Now that the PlayStation VR honeymoon period is finally over, we are beginning to see many more titles either being ported to the standard PlayStation 4 format, or come out simultaneously with the PlayStation VR release. And while some titles, such as Tangetlemen’s and SIE Santa Monica Studio’s Here They Lie were simply not worth waiting for, others such as the recently released Megaton Rainfall, which has debuted on both, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR, on 17th of October, has proven that some VR-centric titles, are in fact worth the wait. As they offer more than just a narrative experience. They offer one a quote-on-quote game, which some core VR titles, fail to deliver.
The core premise of Megaton Rainfall is that you are a Super Man like super hero, and your sole task is to save the earth from an alien invader. And while the title is classified as a first-person shooter, it is more like a spruced-up version of the arcade shooters of old, rather than another copy of Call of Duty, or any other mainstream FPS. The campaign mode, which lasts anywhere between 2 to 6 hours, features elements of narration, but just like in any other arcade shooter – even the now pre-historic Space Invaders – all you need to know is that you are the hero, and that you need to shoot the aliens, and their ships, until they die.
Megaton Rainfall, is a simple yet effective piece of software, which despite of concentrating on the contemporary forms of presentation, through virtual reality, has not forgotten about what has made video-games great for the past decades. And the developer behind the title, Pentadimensional Games, has ensured that Megaton Rainfall is not just visually impressive, but also fun. And it has managed to achieve so through implementation of intuitive arcade’esque gameplay, and a plethora of different superpowers, and abilities.
Throughout the campaign mode, you as a player, will have a chance to unlock numerous character features, such as the rather impressive megaton bomb, which will allow you to dispatch the alien invader, much more efficiently. And encounters which at the start of the game would take you minutes to complete, at the very end take you mere seconds. Because just like a ‘’real super hero’’ you grow in power, with every encounter. And the fact that in-game progression, serves the player with instant gratification, only further emphasises the quality of design behind the title at hand. However, while Megaton Rainfall is stunning, gameplay wise, it is unfortunately lacking in other areas.
As the title in question has been built with VR in mind, it is understandably lacking within the visuals department, as in order to achieve a smooth framerate on PlayStation VR, some sacrifices had to be made. However, downscaling quality of textures might not have been enough, as object pop-in, and texture load-ins are present throughout, and with time become a real nuisance. And such issues are at their worst when the player is travelling across an entire planet, as while doing so, object pop-ins are so common, and so incredibly sudden, they warrant an epileptic seizure warning.
When it comes to Megaton Rainfall mechanical side, it is much better than expected. It is not perfect, but it is robust enough in order to add another layer of complexity to the gameplay, as through addition of destructible environment, buildings, and enemy ships, the team behind title has managed to make the planet, or even planets, feel alive. As instead of serving a role of static backgrounds, they’re interactive playgrounds, which change with player’s every action – as a single misplaced missile, can topple an entire building, or burrow tremendously large hole in the ground.
As mentioned above, Megaton Rainfall mechanics are rather impressive, but they also lack the final touch, and polish – as all abovementioned features are limited in their form. For example, the destructibility of buildings is limited to a small number of polygons, rather than realistic rubble, and all objects, including the alien lifeforms and ships, are always deconstructed in the exact same manner. Even digging with missiles has its limitations, as sooner rather than later, one will always hit the depth limit, which in-game is presented oddly enough, with a shallow layer of water.
For all the content which it contains, Megaton Rainfall, surprisingly, will only take up over 1GB of you hard drive’s space, meaning that somehow, someway, Pentadimensional Games has managed to fit so much, within such a minute package. And this feat is even more impressive, after one takes into consideration that some 2D adventure titles, take over 4GB in this day and age. However, while the size of the title may be impressive, it also accurately represents the title’s shelf life, as besides the 6 hour (at a stretch) long campaign, there is very little to do, within the world of the title.
Besides the aforementioned campaign mode, Megaton Rainfall offers the player a chance to battle others online within the limits of the additional score attack mode. But just like in all the other games, this particular mode, isn’t that impressive, and doesn’t bring much to the table. And the only ones who will even attempt going for the high scores, are the quote-on-quote hardcore, PlayStation 4 gamers, as it is difficult to imagine, anybody sitting for four hours straight with the PSVR on trying to get some additional points. But as we all know, weirder things have happened, and Megaton Rainfall might just be the game which will begin the trend of high score, PSVR titles.
To finish off, all that has to be said about Megaton Rainfall, is that it is a fun and competent arcade shooter, which will satisfy both, PlayStation 4, and PSVR players. But as it was mentioned before, certain sacrifices had to be made, in order to make this title happen, and those who expect Megaton Rainfall to be a visual and technical marvel, should probably curb their enthusiasm. As unlike all the other modern first person indie games, Megaton Rainfall is all about the gameplay, rather than the fabled ‘’experience’’.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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