Boxed In Coming to PlayStation VR in May

Boxed In

Smartphones are renown for their hyper-casual videogames and virtual reality (VR) has a few of its own. Originally released at the end of 2017 for PC VR headsets was Boxed In, a puzzle title where you have to match coloured blocks before getting crushed. British developer Red Chain Games has been improving the experience in the run up to a PlayStation VR launch later this month.

Boxed In

Boxed In puts you in a room with no walls, and depending on the gameplay mode the coloured blocks will come from different directions which you have to match up to remove. With the ability to change the colour of a cube, add a new cube, or push a cube when it’s close to you, in the more relaxed Solitaire mode the room is filled with static cubes which you have to clear.

For a proper challenge, there’s the Survival Mode where the blocks come from below, continually moving until they crush you. The difficulty of this mode can then be increased by upping the colour matches from three to four or five combinations. In total there are 36 variations to switch between. With the PlayStation VR edition, players have the option to use a DualShock 4 controller, PlayStation Move and PlayStation Aim depending on preference.

“We wanted to make a game that would appeal to everyone, especially newcomers to VR. We’ve been blown-away by the reaction of players experiencing the immersion of being inside the puzzle,” said Red Chain Games’ Lead Developer Richard M. Smith in a statement.

Boxed In

Reviewing the original PC VR version of Boxed In VRFocus said: “Boxed In is one of those pleasurable time-wasters like the videogames you play on your smartphone. What it lacks in amazing visuals, convoluted narrative or groundbreaking gameplay, it makes up for by having a plucky, no-nonsense attitude to VR gaming.”

Red Chain Games plans on launching Boxed In for PlayStation VR on 28th May 2021. For further updates keep reading VRFocus.

PlayStation 5 to Support Current Gen PS Aim, Move Controllers, Camera & DualShock 4

Sony previously confirmed PSVR compatibility with the upcoming PlayStation 5 console, however what wasn’t so clear was whether you’d be able to use all of your current-gen accessories like PS Aim and PS Move controllers. Now Sony says those old school essentials will also work with the PS5.

This, Sony’s Isabelle Tomatis reveals in a blog post, also includes the current-gen PlayStation Camera, however it will require an adaptor.

Tomatis says Sony will be handing out these adaptors “at no additional cost to PS VR users.” More details are said to follow on how those will be distributed.

Based on images courtesy Sony

What’s equally intriguing is that the DualShock 4 wireless controller and officially licensed third-party gamepads are also said to work with “supported PS4 games” on PS5, something Sony hasn’t historically allowed by default across console generations. Games created for PS5 will however require the new DualSense wireless controller, Sony says.

Both the PS Move and PS Camera were originally released on PS3 in the late 2000s. Any PSVR user can tell you how irksome the headset’s less than performant tracking can be when the stars aren’t metaphorically aligned. Hopefully this is a concession aimed at keeping PSVR users happy in the near term and not a hint that the next-gen PSVR will use the same tracking standard as its forbear.

Pressure Mounts for Xbox's Missing VR Strategy as PSVR Revenue Exceeds $2 Billion

To allay those fears somewhat, it appears the DualSense controllers don’t seem to contain the same sort of optical tracking markers as DualShock 4, which further supports the position that PSVR 2 will benefit from some other tracking standard altogether.

Tracking woes aside, it seems PSVR users will (mostly) be able to simply plug and play their library of PS4 games on the new console. Granted, we still don’t know the exact extent of this compatibility, and it’s something we hope to learn more about as we approach the console’s holiday season launch.

The post PlayStation 5 to Support Current Gen PS Aim, Move Controllers, Camera & DualShock 4 appeared first on Road to VR.

Blood & Truth Update Adds PlayStation Aim Compatible Modes

After a successful launch in May, Sony London Studio has continued to support its story-driven shooter Blood & Truth with updates and even a demo. Now the studio has released its biggest package of new features, adding a hard mode as well as challenges which support the PlayStation Aim controller.

