Racing games are one of the genres that just make a ton of sense for VR. Sitting in the driver’s seat, or a cockpit as it were, and flying around corners and battling opponents is intense and satisfying. The grounding realization of an enclosed presentation helps combat common motion sickness pitfalls, while the engaging visuals convey an immersive sense of presence. DiRT Rally is one of our favorite VR racing titles so far and it does a great job in all aspects of gameplay and presentation.
Bank Limit: ABR is a sci-fi racing game, much in the vein of Sony’s dormant Wipeout series, and will likely be compared to its contemporaries in the VR space such as the existing Radial-G and the upcoming Monowheels. While Bank Limit does a lot right as a sci-fi racing game, it also underdelivers on a few key components that could have helped to really take it over the edge.
Since most VR gamers will be familiar with Radial-G, we should start by getting that comparison out of the way first. Initially, Bank Limit seems incredibly similar on the surface, but it’s actually quite different. Radial-G asks you to twist and turn around a cylindrical track, dodging opponents and hitting boosts along the way, whereas Bank Limit is extremely similar to the Wipeout series. Instead of spinning around every track, most are actually relatively flat, but you possess the ability to fire weapons at your rivals and, most importantly, take flight into the air.
This adds an exciting layer to the gameplay that’s further accentuated by the inclusion of VR support. Lifting off into the air, glancing down at your side as the track is separated from your vehicle, is equal parts frightening and exciting. That alone really makes the game feel like something special.
Unfortunately, that sensation is dowsed when faced with Bank Limit’s disappointing representation of speed. For a game that purportedly puts you behind the controls of a vehicle travelling in excess of several hundred miles per hour, the team at Tastee Beverage Studios did very little to adequately represent that intensity. It feels more like my ship is skating, or coasting around the track, without any real danger or sensation of incredible velocity.
That alone makes Bank Limit, as a whole, pale in comparison to other sci-fi racing standouts like Wipeout and F-Zero, which are hallmarks of the genre simply for how well they communicate incredible speed. I found the game was best played with a traditional gamepad, even on the HTC Vive, but support for motion controllers, including the Oculus Touch eventually, as well as keyboard/mouse combinations, and the Steam controller, are all included.
What Bank Limit lacks in pure, visceral, white-knuckle intensity, it attempts to make up for in breadth of content. In addition to multiple difficulties, cross-platform multiplayer, and 20 different tracks, Bank Limit also features deathmatch-style battle arenas.
While that sounds more than adequate on paper, in practice it all suffers from the same underlying issues. In addition to the lackluster portrayal of speed, in a racing game, the entire experience feels unfinished and janky. Basic UI elements like in-cockpit screens, numbers and words, and even just colored bars look like placeholder graphics that were never replaced. Music is all but non-existent and many of the mid-race sound effects play at wildly varying volumes that often sound out of place or misrepresented.
The tracks and multiple difficulty modes all feel like content for the sake of content, rather than content that’s compelling in and of itself.
Bank Limit: ABR feels like a game that should have released at the launch window of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. At this stage of VR’s life cycle, several months removed from launch window excuses, it’s hard to recommend Bank Limit, even over Radial-G. The latter game has received updates and at least offers high-octane thrills amidst its focus on racing, while Bank Limit underdelivers and over-promises on most fronts.
The feature list and versatility of Bank Limit, on paper, is attractive, despite the hefty $49.99 price tag, but in practice it feels undercooked. If you’re a huge sci-fi racing fan, you may have some fun with the core mechanics, but even still I’d recommend waiting until the game receives a bit more polish before pulling the trigger. There are better options out there.
Bank Limit: ABR is available as of today for purchase on Steam for HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and non-VR PC platforms.
Read our Game Review Guidelines for more information on how we arrived at this score.