Borderlands 2 VR GamePlay
Borderlands 2 VR What is it? Actually, It’s a shooting and looting game. Yeah, the game sounds bland on paper, Quite the game manages to make it feel alluring, thanks in a large part to an interesting variety of guns and at least a little bit of loot found everywhere. But the original Borderlands 2 was very highly focused around co-op supporting up to four players, Borderlands 2 VR and helps Entirely, making it a single player experience.
Borderlands 2 VR Supports both PlayStation Move Controllers and the standard gamepad but unfortunately lacks support only for PS Aim.
My Provenance was to start playing with the moving Controllers (this is a VR shooter after all, and tracked move controllers are the closest option you can get to actually holding a gun). My First hint was the wrong point of the game relies on floating reticles to indicate where your shots will land, Including artificial recoil which causes the reticle to bounce around. A floating reticle feels entirely archaics in VR, where almost every native VR title is built around actually aiming down the weapon’s sight, or using a laser pointer projected from the gun. The reticle, as implemented, doesn’t feel quite right in VR while playing with the move, but it represents the unique feel of the game’s many weapons, as the bouncing reticle indicates the amount of kick and its expansion represents many states of accuracy.
What so, the more awkward moment is when using move is the way of locomotion is handed. there is both free walk and teleportation options. While using the free walk mode. holding down the movie’s big button causes you to move in the direction your controller is pointing. this work is enough in other made for VR games, Whereas in Borderlands 2 VR – Where the gameplay was originally designed for lots of stick-based strafing and continuous movement -you keep holding your locomotion hand mostly up in the air as you point it awkwardly around to simulate stick movement to ensure you can effectively dodge for an incoming fire.
The teleport Option can be better a little bit, teleportation is hampered by a finicky implementation which doesn’t handle height wall at all( making It Difficult to teleport over small obstacles or up small ledges which would be a breeze to simply jump over). It can enable the ability to jump in the game’s control scheme, but for me, it took a single hop for me to realize that would quickly lead to nausea (more on that in the comfort section below). Teleportation is also slow, and a little awkward to blindly aim your teleportation (n the case of needing to strafe or fall black while continuing to fire at enemies).
The game’s presentation has been ported to VR in an entirely straightforward way- the original interface but now on a plane floating in front of you. It is controlled with a laser pointer with your move controllers Which at least makes it less cumbersome than Skyrim VR(another port, which very often relied on tilting the move controllers to simulate stick scrolling in menus). But, It’s Clear the interface is not built with this scheme in mind, some Actions are not intuitive at first, but it gets the Work done in the end.
Playing Borderland 2 VR with move Just felt awkward overall. I wish Nobody should be surprised to learn that the game plays notably better with the gamepad, considering it was built for that input device in the first place. (Aside: the lack of PS Aim Support feels like a true shame considering it combines the motion – aiming of the move with the sticks of the gamepad).
Once I started Using the Gamepad I had no interest in going back to move – Shooting Feels better (Considering the floating reticle) The sticks make it easier to Handle kinds of movement that the game expects from the player( Strafing, dodging, Running backward while shooting) and the interface is easier to use. Yes Playing with the gamepad and aiming with your head lacks a certain level of VR-ness That you did hope for out of a VR game. But Least it lets you connect with the game’s core fun more directly.
What is that fun exactly?
It’s an engaging loop of blasting baddies and finding new guns, neds and other loot to upgrade while being guided through the game’s world and story through a straightforward quest and leveling system ( get a quest, turn in the quest, collect the reward, level up. get stronger, fight stronger baddies). people who played an MMORPG will innately understand this gameplay approach right down to the loot tiers which use color to represent rarity.
The Franchise has always Pleased itself on having heaps and heaps of interesting Guns, and that’s in full force with Borderlands 2 VR. There are the usual weapon classes (Shotguns Sniper rifles, Pistols, etc). but the game actually mixes things up in fun ways, like a shotgun which shoots exploding rounds, A rifle which lights enemies on fire for bonus damage an automatic pistol Which gets more accurate as you fire it, or even a weapon which you toss away to explode like a grenade when you go to reload it.
You will obviously find a gun which suits You, But as you level up you will eventually need to find a new weapon with better stats to take on the harder enemy. Looking forward to the new guns is always fun because it usually introduces an opportunity to change up your playing style.
Whereas Sniper Rifles and other scoped weapons feel tremendously hampered because of the clunky implementation of scopes in Borderlands 2 VR. Instead of actually looking through any of the scopes with your eye, using a weapon’s Zoom causes a tiny screen to appear in front of the player which shows the weapon’s zoomed view and reticle (as it would have originally been represented in the non-VR Version of the Game).
