Viveport Review: BattleSky VR – Early Access
This online multiplayer shooter brings the fast-paced action of hero-based FPS games to virtual reality.
By Joshua Hawkins, Greenlit Content
Blizzard made waves when Overwatch debuted, revitalizing the hero-based shooter genre. Now Battlesky VR is attempting to do the same thing, but within the confines of virtual reality. The result is a fast-paced shooter that feels good to play, but comes up short in a few areas.
BattleSky VR’s biggest draw is the game’s frantic aerial combat, which pits heroes of different sizes against each other in various game modes like Free for All, Attack & Defend, and more. Just like in Overwatch, each hero plays completely differently in BattleSky VR, giving it a greater potential longevity than the average shooter.
Combat is pretty simple. Each hero has different attacks, including an Ultimate ability, and you fly around the map making use of these abilities to take down enemies. So far, so shooter; but as BattleSky VR often takes to the skies, what starts off as simple can quickly become complex, when you factor in the 360 degrees of freedom the game offers.
Learning the controls that let you fly and shoot is simple, but mastering them is a different story. You'll have plenty of opportunities for improvement, and will need to keep improving if you want to remain competitive.
Alongside the multiplayer modes, there are some single player missions planned that will detail backstory on the heroes, while offering a short tutorial to get you used to each character. There’s only one of these missions available right now, but more are in the works.
Where BattleSky VR has problems, though, is with visuals and audio. While the sound effects aren't terrible, the announcers sound like you're listening to a cheap text to speech program, which certainly broke my immersion. The visuals are functional too, but since BattleSky VR is supposed to be a frantic, fast-paced FPS game, that isn't a huge deal - frames per second is going to be more important in the long run. Bear in mind, BattleSky VR is still in early access, so any of issues could change or be improved before launch.
Aside from our gripes with the visuals and sound quality, BattleSky VR is a fairly immersive experience that challenges players to master the mechanics, as they zoom around each other in intense aerial combat. It’s a great game that has a lot to offer, and the developers are already doing a good job of creating a unique virtual reality experience. I’ll be interested to see how BattleSky VR evolves in the future, but so far, I’m impressed by it has to offer and hope that it continues to grow and thrive.