Ever wanted to be Spiderman and swing around in VR like there’s no tomorrow? Well, now you can; apart from you won’t be Spiderman, but a mysterious hero whose job it is to restore order back to the land by finding crystals. And how do you find these crystals? By swinging and parkouring in precarious places that’s how! You are given two hooks and a vague mission, and the result couldn’t be more enjoyable. It gives you a chance to sit down with the PSVR and explore a simple yet large world at your own pace, and I haven’t found a game yet that allows you to discover such a vast world. Disclaimer: Spiderman does not appear in this game at all (as far as I know).
The game isn’t as much story focused as it is exploration focused. Yes, there is a goal to find all the crystals and the game provides some back story at the beginning. But then it’s up to you to explore whatever path you choose. I had a go at Windlands a while ago on the Oculus, but now being on the PSVR there is a more affordable way to play this game; I loved it then, and I love it now. Each crystal it hidden in places that require a lot of work to reach, but I personally found the challenge to be entertaining and exciting as I swung through the air.
For the faint hearted there are a range of comfort modes, but it does make the game marginally harder to control. The main hindrance to the controls is the turning, you can either turn smoothly or in little chunks. But when navigating through the air it is almost necessary to use smooth turning to get good precision, even if it does mean you’ll have to take more frequent breaks. You can also have cage lines around you to make you feel more enclosed if you find yourself midair, but this would ruin the immersion in my opinion. It may take you a while to get used to swinging and get your technique down, but it’s worth taking the stabilizers off in order to get the full effect of Windlands.
The design of Windlands is simple, there isn’t much detail but that’s because of their chosen cartoonish house style. I prefer this style as it means less room for error with regards to blurry graphics, and it reduces the expectation for everything to look like how it would in the real world. When I think of the style I think of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker because they are both cartoonish, but that’s about it; and this makes it even more fun to explore as this is a whole new world that is vibrant and complex.
Windlands is an exciting VR experience that shows you how far VR can really go, that is if you can get past the motion sickness. There is so much to explore and cool areas to find, while the story may not be very clear you can discover new areas for hours on end. You can’t appreciate how fun it can be the swing from tree to tree in VR until you actually give it a go.
If you’re on the fence as you’re worried about motion sickness, then I’d say wait a while; it’s not worth getting if you will have all the comfort modes turned on, as this makes the game a lot less smooth. But for those with a strong stomach, get on this right now!
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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