Sony London Studio has introduced five Skeet challenges to test your shooting abilities, all of which are PlayStation Aim compatible. These are:

  • Authentic Skeet: Move between eight stations shooting at high and low clays launched as singles or doubles, with 25 being the perfect score.
  • Extreme Skeet: Set on London’s rooftops, you’ll between eight stations shooting at high and low clays launched as singles or doubles. Extra targets will appear for additional points.
  • Endurance Skeet: Clays are launched from high towers and you lose a life for every clay missed. You only have three lives but can earn any lost life’s back by scoring three consecutive hits.
  • Puzzle Skeet: Hit three targets to release a coloured clay. Lights switch on with each hit target tell you which colour clay you need to shoot next. Hit the Clay to move on to the next set of targets, miss and you need to hit the three targets again to relaunch the clay.
  • Action Skeet: A training challenge, which includes static and launched targets.

For those that have breezed through the campaign and want a real test of skill, there’s the new Hard Mode. As you’d expect Hard mode means you have less health to start with and your recovery is slower, enemies are a lot more accurate, and Precision Mode comes with less time to use it. Hard Mode allows you to replay individual missions or the entire campaign using the New Game+ feature.

Blood and Truth

Blood & Truth has proven to be one of the best PlayStation VR titles this year, with VRFocus giving the videogame a full five star review, commenting: “While you don’t have the freedom of Borderlands 2 VR for example, with Blood & Truth you have a far more focused videogame that knows what it wants to achieve, and that’s put a smile on your face. From start to finish  Blood & Truth is one hell of a ride, a finely choreographed John Woo movie that’s all about sheer entertainment.”

VRFocus will continue its coverage of Blood & Truth and Sony London Studio, reporting back with the latest updates and announcements.

Preview: Sniper Elite VR – Sights are Perfectly Set

Rebellion’s Sniper Elite series is a fairly iconic franchise, sending players back in time to World War 2 to sneak around battlefields and war-torn cities picking off enemies with precision accuracy. The prospect of a virtual reality (VR) version was certainly an exciting one when the studio revealed development plans a few months ago. With the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2019 taking place this week Rebellion brought a very early, pre-alpha build along for attendees to demo, and VRFocus can confirm it’s already looking good.

Sniper Elite VR

Generally when a studio pre-warns that a build is very early – possibly too early for demonstration – VRFocus usually expects to find a bug filled experience that’s extremely rough around the edges. This just wasn’t the case when it came to Sniper Elite VR, actually surprising how comfortable and smooth the 10-minute demo in fact was.

Demoed using PlayStation VR, Sniper Elite VR fully utilises the PlayStation Aim controller and felt like a natural fit for the videogame. Rebellion has confirmed the title will also support PlayStation Move and DualShock 4 – as well as the relevant controllers on other headsets like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive – but for a first-person shooter (FPS) like Sniper Elite VR having a gun peripheral certainly helps that sense of immersion.

The brief demo featured a sequence involving a roadblock in an Italian town, with enemy forces tending to control most of the lower ground with a few sporadically place higher up. Naturally, as a sniper the gameplay involved being positioned on the top of walls or in the remains of attics, peering out through roof debris. Visually, the environment was suitably packed with details, crumbling houses, destroyed vehicles, bomb craters and more. This once peaceful, idyllic town was now a battlefield and impressively felt so.

Sniper Elite VR E3 2019Movement was completely free locomotion, offering wide-ranging options as to where to place yourself when firing off a few shots. Crouching behind walls or steel sheets, after one shot the enemy forces soon know your location, making subsequent shots all the more difficult.

If you’ve ever played any of the Sniper Elite series then the VR version will feel right at home, just even more realistic. Popping heads – where else are you going to aim for? – isn’t too difficult yet made all the easier thanks to a focus mode which zooms in that little bit further whilst painting a red diamond around the enemy’s head.

But this wouldn’t be Sniper Elite if there weren’t the X-Ray Kill Cam sequences. They are well and truly in there and are even more brutal (and satisfying than ever). Rebellion was keen to ensure these sequences weren’t jarring in any way, and seem to have effectively done so. The X-Ray Kill Cam actives randomly, pulling you out of the first-person character viewpoint and into a brief close up for a couple of seconds, all very smooth and suitably graphic.

