After a long wait, Gorn has finally brought its sword-swinging, head-removing brand of silly VR action to PSVR. The results are pretty impressive, though there’s a few fixes to be made.
On the surface, Gorn might not look like the most intensive game to port to Sony’s aging PS4 console. Environments are relatively small, visuals are nicely stylized and enemy numbers are rarely higher than three or four. But the game’s physics-driven combat, complete with detachable limbs and rubberized weapons will have surely proved to be a minefield to navigate on the path to PSVR.
It doesn’t immediately show, though. On a technical front, this port shapes up pretty well. Without thinking too much about it, I was able to jump straight back into my routine of violence, though retaining some caution for PSVR’s tracking limitations. Many of of the game’s most gruesome intricacies, like the ability to roll around removed eyeballs on the floor, remain in place and my jaw still dropped as I removed thin slices from the tops of enemy heads.
I have been noticing a few differences, though. For example, swords and other sharp weapons seem to more often make an impact with their blunt side rather than slicing through enemy limbs. As someone that’s familiar with how the dismemberment works on PC, it’s a strange difference and I’m not sure if it’s to do with inaccuracies in the Move controllers or concessions to get the game onto less powerful hardware. It could just be that I’m playing very differently compared to how I played on PC, but I don’t think that’s the case.
More importantly, though, Gorn is in need of a few design tweaks to better suit PSVR players. You can’t, for example, grab items out of arms reach with the common ‘force pull’ feature seen in other VR games. On PC this is fine, as tracking lets you bend down and grab objects no problem. But for many PSVR setups, this will be a real pain point, as reaching to the floor is out of the tracking limitations of the game.
It’s an omission made even more puzzling given that Gorn has its own VR guardian system that appears when you put your hands near the limits of tracking. A force pull feature need not be game-breakingly overpowered, just offer short-range compensation, so hopefully we’ll see that change soon.
Plus there’s a limited amount of locomotion options which, again, will frustrate certain users. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed Gorn’s default movement, which has you grabbing the world and pulling it towards yourself to move through it. It adds a touch of method to the game, but given that smooth movement is included in the PC VR version, it should really be here too.
All that said, if you’re able to optimize your setup and come in with the right expectations, I’d still say Gorn is an easy recommendation for PSVR fans. No, you’re not getting an epic adventure comparable to the bar-raising The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, but there’s still some of VR’s most entertaining combat on offer here.
Gorn is available on PSVR for $19.99.
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