Review

Farpoint Review

  • First Released May 16, 2017
    released
  • PS4

Stranded in the dark.

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The "what” of Farpoint isn't as vital as the "how.” Even among its virtual-reality-enabled peers, it's a fairly standard shooter about an unnamed space shuttle pilot who, along with two scientists, ends up stranded on an uncharted desert planet while investigating an anomaly near a wormhole orbiting Jupiter. When you wake up, you've got nothing but an assault rifle and your wits with which to face off against an ugly horde of arachnids. For much of the first half of the game, Farpoint is rudimentary, with linear--albeit pretty and atmospheric--desert corridors leading to open areas filled with enemies. Your weapons are shooter mainstays: an assault rifle and a shotgun, both with high-powered secondary rounds.

It's only after the first boss fight that it becomes clear Farpoint is a late bloomer. The lethargic first area acts as a proof-of-concept demo for the PSVR Aim controller--an optional accessory that can be purchased as a bundle with the game. To Farpoint's detriment, it means anyone playing the game with a DualShock 4--Farpoint doesn't support PlayStation Move controllers--will be bored to tears before being torn apart by the game's nimble, vicious little beasts.

For those who do splurge for the Aim, however, they'll find Farpoint's early hours show off all the slick ways the gun controller makes the difference between a boring game and an engaging one. Through the Aim, the otherwise lackluster desert corridors are a prime showcase for the kinetic motion and aiming that could only work in VR. One of the best tiny touches is the simulated holographic sight--modeled after real-world counterparts--that makes targeting encroaching enemies from a distance a more involved but satisfying process.

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Once you move past this tutorial-like section, Farpoint starts bringing its surprises out of the bag. The generic bug hunt in haunting, sunbathed landscapes gradually transitions into a pulse-pounding, run-and-gun nightmare scenario against a slew of unforgiving murder machines. The weapons take on a delightful alien bent, with a decidedly different heft and feel from the basic assault and shotgun options of the first half. With infinite ammo for all of them--only explosive rounds and rockets need refilling--you'll walk into any firefight comfortably.

When bipedal aliens join the fight in the second half of the game, Farpoint becomes a true test of skill, and comes alive in a way the first half never hints at. Enemies suddenly know how to use cover, flank your position, and fire sniper rifles from afar. Sneaky killshots have to be carefully keyholed through minute gaps in wreckage with one eye closed and actual steady hand on the Aim controller. Alternatively, John Wick-style strolls down a corridor while blind-firing a shotgun and laying waste to a whole squad of enemies without breaking stride feels magnificent. Style and success in Farpoint are bound only by your own flexibility and guile.

And yet, the biggest surprise the game has in store has nothing to do with the gunplay but the overarching plot involving the two scientists, Dr. Grant Moon and Dr. Eva Tyson, who crashed on the planet first. Time away from gunning down aliens is spent examining holographic records of the doctors' prior escapades. While this builds toward a somewhat predictable conclusion, the particulars are breathtaking in their poignancy; a tonal clash with the rest of the game. Eventually, every cutscene is a hard emotional swerve, and the ultimate fate of Drs. Moon and Tyson feels ripped from a much different, heartbreaking experience than an arcade VR shooter.

The narrative dissonance fades away in the game's final third and feels like a long-lost memory once the chaos of combat returns. And after the credits roll, you're left with nothing but a series of challenge modes, remixing the enemy layout of each stage with a time limit and a point value for every dead bot or bug. These challenges can also be tackled as an online co-op experience, which may not make things any easier--but in VR, how two players decide to play is a much different kind of song and dance than the average cooperative Horde mode found in other games.

Despite shifting gears in surprising ways and extending the life of its gunplay by remixing levels, Farpoint is more like a proof of concept than a game designed to push the envelope on its own terms. It'll give you a taste of something new for PSVR, and give you hints of what to look forward to if the Aim controller attracts wider support. It's going to be hard to go back to two Move controllers now that Sony's new toy has made a case for itself.

