Review: Radial-G: Racing Revolved (PSVR)

Review: Radial-G: Racing Revolved (PSVR)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Oculus Rift
  • HTC Vive
  • Samsung Gear VR
  • Steam VR
  • Google Daydream
  • Razer OSVR

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • 4K HDR

Extras:

  • PlayStation VR Required
  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
  • PS VR Aim Controller None
Title: Radial-G: Racing Revolved
Format: PSN (3.03 GB)
Release Date: September 12, 2017 (EU)
Publisher: Tammeka Games
Developer: Tammeka Games
Original MSRP: $29.99
ESRB Rating: E10+
PEGI: 7
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
When Sony announced that wipEout was being released on PlayStation 4, my very first thought was “I hope it has VR support.” The futuristic racer feels like the perfect mix for VR face melting. While wipEout skipped out on VR support, Radial-G is nothing but VR support. But we should all know by now that without proper execution, the idea of something alone does not automatically guarantee success. So I jumped into the grid and gave this game a run.

Radial-G delivers that same feverish pace and intensity that made beloved series like F-Zero and wipEout so enticing, and it does it in virtual reality. Thus, it is absolutely not for the faint of heart. That’s not to say that I experienced any sickness while playing it, rather, the game is intense, incredibly fast, and most races take place on a fully “tubular” racetrack.

By tubular, I mean that you are not just going left and right on a flat plane. Instead, you will be going around the outside of a tube, and at times on the inside. There are jumps, barriers, other racers, and more jumps – as in from one plane to another. And I smiled through the entire experience, even if I did have my ass handed to me for a couple of races before I finally started getting into the groove of things.

You’re offered the choice of a handful of hovercrafts from the onset. I went with the speedy one that favored better handling over the bulky ones that took more damage. Unlockable crafts are available, as are a healthy choice of circuits and tracks set in various environments. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of content here.

Did I mention that this game is fast? Veterans of the aforementioned wipEout and F-Zero will be no strangers to the speeds achieved here, but experiencing those speeds in VR, once again, changes the game. A perfect example of this, and one that could not be achieved without VR – at least not without some serious multi-joystick acrobatics – is the ability to look up when you have a completely looped track.

Since you have to drive over green panels to boost your speed, it’s great to be able to see those pads coming ahead of time. But on a television screen that task might prove difficult if you’re going straight up in a curving tunnel that barely lets you see what’s ahead of you. In VR, I could tilt my head up and see the track unfolding above me, hence allowing me a better vantage to plan my approach.

Visuals:
The sum of its parts works for Radial-G. It’s not the best looking racer out there, but it’s far from being bad as well. It gets the job done halfway there while the other half is enhanced under the headset with the marvel of being surrounded by the virtual track. I do see some value there. Yes, it’s always going to be better to have amazing graphics and do so in VR, but again, it still looks good, and VR just enhances those visuals.

I feel that the scale of the cockpit – and my own character – is a little off, in that I feel like a small elf when I look down at my own body, but it was rare that I had to look down during a race. The interface in the cockpit was also interesting, but ultimately useless because I had to glance down to see what place I was in during a race, and any time I’d have to look down meant my eyes weren’t on the track. An interface floating before my eyes may have worked better.

Audio:
Some decent electronic tunes break the awkward silence before a race, because yes, it was very strange not hearing the hum of my craft or other crafts around me before the race started. I actually checked to see if I had muted the game because it was disturbingly quiet under the headset before a race started. Once we got going the sound effects and music combined to make for an exhilarating ride.

Online/Multiplayer:
During the time of this writing, there weren’t many opportunities to find other players online, but I was able to land one race and I can report no major issues. That’s not to say that there won’t be any after launch when more players join, but the online component seemed to work well during my playthrough.

Conclusion:
I know I sound like a broken record when I say this, but VR is introducing me to a lot of new “firsts”. Radial-G marks the first hover racing game I’ve experienced in VR, and fortunately, it was not a disappointment. I was a little worried that the motion might cause me issues, but being in the cockpit seemed to counter any potential problems I might have had, though admittedly, I don’t have many problems getting sick in VR.

If you’ve wondered what wipEout might be in VR, Radial-G takes that notion and quite literally spins you on your head with frantic speeds, plenty of combat, and more than a healthy number of tracks and zones to experience. It’s a definite winner and another full game to play in VR.

Score:
8.0

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

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