The craggy, barren chasms of Farpoint are already dangerous. Now add the hissing, scampering, spitting creatures that live on the planet and you’ll be more thankful for your rifle in this first-person shooter for PlayStation VR. But why brave such dangers alone? The team at Impulse Gear worked hard to build unique levels that you can enjoy with a friend online, and I gave them an honest (albeit doomed) attempt with Impulse Gear Co-founder Seth Luisi.
Cooperative challenges aside, the combat in Farpoint elevates first-person gameplay to startling heights. Paired with the PS VR Aim controller, the precision of firing any of Farpoint’s sci-fi weapons is eerie. Look down the scope — as in, actually raise the controller, close one eye, and look down the scope — and you’ll see the reticle hovering over the screeching terrors hunting you down.
This sense of physicality is unique to virtual reality, and especially engaging in Farpoint as you swivel, pivot, aim, and pull the trigger, plasma rounds punching through carapace and rock in each exhilarating encounter.
Now imagine it all with a friend by your side.
Farpoint tracks both the PlayStation VR headset and the Aim controller, and in doing so can infer the location of your body at any given moment. This means you and a friend have a full character to control, from tilting your head in confusion to motioning in the direction of your next target.
These expressive moments bring the world alive, and open up small but special gameplay opportunities. Body language is now a practical method of communication, instead of pressing a button for a pre-made emote. In the heat of combat, these simple gestures go a long way.
The cooperative levels are built like sprawling, rocky arenas. Enemies flood the level from all directions and it’s up to you to take cover, return fire, and revive your teammate should he or she be overwhelmed by alien forces.
Between fights, you and a friend can rest (both figuratively and literally) at resource stations and load up on supplies, swap out your gear, and even shoot each other in the head. Yes, friendly fire is active. And in virtual reality, it’s a little hilarious.
Farpoint demonstrates the overall potential of first-person VR combat exquisitely. It boasts both superb aiming and gunplay, with the added fun of bringing a friend along for the ride. You and your own prospective space soldiers can try it for yourselves when Farpoint and the Aim controller launch on May 16.