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The Good
Aim Controller experience is peerless among VR shooters
Captivating alien landscapes that look great in VR
Framework of the scientist subplot is beautifully executed
The Bad
First half feels painfully nondescript
Playing with a DualShock 4 isn't worth the trouble
7
Good
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Bolstered by the Aim Controller, Impact Gear delivers a strong shooter experience on PlayStation VR but surprises and awes when it strives for more.
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Avatar image for Twiztid-Maddox
Twiztid-Maddox

The story kinda sucked, but the gameplay was really fun!!!!

Avatar image for Ezioprez9709
Ezioprez9709

Looks intriguing.

Avatar image for chimichanga
Chimichanga

Farpoint is a very fun game but I think the people that made Farpoint should also make Starship Troopers.

Avatar image for Twiztid-Maddox
Twiztid-Maddox

@chimichanga: Or a Terminator game!!!

Avatar image for spas2k
spas2k

All my biggest "WOW" moments in gaming from the past year, heck the past 10 years, has been from PSVR and farpoint is no different. That first time you step foot on to an alien planet is like nothing else in any medium, much less gaming. Sure the novelty wears off, but when the moments hit, it is absolutely unmatched by anything, period.

Avatar image for diamonddave64
DiamondDave64

I'm kind of old, but playing PSVR has been a revelation to me. FarPoint is insane, great game. Must experience it to fully appreciate. Can't wait until CoD series debuts a PSVR title!!

Avatar image for guitarpete462
guitarpete462

Just picked this up today. Perhaps it's averaging a "7" on metacritic, but I think personally it offers a great time and is an essential pickup for anyone who purchased PS VR.

Lots of the professional critics however, make a point that bugs me. They say "if this was not in VR, it would be below the current bar for FPS games" or something to that effect. Well, yes, that might be true, but the fact is, you CANNOT separate this from VR, and it's MEANT to be played with the Aim, both details that help elevate it beyond the realm of mediocrity and into "must-play" status, if you own a PS VR (in which case if you didn't, you wouldn't be playing this anyway).

Well worth the money and the 40 mile drive I had to make to pick one up because they were sold out completely in my area.

Avatar image for Irishe
Irishe

So pissed. Been trying to get this game for the last couple of days and no one has it.

Avatar image for guitarpete462
guitarpete462

@Irishe: It's been selling out everywhere. I had to drive to a Target almost 40 miles away to pick one up today. I played it for a couple of hours.

Well worth it. I personally think the 7 is a little low. But that is a "good" score, so I'll refrain from complaining too much.

Still, I'm having a "great" time, and the controller is an absolute joy to use. Can't wait to play some of the other games it's planned for.

Avatar image for Bgrngod
Bgrngod

Bought the bundle not knowing the controller was actually a whole controller thing and not one of those Wii style plastic snap-in-your-controller frame things.

That explains the price difference! Kinda happy about that. Installing now. Excited to check it out.

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zaselim

Now where are those people who always whine about gamespot being sony spot and giving speacial treatment to ps4 titles.

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kiloman_74

@zaselim: gamespot and ign will always root for Microsoft. Ever since the 360/PS3 days. I'd say nothing has changed apart from Sony,leading this current generation.....

Avatar image for kiloman_74
kiloman_74

@kiloman_74: if it kinda seems like gamespot is favoring the ps4 it's only because of the noise it's making! It's number one and even the haters have to accept....

Avatar image for kiloman_74
kiloman_74

@kiloman_74: both sites need to be fair and equal towards ALL the gaming machines and computers it (the website) talks about. But to add more "shit" to "stir" in the "pot" gets them clicks, which is part of their revenue or something?

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Jkittleson

@zaselim: so that's your point is that Game Stop always adds a point to PS reviews.So it's really a 6 + 1.Now I get the point.Your a clever dumb ass.

Avatar image for zaselim
zaselim

@jkittleson: nope, try again.

Any why so hostile? Are you a child?

Avatar image for oflow
oflow

@zaselim: well this means the game is really a 6 when you factor in the GS +1 Sony bump.

