Review: Evasion (PSVR)

Review: Evasion (PSVR)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Oculus Rift
  • HTC Vive

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • 4K HDR

Extras:

  • PlayStation VR Required
  • DualShock 4 Optional (1)
  • Move None
  • PS VR Aim Controller Recommended
Title: Evasion
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (7.02 GB)
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Publisher: Archiact Interactive Ltd.
Developer: Archiact Interactive Ltd.
Original MSRP: $39.99 (US), £32.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: T
PEGI: 12
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
If Firewall Zero Hour is Rainbow Six in VR, then Evasion is your Killzone/Halo/Destiny in VR. The team at Archiact created a VR first-person shooter that not only feels like a next generation VR title, but also incorporates all of the elements that VR gamers crave.

While other titles stick to a multiplayer only format, often forgoing a campaign that gives some kind of narrative to your experience, Evasion includes a campaign that can be played alone, or enjoyed with others online.

Additionally, a class system allows you to experience the bullet-hell combat with one of four classes, all with distinct abilities and contributions to the team. I chose to play through the game as a Striker, which is the equivalent of a Hunter, for the Destiny-inclined.

Review: Evasion (PSVR) Review: Evasion (PSVR)

Battles are absolutely intense, and while Evasion primarily has you defending yourself from the Optera (the bad guys), you will be tasked with uploading information, hacking defense systems, and other things that will keep you busy while destroying legions of rolling, walking, and flying robots.

This is where co-op shines, but isn’t necessary. I was able to multitask, and it made the action all the more insane, while still remaining extremely fun.

Locomotion in Evasion is unapologetic. While there are plenty of options to accommodate VR newcomers, you can remove all the safety tethers and go to town with full locomotion, which is supported (and recommended) with the Aim controller. And move you will, if you plan on staying alive.

Again, although the enemies will attack in waves, the environments are large enough that movement and cover become a part of your survival.

The combat in this game is such a blast. As a veteran of games like Farpoint, and Blasters of the Universe, it was refreshing to see that next level of shooter action. That’s not to say that Farpoint and Raw Data aren’t insanely awesome, but Evasion takes it up a notch with enemies that swarm from the sky, roll on the ground, and fire back with intensity.

Review: Evasion (PSVR)

Your rifles have front shields that help deflect (and reflect) enemy fire, but ultimately dodging kept me alive… and always moving.

Each class has a tether ability attached to his/her gun. It allows you to rip energy and heal pods from the enemies. You can either pull them from the environment after the bots explode, or if they are close to dying, you will see a small skull appear near them, and you can rip the pods out of their bodies, killing them in the process.

Gameplay is also enhanced by presentation. I realize that this goes more in the “visuals” section, but in these first few years of PlayStation VR’s life, I’ve played some shooters that felt shallow. Killing enemies felt like zapping something in an old PlayStation 1 game. Not so in Evasion.

There is a small delay to your projectiles, so you tend to lead the enemies a bit, and when they explode, you feel that rush, particularly when you are surrounded.

Evasion offers options for left and right-handed folks (which is great for me), but I do hope they patch the ability to swap thumb-stick use in the future, as I have become accustomed to other Aim shooters, and would love that option.

Review: Evasion (PSVR) Review: Evasion (PSVR)

Visuals:
Sometimes, VR fans watch videos of VR games and know that they may not look as good under the headset. Evasion looks amazing in VR. I was playing on a PlayStation Pro, so please factor that in.

But as I mentioned before, visuals aren’t just about how pretty the environments render in VR. Archiact has gone beyond that with some amazing animation work and particle awesomeness that intensifies every battle.

That tether ability I mentioned earlier looks fantastic in action and, when coupled with the Aim controller, gives you a bit of that Ghostbusters feel when yanking the energy pods from the enemy’s body.

Because of the multitude of enemy types, I appreciated the varying nature of animations when they approached. Rolling bots would barrel into the battlefield and transform – much like those Star Wars droids from the prequels – while the bigger bipedal bots would jump around and take cover with very natural motions.

Overall presentation is brilliant here. Your guns animate when you deploy the tether beam, and the shield flickers whenever it takes a direct hit. Additionally, your home base – where you select missions and choose classes – has its own shooting gallery that keeps score and allows you to select various difficulties.

Another aspect of Evasion that makes its overall presentation excel over other shooters in VR is that of seeing your entire body. The animation is much improved over something like Farpoint, which also includes full-body characters.

Review: Evasion (PSVR)

Audio:
VR is engrossing because of its stereoscopic nature, but that will only take you so far without some accompanying brilliant sound design. Evasion doesn’t just settle with applying sound effects to the universe.

Some great radio-chatter voice work accompanies you on your missions, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously, making for some amusing banter. Weapons discharge and enemy clatter goes a long way in enveloping you in the action.

Online/Multiplayer:
Since the game hadn’t been released at the time of this writing, I was only able to land a few online games with a random. Evasion allows for a few online configurations, such as “invite-only” games, which allows you to save room for your favorite squad mates.

I experienced no issues with the online component, and jumping into the action with a friend makes this otherwise-engaging shooter something worth playing with as many people as you can get.

The varying class system gives you a sense of purpose, particularly when playing as a support class, like the Engineer. Evasion has moments where it goes beyond just blasting the enemies and it’s times like these where co-op play truly shines.

Review: Evasion (PSVR)Review: Evasion (PSVR)

Conclusion:
I feel like the two-year mark of PlayStation VR is welcoming some truly next-gen experiences. Astrobot releases this month, and Firewall turned some heads (figuratively and literally) last month.

Evasion feels like the next evolution in science fiction shooters under the headset. Its feverish pace, coupled with intuitive controls, evokes a feeling of those Triple-A titles that we’ve all been waiting for.

Couple that with the option to play alone or with friends, and you’ve got yourself a true representation of that promise of better games on the VR platforms, wrapped up in a nice package of alien destruction.

Score:
9.0

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

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