Review: Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot (PS VR)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV 4K HDR

Extras:

  • PlayStation VR Required
  • DualShock 4 Optional
  • Move Optional (2)
  • PS VR Aim Controller None
Title: Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (17.53 GB)
Release Date: July 26, 2019
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: MachineGames
Original MSRP: $19.99 (US)
ESRB Rating: M
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Bethesda has been a pretty strong supporter of VR, particularly on Sony’s headset. Not only did they bring Skyrim (probably the most time I’ve spent in VR), but they also made a Doom game specifically for virtual reality.

Well, they are back again with another VR-specific game, this time based on their other popular franchise, Wolfenstein. Cyberpilot is built from the ground up for VR, and it shows that Bethesda is not only comfortable developing for VR, but also loves to push the visuals and overall quality of VR to the limit, especially on Sony’s older hardware.

I’ll touch on visuals later, but it’s clear that these guys know how to make pretty virtual reality games.

Cyberpilot is a short game that pits you in the role of a computer hacker from the 80’s Instead of having you out in the battlefield, along side B.J., you infiltrate the enemy and combat them from a remote location using hacked Nazi hardware.

While the budget title is a little on the short side, the individual machines introduce a different game style, from all out mech destruction, to stealth computer infiltration. All of it moves and plays well, leaving me a little disappointed that this title didn’t have more to offer in terms of length and narrative development.

At $20, it feels appropriately priced, but I would have gladly paid more for a game that expanded on these well-done concepts.

But focusing on what’s here… Cyberpilot employs from great controls, particularly using the Move wands. I never quite felt like I was fighting to go where I needed to go or shoot what I wanted to shoot. In fact, I found their use of the buttons on the Moves to be a step in the right direction for FPS controls, and one that should be adopted by other developers (until Sony releases new controllers with sticks anyway). One controller allows you to strafe with the face buttons, while the other controls turning. This gives you the option to strafe and turn while engaging Nazis.

While the levels are beautiful to behold, some of them feel a bit simplified in terms of being action pieces. You fight enemies then move onto the next section. But the fun comes in using your giant robot dog to torch the entire area, or disintegrate bad guys from behind using your stealth drone.

In between levels, you are tasked with some semi-entertaining VR interactions, such as hacking the next machine, or figuring out how to bring power back to your base. It’s not the most exciting sequences, but Bethesda’s polish definitely makes them more intriguing, with procedures such as using a crow bar to pry open the giant mech’s paneling so you can swap its motherboard with a hacked one.

This game will not take you a long time to complete, but it was a fun little expansion to the Wolfenstein series. I just feel that, despite it looking and playing well, it could have just been a free DLC for the Youngblood game.

Visuals:
Great-looking game, particularly for VR. Bethesda knows their VR. I spent a few seconds just admiring how the leather in my character’s gloves stretched and constricted when I’d move my hands around. When the lights went out in the base, and I had to find a flashlight, the “volumetric” light created by the haze looked fantastic. Similarly, the environments utilized some great textures and assets (probably taken from the other Wolfenstein games).

Some of the environment is destructible. Cars explode from exposure to your flamethrower and fire hydrants burst apart if you shoot them. Of course, Nazis aren’t immune to flame throwers and the animations for the enemy characters is also pretty damned polished.

But it’s really some of the lighting, seldom seen in current-gen VR games, that “shines” here. The atmosphere is sold through various lighting techniques that help with the feeling of immersion.

Audio:
While there isn’t a lot in the way of voice work (aside from your character receiving his orders) there is decent acting on top of a pretty solid soundtrack.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is single-player only

Conclusion:
Cyberpilot is a very polished VR game, but it’s also incredibly short. At the asking launch price of $20, the developer realized this. However, I still believe the content does not match the price. On the other hand, the game is beautiful, particularly for VR, and controls very well (again, especially for a Move-based VR title). The missions are interesting, albeit a bit linear. Still, if you can get this game at a budget-budget price, it’s definitely worth seeing how Bethesda can make your PSVR look better than most other developers.

Score:
7.0

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