Fingers-On: Runner brings enjoyable anime bike motion to PSVR 2, with some frustrations

Now with a neater issue, some steadiness tweaks, and extra, the bike VR motion sport Runner appears just a little totally different than it did at launch. Listed here are our impressions of Runner on PSVR 2.

First launched for Quest in 2022, Runner transitioned to PSVR 2 earlier this 12 months, so we determined to leap in and see how the sport fares on a brand new platform almost a 12 months after launch.

Locked and loaded

With motorcycle-themed gameplay and a dystopian cyberpunk world, Runner takes clear inspiration from previous anime like Akira and Ghost within the Shell. Set within the Presidium, you play mod courier Nina, who finds the authorities cracking down on her group’s actions. Assisted by a conductor, Vice, your solely escape route is by way of the primary freeway by way of 7 sectors. In case you’re considering historical past, Runner comes with a free prologue visible novel, Preamble, however it’s not important studying.

Designed as a sit-down expertise, Runner robotically strikes you thru the freeway, although you possibly can select to manually speed up or brake your bike by pushing up and down one of many controller’s analog sticks. Going through police bikes, airborne drones, armored items and extra, enemies seem from each route and all you must do is destroy them. Steady assaults and driving alongside civilian site visitors with out crashing into them retains a combo meter for boosted scores.

Armed with a entrance cannon, grenades, missiles, and two sidearms that swap between a pistol and a projectile-deflecting cutlass, Nina’s bike is kind of highly effective. Weapon wielding gives satisfying stamina with controller haptic suggestions and adaptive set off help on PSVR 2, whereas drawing each sidearms concurrently prompts Rush Mode to sluggish time for a tactical benefit. The dashboard HUD additionally displays your bike’s protect vitality.

All the pieces All over the place…

Sadly, Runner feels prefer it’s doing an excessive amount of directly. Your choices really feel overwhelming, and remembering which buttons to press will get barely complicated. The mirrored management scheme on each controllers limits the out there buttons, even when it innately means there’s help for these taking part in left-handed.

When wielding sidearms, the lively controller’s analog stick can not steer Nina’s bike – a barely odd choice provided that the bike is not steered by way of movement controls. She makes driving barely awkward.

The degrees additionally really feel too lengthy and prolonged boss fights do not assist that feeling. Each boss wants cautious technique by studying his assault patterns. One seems as an armored shell, forcing you to destroy that protect earlier than attacking the core. One other spider-like enemy requires you to focus on his legs.

The range is appreciated, however bosses really feel drastically overwhelmed even on the simplest issue. I usually discovered myself capturing them repeatedly for years, feeling like little greater than bullet sponges. It is no enjoyable, even when it really earns you these wins. Fortunately, invincibility mode is an choice should you’re struggling to make it by way of a selected part.

It is a disgrace Runner is slowed down by these little frustrations, as a result of there’s potential within the premise. As an anime fan, Runner’s visible aesthetic is pleasant, and on PSVR 2 it is boosted by 90Hz 4K efficiency. A loud soundtrack enhances the motion, and full shade customization of your bike goes a great distance. Management points apart, the consolation choices for lean bike energy and movement vignettes made using by way of the world a snug expertise.

Runner VR - Steam screenshot

When you defeat a boss, Runner locations your stage rating on on-line leaderboards, and every stage is replayable exterior of the marketing campaign. Additionally, you will be given the flexibility to navigate by way of the degrees, admiring the surroundings as a substitute of destroying enemies and obstacles.

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After your first playthrough, the journey is much from over: there are unlockable bikes with new options (like everlasting dual-grip), and the leaderboards clearly emphasize replayability. Even with the irritating boss fights and different glitches, I nonetheless discovered myself having fun with Runner.

Runner is out now on PSVR 2 and Quest, with a SteamVR model on the best way.

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