Licence to Swing!
Developer: Psytec Games
Publisher: Psytec Games
Reviewed on: PlayStation VR
(Review code provided by publisher)
My experience with Windlands starting almost 2 months ago at EGX, which was almost my first forray into the world of PlayStation VR. As I sat down to my hands-on session with Windlands with the instructions spoken to me by the Psytec Games’ representative, I instantly got a feel of the huge scale and immersion that PlayStation VR can offer. I was limited to a 5 minute demo but came away very impressed (although feeling a little weasey!). 6 weeks on, after experiencing most of what PlayStation VR has to offer, I sat down with Windlands once again for an extended go spanning a couple of days. How did I feel? Still impressed but not as much as I was at EGX.
Have you ever wanted to become Spider-Man, swinging through New York, feeling the wind on your face as you travel at a huge speed? Well, the wind on your face and New York I can’t help with, but everything else is basically what Windlands represents.
There is a very small backstory as you start your journey in Windlands. Basically, you are a new Guardian who is sent to regroup and obtain the shattered pieces of Crystals that keep the Windlands afloat, whilst also raising the Titans that look after each of the Windlands. That’s pretty much it really. The story is explained to you in about 40 seconds and it is a shame that there wasn’t a more deepeer story for you to get your grappling hooks into.
Grappling is the main aspect of this game, which pretty much is all about exploration. You are able to hook and swing between trees and bushes (you can change the settings for you to be able to swing/hook onto anything) for you to reach the crystals and checkpoints. You can go anywhere you like, and it really has such a large scale when you’re in the actual headset.
Jumping is another key element in Windlands, and the gameplay feature that played tricks with my brain the most whilst in the PlayStation VR headset. Depending on how you long you hold X down (Surprisingly, Windlands doesn’t mention any Move support) means how high you can jump. You really get a true sense of how high you are going. It made my stomach turn quite a bit, especially when you miss the ledge and fall to your demise (you press triangle to respawn at the last checkpoint).
Comfort is a big thing in Windlands, with you getting several options to choose from when starting out. Thinking I’m a VR boss now, I went for full freedom……. to my dismay! I severly recommend that you make use of the comfort settings or like me, you’ll find yourself turning it off after a few minutes. It wss nice to have the option though before I started out, as a few PSVR games have left me feeling sick without any warning or options to choose from.
Windlands looks great, I must say. The visuals and overall scale for what it is impressed me somewhat. No, they’re not visuals matching Uncharted but for a game of this nature, it performs really well. There are a few framedrops here and there, but I’m sure these could be patched in the future.
Windlands is an enjoyable PlayStation VR game. This the closest thing to actually becoming Spider-Man yet so it gets a thumbs up from me. Shadowed by a lack of depth, this is a game for the explorers out there. It may not get the most of playtime, but you’ll definitely have fun swinging along during the time you have with it. A Windlands 2 with a deeper, better story and more innovative ideas? Yes please!