From start to finish Sniper Elite VR certainly impressed, from the gun handling to the movement and visual design. It honestly didn’t feel as early in development as Rebellion was claiming it was, which certainly bodes well for the final product. Sniper Elite VR is definitely on VRFocus’ list for top VR titles of E3 2019.

Following PS Aim Support, ‘Borderlands 2 VR’ Will Get All DLC for Free This Summer

Borderlands 2 VR, the PSVR exclusive port of the lauded loot shooter, was recently updated with improvements including support for the PS Aim accessory. Now developer Gearbox Software says the game’s entire DLC library will be added for free this summer.

At launch, Borderlands 2 VR didn’t manage to shake that ‘port-y’ feeling for a host of reasons, but a ‘2.0’ update delivered earlier this month moves the needle a little bit further toward the expectations of a ‘made-for-VR’ game.

Image courtesy Gearbox Software

Most importantly, the Borderlands 2 VR 2.0 update adds support for the PS Aim gun controller which had been widely requested since even before the game launched. Gearbox says they’ve added a range of options for the PS Aim controls to accommodate both right and left handed users, and allow players some customization options including gun-relative or head-relative movement. The game has supported Move controllers and the gamepad since launch.

The patch also improves the performance on weapon scopes which were previously displayed with a very low framerate in a relatively small window. Gearbox says the window size and the performance of the scope view have booth been improved. For players who don’t like the window approach at all, the scope window can be turned off entirely (so that players can still get the benefits of using the ‘aim’ button without looking through the scope window).

On the immersion front, the update also provides an option for disabling floating crosshairs, allowing players to rely instead on iron sights and visual feedback for aiming.

Sony Announces 4.2 Million PlayStation VR Units Sold

With the 2.0 update bringing a host of widely requested improvements, the next update shifts attention to widely requested content.

At launch, Borderlands 2 VR lacked access to the game’s trove of DLC content. Even if players wanted to pay for it, they couldn’t.

That’s about to change. Gearbox announced today plans to bring “all” of game’s DLC to Borderlands 2 VR in an update this summer, for free. Pretty awesome news for fans of the game.

Beyond that the studio has said they’re working on bringing more community suggestions to the game, including “improvements to the HUD and height offset along with fixes to an unreachable chest, teleport, performance and more.”

Alongside a lack of DLC (which is now being addressed in a major way), another frequent critique of Borderlands 2 VR is its lack of co-op, especially considering that the franchise is deeply built around co-op gameplay. Gearbox hasn’t confirmed co-op for the VR version of the game, but that won’t stop players from hoping!

And if you were wondering if the newly announced Borderlands 3 will support PSVR or other VR headsets, Gearbox hasn’t confirmed or denied anything just yet.

The post Following PS Aim Support, ‘Borderlands 2 VR’ Will Get All DLC for Free This Summer appeared first on Road to VR.

Upcoming ‘Sniper Elite’ VR Game Likely Headed to PSVR With Aim Support

Yesterday Rebellion Developments, the studio behind the Sniper Elite series, announced that a Sniper Elite VR game is in development in partnership with studio Just Add Water. Details have been kept to a minimum, with a full announcement planned for later this year, but a short glimpse of the game shows that it’s likely headed to PSVR with Aim support; support for other headsets and platforms is unclear at this time.

Rebellion dropped a bunch of Sniper Elite news yesterday, confirming that the studio is developing Sniper Elite V2 Remastered, Sniper Elite 3 Ultimate Edition for Switch, and the “next major title in the Sniper Elite series,” as well as “a new, standalone Sniper Elite game for VR devices.”

Almost no details on the game were given—except that it will be set in the same Mediterranean conflict as Sniper Elite 4—even falling short of saying which headsets or platforms the game will support.

Though “a full reveal” of the game is promised to come later this year, a very brief clip of the game was shared in the studio’s announcement video which showed it being played on a PSVR headset and with a PS Aim controller:

That’s great news for PSVR fans who own the Aim controller accessory; the lauded device isn’t exactly widely supported, but tends to be an immersion booster for games that make use of it, like Farpoint (2017) and Firewall: Zero Hour (2018).

