Review: Crisis VRigade (PSVR)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • HTC Vive
  • Rift

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • PlayStation VR Required
  • PS VR Aim Controller Optional
  • Move Recommended (2)
Title: Crisis VRigade
Format: PSN (813.6 MB)
Release Date: February 5, 2019
Publisher: Sumalab Digital
Developer: Sumalab Digital
Original MSRP: $8.99 (US) £7.39 (UK)
ESRB Rating: T
PEGI: 16
A code for the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

I had to try Crisis VRigade simply because it’s compatible with the Aim controller and I needed to know if it was any good. The price wasn’t bad either.

Due to an injury at work and a few changes at PS Nation, I’m embarrassed to admit this one got lost in the shuffle. Although in some ways, I’m glad that it did, as when I was almost finished with the review there was only one level, the Central Bank Heist. Now, after a patch or two, there is also a new look to the menu area, a shooting range, and two more levels called Port Ambush and Ransom.

Gameplay:
Aside from the questionable name, Crisis VRigade is a fun little game. The difficulty keeps it from being over in a mere twenty or so minutes. In fact, I have yet to complete a single mission. More on that a little later, first I want to mention the control options.

The game can be played with only one Move controller; having two only means I can manually reload and hold the virtual handgun in a more realistic way. Using the Aim controller automatically equips an assault rifle, which doesn’t feel more powerful than the standard firearm, but looks much nicer and empties the clip much quicker.

There is no movement by the player, and is in a fixed position with just the ability to move the VR headset to get behind cover. When an area has been cleared of the enemy the view blinks through to the next chosen area and the enemy starts firing straight away.

I keep getting shot. I try to duck behind cover, but the enemies always seem to find a clear line of sight. There are only two difficulty levels, Rookie and Hell. I hate to think what Hell is like, as Rookie is kicking my butt. I believe it’s partly to do with the height I had set my character, as I changed it to a really low setting and could barely see over the cover. In fact, my gun and head kept moving out of the play area as I tried to aim. Finding the sweet spot will help.

After several more attempts and height changes, I still couldn’t find a good balance and resigned myself to the fact that this game is too unforgiving. The fact that there is a time limit increases the pressure too. Maybe I’m taking too many risks.

I’ve gotten to know where the enemy will be and can usually pick them off quickly, but still manage to get the dreaded red streak of a bullet that found its mark. There are health pickups that need to be shot to obtain, but it feels like they are random, and find the two other gun types to appear instead.

I can also, very briefly, slow time with a corresponding pickup, but it happens instantly and not when I want. Now that I think about it, all the pickups, aside from the health, seem useless. I partly blame the amount of time it takes to reload. I’ve often had something in my sights and heard the dreaded click of an empty chamber.

There is an option for Auto-reloading, which is always on when using the Aim controller. There is a visual indicator on the side on the weapon, but I can’t always see it and get told off if I waste ammo.

By looking at the Trophy list for this game, I can tell only a few people have managed to complete the game on the hardest difficulty and not many more have got through it on the normal mode. Of the twelve Trophies, a Platinum isn’t one. This is probably due to the length of the game on initial release.

Visuals:
Crisis VRigade is a good looking VR game. The style makes it easy to see the enemies and the hectic gunfights around every corner. Although, there is one point when hostages are running through the gunfight and I have accidentally shot one or two of them thinking they were the enemy. It was partly due to a particular mask some of them wear; it looks similar to a regular face, only more presidential.

All three of the locations look good, as far as I can tell, having only reached about two-thirds of the way through each one. Parts of the cover are destructible, although not all of what you would expect, as one enemy happily hides behind a PC monitor. The first area of the Ransom mission is very reminiscent of a popular movie starring the awesome Keanu Reeves, I’ll let you figure out which one. (Editor’s Note: It’s The Lake House, right?)

Audio:
I get told off all the time in Crisis VRigade. The all-seeing boss communicates through an earpiece and moans at me when I shoot up the office, even though nothing gets damaged. The worst is when I manually reload with bullets still in the clip. I like the sound effects and tense music, just not the constant disappointing remarks.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only and features no online component.

Conclusion:
Crisis VRigade is a good game but sadly, for me at least, too darn hard. I would have liked some kind of permanent upgrade system, with experience earned put towards better health and faster reloads, thereby making it accessible to all players.

I did have fun playing this game but the difficulty stops it from being something I could easily recommend. I did like the fact that it has improved since it first released and enjoyed playing the two new missions. The new content alone is deserving of a small bump to the score.

After using both control methods I would opt for the Aim controller as my preferred choice, although both work well.

Score:
7.0

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

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Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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