Void Racer: Extreme is a sci-fi racing game that marries the hover bikes and neon lights from Tron with the blazing fast speeds found in F-Zero and WipEout to deliver an exhilarating racing game for Oculus Quest that’s only a little rough around the edges.
You might not know this, but Void Racer: Extreme is actually a sequel to the Oculus Go game, Void Racer. The biggest limitation of the original game was the lack of 6DOF movement, which is really noticeable and frustrating when driving something like a Tron-style light cycle. Not being able to lean and move your head is pretty annoying. Now Void Racer: Extreme is a bigger, better, and more fully-formed iteration of the same concept.
In Void Racer: Extreme, you steer the bike with only one hand by rotating the controller while pulling the trigger to accelerate. You can do this while resting your arm on your lap or a table if you want, but I found it far more fun and immersive to reach out into the air with both arms and lean my body from side-to-side as I played. For me, that made a big difference.
On paper it sounds a little lazy that the developer didn’t actually force you to lean your body or steer with your hands realistically, but in my experience those games never actually turn out very well (looking at you VR Karts) so doing something that’s more of an approximation, while still allowing for movement in order to aid immersion, seems like a happy medium.
The closest competitor I’d identify for Void Racer: Extreme is probably Death Lap, but that’s more Mad Max than Tron, although it does have similar mechanics and ideas with its combat-style racing premise. However in Death Lap you spend far more time aiming and shooting weapons, whereas in Void Racer: Extreme all items are just controlled by looking around and pressing a button.
One mechanic that isn’t immediately obvious in Void Racer: Extreme unless you read the ‘How To Play’ documentation in the main menu is that all of the areas in a level that aren’t clearly laid out as the track are what’s called the Void. Driving in the Void drains your battery over time until eventually you can’t move until it recharges. This adds a layer of strategy to Void Racer, similar to the damaging zones in F-Zero games, in that you can cut across Void areas for shortcuts but only as long as your battery will last.
It’s not a bad concept, but it could be executed better with more satisfying presentation. Small things like the music being too repetitive and quiet, sound effects not really connecting with things that happen clearly, and even just the track art style generally having a slightly unfinished vibe. None of that stuff is a deal-breaker on its own, but it does leave a lot of room for improvement still.
Boasting over 100 career mode races, 12 different tracks, time trials, and online multiplayer, it’s pretty fully-featured for a Quest-exclusive VR racing game. It’s just a shame there isn’t more depth inside each of those bullet points.
While technically, yes, there are “over 100 career mode races” most of those are just variations off of the same handful of formats. Beyond straight up races there are time trials, ring collection mini games, and a few others that try and spice things up. It does a decent job of funneling you towards new content, but it’s not as robust as it could have been.
Other than unlocking a couple more bike options there isn’t any progression or customization to speak of. Since I can lean around, inspect my bike’s HUD, and appreciate the environment a lot here it would have been nice to be able to upgrade or change designs a bit more. Unlocking new skins or light trails or something to that effect would add a lot of replayability.
Finally, every time I’ve tried to find a match this week the lobby has been completely empty. This isn’t really a fault of the game itself, but it’s definitely hard to enjoy it to its fullest without people to play against.
Void Racer: Extreme Review Final Impressions
You could almost look at the original Void Racer as a prototype VR game that laid the foundation for Void Racer: Extreme. This time around it feels like a complete game and handles far better than I’d ever expect, but is still lacking enough meat on its bones to earn a blanket recommendation. Void Racer: Extreme does a lot right and if you’re seeking those very specific Tron meets F-Zero / WipEout style vibes, then this will absolutely scratch your itch. With a stronger multiplayer community, more varied Career mode goals, more bikes, and a bit more polished presentation this would be a definitive VR racing game. As it stands, it’s still a good foundation to build from though.
Void Racer: Extreme is out now on Oculus Quest for $9.99. For more on how we arrived at this score, check out our review guidelines. Like out Void Racer: Extreme on Oculus Quest? Let us know in the comments below!
Editor’s Note: After publication, we added a section on ‘Comfort’ which was missing from the initial version of this review.