Photo by Road to VR

Of course this quick clip isn’t a guarantee that Aim support will be included; the studios could still be prototyping and things could change. But for a game which focuses on two-handed rifles, Aim sure seems to make a lot of sense considering how it couples both hands together, which increases aiming stability (important for high zoom optics).

So it seems probable that the Sniper Elite VR game is headed to PSVR with Aim support, but now we’re curious to know if it’ll be an exclusive on that headset or come to other platforms too. In the past Rebellion released Battlezone as a PSVR exclusive in 2016, and eventually brought it to PC VR headsets in 2017. The studio’s latest VR release, Arca’s Path (2018), debuted simultaneously on most major headsets.

Shout out to @AJRendere for the tip!

The post Upcoming ‘Sniper Elite’ VR Game Likely Headed to PSVR With Aim Support appeared first on Road to VR.

Battlezone Developer Rebellion Confirms Work on Sniper Elite VR Title

British developer and publisher Rebellion has a wide selection of videogame IP’s under its belt, best known within the virtual reality (VR) industry for its tank shooter Battlezone. Another of the studios’ famous IP’s is the Sniper Elite series, of which Rebellion is working on four new projects, one that just so happens to be in VR.

Sniper Elite V2 Remastered
Image Credit: Rebellion – Sniper Elite V2 Remastered

In a wide-ranging announcement that covered four titles, Rebellion’s CEO Jason Kingsley, briefly mentioned that the team are working on a VR version similar to Sniper Elite 4, the most recent release in the series, set in the same Mediterranean conflict. Being developed in partnership with indie British studio Just Add Water – known for their work on the Oddworld and Gravity Crash series – the title (at present) looks like its being developed exclusively for PlayStation VR and the PlayStation Aim controller.

From the looks of the short video clip, development seems to be well underway, with Kingsley refraining from revealing any further information. More details he said would be released later this year.

As for the other announcements, Rebellion is now working on a sequel to Sniper Elite 4, with more details to come in 2020. There’s going to be a Sniper Elite V2 Remastered version coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch in 2019, with enhanced graphics, 4K resolution and HDR display, new playable characters, a brand new photo mode, expanded online multiplayer for up to 16 combatants, as well as all the content ever released for the title.

Sniper Elite VR - PSVR

As an added bonus for Nintendo Switch fans Sniper Elite 3 Ultimate Edition will be coming to the console, with the entire videogame and all of its DLC in one package, plus Switch-exclusive local wireless multiplayer and motion controls.

That’s is of course if Nintendo Switch owners can tear themselves away from the new Nintendo Labo: VR Kit which is due to arrive next month. Turning the portable console into a VR viewer through the magic of cardboard, the kit is due to launch on 12th April, for £79.99 GBP.

As more details are released regarding the VR version of Sniper Elite, VRFocus will keep you updated.

New Launch Trailer Showcases Firewall Zero Hour In Action

The wait is finally over and the much anticipated virtual reality (VR) tactical military shooter for PlayStation VR, Firewall Zero Hour, has now released inviting players to instense four-versus-four multiplayer action. To mark the the launch of the title, the team at First Contact Entertainment have released a new trailer showcasing a number of the games features in action.

Firewall Zero Hour - Screenshot (E3 2018)

The new launch trailer, which you can view below, comes following a number of other trailers which were released to help prepare players for the tactical first-person shooter (FPS) title. This includes a detailed look at some of the maps and mercenaries within the videogame along with another exploring the ways in which the team were making the experience as immersive as possible.

In Firewall Zero Hour two teams of four go up against each other to attack or defend a laptop that houses vital information. Picking from 12 experienced mercenaries each with unique abilities and playstyles, players will need to learn the maps, weapons and equipment in order to work as a team and complete their objective. With a number of different options available to players on how they prepare and fight within a match, it will be the team that is more prepared and works together that sees victory.

Firewall Zero Hour - Screenshot (E3 2018)

Built for PlayStation VR, Firewall Zero Hour also leverage the immersive power of the PlayStation Aim controller to give players a more realistic experience. This means that they can aim with better accuracy, lean from behind cover to attack and even blind fire for added tactical opportunities and immersion.

