Due to an unfortunate bout of the flu, I wasn’t able to record an episode of Ian’s VR Corner this week. I’m not about to let some nasty virus stop me from spreading the VR love though, especially when I’ve been given exclusive permission to preview the first hour of next week’s big PSVR release.
From 2pm GMT today I’ll be streaming 60 minutes worth of The Wizards: Enhanced Edition gameplay on PSVR to see how this magical adventure game handles on a PS4 Pro. All you need to do is press play on the video below and, when the clock hits 2pm, you’ll be magically transported to my VR Corner where I’ll be testing the game and giving you my first impressions of the gameplay, controls and comfort settings.
Hey now, hey now, the stream is over… So what did I think? Well I came away feeling mostly positive about the whole experience and definitely would have continued playing and streaming past the allotted time if I’d have been able.
If you didn’t already know, the original version of this game, simply titled The Wizards, released on PC in 2017. The Wizards: Enhanced Edition is the same game but it has been given a bit of an overhaul, an extra level has been added and the controls have been tailored to work with the PS4’s dual Move controllers.
That means while there is only one control method, there are all the usual comfort settings you’d expect for a first person VR game on the platform, including the ability to remove vignetting and the choice between teleportation and a combination of free-move and teleportation.
The Wizards: Enhanced Edition starts off pretty slowly, introducing you to spell casting with a gentle tutorial level before things become a bit more like a dungeon crawler. The majority of the gameplay revolves around shooting waves of enemies, but here instead of guns you use a combination of spells that you must conjure by performing specific hand movements. These movements feel pretty cool to pull off – summoning an ice bow feels great and confidently swapping between different spells gave me quite the buzz.
Unfortunately the inadequacies of the Move controllers sometimes interfered with that buzz as the game would occasionally fail to recognise my movements. This wasn’t so much of a problem in the first hour of the game but I imagine it could inject some frustration into the experience during harder, more hectic battles in later levels.
Visually The Wizards: Enhanced Edition sits on the more polished end of the PSVR spectrum. It’s not going to blow your mind with AAA graphics and super detailed environments like Resident Evil 7 does, but it’s nice and bright and the levels are large and fun to explore. There’s also some pleasing interactivity with the world in the form of destructible items which crumble and topple realistically when you hit them with a spell. Seriously, I could smash those statues for days!
Based on my 60 minute preview I’d say there’s a lot of promise here. While the spell casting can be a bit iffy and the way you access levels and choose upgrades did seem needlessly convoluted, these are issues that’ll probably improve once I’ve spent more time with the game and learnt its systems.
The Wizards: Enhanced Edition is due out on Tuesday and if you’re a PS+ member you can pre-order it from the PlayStation Store now and get it at a discounted price.
If you enjoyed this episode of Ian’s VR Corner, you can catch up with my previous adventures over on YouTube in our VR playlist.