.

Audio:
I am not even going to bother commenting on this, as I am unable to properly experience five minutes without shouting in annoyance.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is singleplayer only with no online component so you can suffer alone.

Conclusion:
Surgeon Simulator: Experience Reality is just that, an experience of a horrifying virtual reality where everything is painfully broken and after many failed attempts, you will consider swapping places with the sedated fool on the operating table.

Maybe, after a few invasive examinations and several careful procedures, the developers at Bossa Studios might be able to pull this horrible experience together and show us why their original simulation game was so popular and deserves a place in your VR collection. Maybe they should check out some other VR Sims.

Score:

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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  • AlexHelm

    well, its not a sim, even if the title says it is. its supposed to control like crap.

    • ChazzH69

      There is ‘controling like crap’ and there is ‘not being able to control it at all,’ it was impossible to play.