VRFocus’ Staff Writer Rebecca Hills-Duty reviewed Firewall Zero Hour praising it highly saying: “Firewall Zero Hour has managed to avoid many of the common pitfalls of VR online multiplayers and add its own interesting twist to the military FPS genre. The lobby system could use some improvements, but otherwise its a finely crafted title that will be of great interest to FPS fans.”

You can see the launch trailer for yourself below and for all the latest on PlayStation VR, Firewall Zero Hour and developer First Contact Entertainment in the future, keep reading VRFocus.

Live for the Mission in Firewall Zero Hour New Trailer

As the days until the release of anticipated strategic military shooter Firewall Zero Hour tick down, developer First Contact Entertainment and Sony are trying to get the hype train rolling with the release of a new trailer.

Firewall Zero Hour is a tactical military shooter based around 4v4 multiplayer in which the players are charged with protecting sensitive data containing on a laptop, or trying to break in and steal that same data.

Firewall Zero Hour

The new trailer prominently features a player using the PlayStation Aim controller, a peripheral which has helped increase the immersion for some players since it was released alongside Farpoint. The developers have previously talked about how use of a gun in the title became an important area for immersion.

The First Contact Entertainment team designed the title so that aiming and gun movement is not controlled by a button press, but is instead tracked to physical movement, allowing for the realistic motion of lifting the gun to scan down the scope for nearby targets.

Another action possible in Firewall Zero Hour is the ability to ‘blind fire’ by sticking your weapon out of cover to fire at enemies without moving your player avatar from cover. This action is made much easier and more immersive with the Aim Controller.

The Vice President of First Contact Entertainment, Joshua Ochoa has also indicated that gun movement can be used to communicate with team members, pointing or waving the weapon to indicate a direction to move in, or to signal where enemies are located. This is something that is reflected briefly in the trailer.

Firewall Zero Hour - Screenshot (E3 2018)

Firewall Zero Hour is due for release on 28th August, 2018. Pre-orders for both the digital edition and physical versions, including the Aim Controller bundle, are available through the PlayStation Store.

The trailer video is available to view below. Further news on Firewall Zero Hour and other upcoming VR projects will be here on VRFocus.

Firewall Zero Hour Physical Release Bundles Now on Pre-Order

Multiplayer virtual reality (VR) team-based shooter Firewall Zero Hour got a positive reception from the VRFocus team when it was played at E3 2018 earlier this year. The PlayStation VR exclusive is getting close to its August release date, and to sweeten the pot, a new physical bundle is now available for pre-order.

PlayStation VR users who wish to pre-order the title can choose either the download version or the physical disk edition. Or the PlayStation Aim bundle, which comes with the PlayStation Aim gun controller for added realism.

Firewall Zero Hour - Screenshot (E3 2018)

Firewall Zero Hour is a 4v4 tactical shooter that relies on close teamwork in order to finish the missions. Players take on the role of a mercenary contractor, charged with protecting sensitive data in a laptop. There are nine map locations spread across Russia, the Middle East and the UK. Players will be able to use in-game currency to upgrade and customise their character

The pre-order Zero Hour Pack contains a host of extra in-game goodies that will help new players get started with creating, customising and levelling their character.

The Zero Hour Pack contains:

  • Exclusive Character Camo
  • Exclusive Trinket
  • Exclusive Weapon Camo
  • Exclusive Face paint/Camo
  • Exclusive Velcro Patch
  • Extra In-Game currency
  • Double XP for 24 hours
  • ‘Texas’ Contractor Unlock

The Aim Controller bundle is available for pre-order in the USA from Target or GameStop, priced at $79.99. The physical disk can be ordered from the PlayStation Store, BestBuy, Target or GameStop, priced at $39.99.

The VRFocus team got hands-on with Firewall Zero Hour at E3 2018, where it was said: “This first playtest was a good showpiece for First Contact Entertainment’s second VR title, offering a refined and highly entertaining experience. Firewall Zero Hour is a bold move on the studio’s part and one that VRFocus is looking forward to seeing come to fruition.”

For future coverage of Firewall Zero Hour and other upcoming VR projects, keep checking back with VRFocus.