I Played Superhot VR With A New Windows Headset And It Was Impressive

by Jamie Feltham • September 22nd, 2017

Having played through Superhot VR twice now on Rift and PSVR, and speaking with the world record speedrun holder, I consider myself something of an expert on the stylish shooter. Naturally, I jumped at the chance to try it out on one of the new Windows 10 VR headsets.

Dell was showcasing the game on its device — set to launch on October 17th — with a pair of the new six degrees of freedom (6DOF) controllers. As you might imagine, Superhot represents a pretty good chance to get to grips with the tracking for both the headset and the controllers, getting players to duck and weave out of the way of bullets and punches, controlling the speed at which time progresses with their own movements.

I played through three levels of the game, and I had significantly less issues playing here than I did with the PSVR version (which I still loved). For the most part the headset’s inside-out position tracking responded just as I would expect; leaning out of the way of bullets was mostly smooth and identical to moving when tracked by the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive solutions. I say mostly, as there were one or two times that the screen would freeze mid-action, though a Dell representative had already said they were having some issues with performance on the PC end. Otherwise there were some slight jitters but the headset corrected itself almost instantly.

The controllers, meanwhile, seemed to be a little more tricky. In Superhot, you’re often required to multitask. If you want to pick up a gun, for example, you’ll probably want to quickly look for its location, and then turn back to the immediate danger to watch out for attacks as you pick it up. Windows headsets, though, will need your controller to be in front of the device to accurately track it. This means that I had to look back to make sure I was picking up the weapon I needed. It wasn’t as inconvenient as it sounds, and the accuracy of the tracking made this much more preferable to fighting the single-camera tracking on PSVR, but it did add an extra step to the process.

To be clear, this didn’t stop me from actually leaning down to pick up a weapon as I looked at my enemies; I was able to move my hand to the approximate location of the gun without looking at it, but then I’d have to make a quick glance to actually pick it up. When it was in hand I could again look away and, as long as I kept the grip button held down, I would have the weapon in hand when pulling it back into view. It didn’t stop me from passing those few levels, it was just a little extra to think about.

That said, I did encounter one bizarre issue with throwing stars, which would sometimes automatically be thrown once I brought them into view. This didn’t happen every time I did this so I assume that it was just a bug, which will hopefully be fixed by the time the game comes to Windows. It’s also a little jarring to see your hands suddenly appear from one side once the tracking kicks in, rather than seamlessly transitioning back into view like they would on Rift, Vive and PSVR.

This was my first chance to try Windows VR and I came away impressed. The inside-out tracking seemed reliable (though I didn’t put it under huge strain), and the controllers worked surprisingly well. Superhot, meanwhile, is expected to be included in the platform’s launch window and, well, it’s Superhot; you already know it’s great.

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