At some point when I was mid-stride during my demo of Sprint Vector on PSVR, I really did forget I was wearing a VR headset. Swinging my arms/Move controllers back and forth at my side, feet firmly planted on the ground, twisting my torso, and glancing to my sides and behind me to see where my competition was at, the illusion of it all fell away and it provided a strikingly convincing case for real immersion and presence. Eventually I realized the bright, cartoony visuals were clearly not real life, but for a few fleeting seconds I could almost feel the wind on my face.
Sprint Vector from Survios (the same team behind Raw Data) is a heart-pumping racing game that asks you to swing your arms and fly through the air like Superman instead of get behind the wheel of a sports car. At a private PlayStation press preview event earlier this week I got the chance to try the game out on Sony’s hardware and came away very impressed.
We saw Sprint Vector running on a Vive already back at E3 2017 earlier this year, but this was the first time we’d played Survios’ frenetic sprinting game on a PSVR. Everyone knows the PSVR headset has lower quality visuals than its PC counterparts, but when you’re playing a game with bright, contrasting colors that is moving by at 40MPH or faster, there isn’t much time to inspect the textures and look for a screen door effect. In fact, the movement is so smooth and pure, I barely remember what the level looked like at all other than the finish line and my name in first place.
It’s such a simple concept for a game, but when you do it in VR it’s way more exciting than you’d think. In practice it feels a bit like you’re skating since you move your arms at your sides, alternating, and pulling the trigger (then releasing) to send yourself propeling forward. Sprinkled throughout levels there are weapons, power-ups, and aerial boosts you can hit as well. When in the air, you stretch your arms out in front of you like a superhero to glide across the sky.
The representative from Survios I spoke with made it clear that, despite the fact that gliding feels fun, they wanted to ensure that running on the ground is always the fastest option, so you can slam back down to earth while mid-air too.
Motion sickness is always a major concern for VR game developers and the system they’ve created for Sprint Vector has a “99% success rate” from the developer’s testing at not causing any discomfort. It’s similar to other arm movement systems we’ve seen in other games, except this one is designed to be played as a fast-paced racing game. It still remains to be seen how varied the title as a whole will be and if it can provide enough nuance to be fun for more than a few minutes, but it’s certainly off to a great start. After two races I was already pretty winded with a bit of sweat on my forehead.
Is Sprint Vector on your radar? The game is coming to PSVR, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift, although exactly when it will launch and on which platforms first is still a bit unclear. Let us know what you think down in the comments below!