It might not be so bad except that the view through the window appears very low resolution, appears to run at something like 15FPS and lacks 3D entirely. Beyond that, Stylistic choice from the non-VR representation of that reticles is retained in the scoped view, which means even further reduce view quality thanks to things like dirt on the scope and fake scanlines. For a weapon class which focuses on precision, looking through a tiny, dirty, laggy window is far from ideal.
One major new gameplay feature has been added that’s unique to Borderlands 2VR, and that’s the BAMF Time’ Badass Mega Fun Time ability which is a Simple slow-motion mechanic that’s available to all four characters. As it was tacked on. It’s Lacking some of the effects that turn other some slow motion implementations into a visual spectacle, but it’s at least useful ( to save yourself when you’re Outgunned)and occasionally adds extra fun ( like when you blow a jumping enemy out of mid-air). Unfortunately, there’s nothing VR Specific about BAMF, And it would work just as easily in the non-VR version of the game.
As a port, Borderlands 2 VR is inherently Stuck with lots of non-VR baggage, much of which can’t be tossed out without tossing our core element of the game( or rewriting them from scratch). The Non-VR Version of the game is designed expecting continuous movement from the player (to maneuver in battle). Often in directions, they aren’t looking ( Strafing, moving backward while shooting). This abstract movement doesn’t feel great in VR and can cause Nausea. Teleportation, if you want to ensure comfort, is always less immersive than free walking (because you lose your sense of place) and that’s doubly so in a game that wants you to be moving around constantly.
Given the awkwardness of trying to play with teleportation, I stuck with Navigating using the gamepad’s sticks and needed the peripheral blinder settings at medium; that shrinks down the field of view considerably so that all that movement doesn’t make you dizzy. But this too comes at a cost immersion – the smaller your field of view, the less you feel like you’re there.
There’s also nothing in the game that makes the player feel particularly connected to the world. Looting is done by pressing a button and having all the items magically zoom into your inventory, grenades are thrown with a button press, and quest object are activated with a button press, a quest object are activated with a button press too. you won’t find a moment where the immediately around you feel there because so much of the player interaction is done through fundamentally non-VR means.
All the above is underscored by the game’s pretty awful graphics, even on PS4 Pro(which gearbox says is slightly enhanced with ambient occlusion). you might think that the signature cel-shaded style would translate very well to VR, But in this instance, it clearly hasn’t. Texture Quality drops off rapidly as it gets further from the player, turning the world into a muddy mess that’s framed by aliasing and plenty of tickers. The stark difference in graphical fidelity between what you see in VR and what you see during cutscenes (which are rendered in the original version on a flat screen in front of you ) Shows just how much visual fidelity was lost in the conversion to VR.
So, just to recap: the game plays best with a standard gamepad there’s no Made for VR- Interactions, the game looks significantly worse than its NOn-VR Counterpart, and more than likely most players will need to employ a reduced field of view to remain comfortable (which makes the game even less immersive).
Although developers Gearbox Software has painstakingly optimized borderlands 2 VR to ensure it’s one of the smoothest, most seamless VR experience out there’ the studio warned reviewers up front that “most players” should take “frequent Breaks” (every 15-20 Minutes). to ensure comfort – not a good sign.
Borderlands 2 VR includes a decent set of comfort options – There’s Snap turning and smooth turning, free walk and teleportation, optional jumping and several setting for peripheral blinders. even so, considering how much might 30+ minutes play sessions a challenge for your inner – ear.
I’m probably low to medium on sensitivity to sim sickness in VR. While Borderlands 2 VR didn’t have many moments of outright comfort lurching (Just don’t jump!) the continuous movement demanded by the gameplay accumulates discomfort over time. Even playing with snap turning and peripherical blinders at medium, I still found myself with a case of the VR sweats (the precursor to a full-blown sim sickness head pain) During most sessions longer than 20 minutes or so.
Yes, You could argue that I could turn peripheral blinders up to maximum and stick with only teleportation movement and maybe then I’d be able to play comfortably for longer sessions, but this comes at such a great cost of money to the immersion and gameplay that it’s hard to justify.
The game’s head – locked HUD Is another comfort misstep. at best, an element like your ammo count ( at the bottom of your head-space) are difficult to see. At worst, an element like the mini-map ( at the top right) are so away from your central vision that it causes eye-strain just to look at. I found the mini-map almost completely useless because of how tiny it is and the eye-strain required to actually look at it.
Even on PS4 pro, moving through some of the game’s interface would cause micro-stutters which weren’t fun to deal with. The interface also clips through any nearby geometry ( including the ground), forcing you to close the menu, move to somewhere else, and re-open it.