?

Avatar image for zaselim
zaselim

@oflow: lol, that is the guy who understood what point i was trying to make unlike someone else.

Avatar image for jkittleson
Jkittleson

@zaselim: what the hell are you talking about are you saying a 7 is a bad score.Stop being a snob. 7 is a excellent score

Avatar image for zaselim
zaselim

@jkittleson:

You didnt get my point, dont worry you will get there soon.

Avatar image for kellqj
kellqj

It is really fun... Good VR game.

Avatar image for xdd90x
xDD90x

Several impressions in this review are in stark contrast to those found in the Farpoint review by arstechnica:

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2017/05/sonys-farpoint-falls-just-short-of-being-vrs-best-fps-yet/

Just another reminder of the subjective nature of reviews.

Avatar image for gaminsincepong
Gaminsincepong

Looks cool

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Dr_Vancouver

Loving it so far. It's a lot prettier than I thought it would be, maybe due to PS4 Pro.

Avatar image for nikolistary
nikolistary

Game is utterly fantastic for what it is. Met and exceeded my expectations. Got the game and gun for $60 on amazon. You are an absolute moron if you don't pick this game up. It is the foundational framework for the next generation of FPS's. Once your Destiny's/CoD's/etc. integrate the Aim into their games it'll be widely accepted and might level the playing field since accuracy is based on your ACTUAL SKILL and MARKSMANSHIP!

Seriously, buy it, it's great. Going to buy Arizona Sunshine, ROM, and Brookhaven Experiment next. If this shit doesn't get you excited you're either:

1. Young and spoiled

2. Old and jaded

3. A broke hater

Avatar image for oflow
oflow

@nikolistary: so that makes you

4. a millennial fanboy

Lolol

Avatar image for nikolistary
nikolistary

@oflow: I'm 38, nice try!

Avatar image for deviltaz35
DEVILTAZ35

@nikolistary: I've never used PSVR so i can't say whether or not i would like it but the controller looks cool. At the moment only 4 games have been announced for it though which isn't much.

Sony are saying they will make titles backwards compatible with it though but not what titles.

I do want to go and check it out in a store though , maybe tomorrow.

Avatar image for Zombie8814
Zombie8814

@nikolistary: #2 for me

Avatar image for BigPrimeNumbers
BigPrimeNumbers

No Move support is definitely a downer. I personally have no interest in buying or using another peripheral, and instead would much rather use my Move or Dualshock controllers. Was looking forward to this one, but guess I'll just wait for a sale to dip my toes in then.

Avatar image for kiloman_74
kiloman_74

@BigPrimeNumbers: you can use the dualshock but....

Avatar image for jimbobimbo
JimboBimbo

@kiloman_74: What's the point? With the Dualshock, it's just a rather generic space shooter. Still not a bad game, but among all the amazing games released recently, there is not much reason to play it. The Aim controller is where it's at.

Avatar image for kiloman_74
kiloman_74

@jimbobimbo: that's kinda why I put the "but...." just letting the guy know man! But yeah, was always going to get the gun for a game like this and hopefully many others! Yeah, got the gun and game package.

Avatar image for freedom01
freedom01

Glad that we have the same conclusion about the game @justinofclark
While the game was enjoyable, it felt as a tech demo for the Aim Controller, which by the way was a very pleasant experience using.
Hopefully, there will be more games for the PS VR that will make use of the Aim Controller.

Moderator
Avatar image for scottyp360
scottyp360

@freedom01: I'm expecting Sony to have a VR dedicated segment during their press conference. Sales for PSVR were solid and I'm sure they'll want to capitalize on those sales as well as keep people interested the product. I would definitely consider buy PSVR if it receives a lot of support and quality titles.

Avatar image for dev-raid1
Dev-RAiD1

@scottyp360: i want one, but i have an og ps4 which apparently is crap with psvr. ill get one eventually when i can hook it up and play vr on pc too

Avatar image for guitarpete462
guitarpete462

@dev-raid1: I have an OG, too. Claims of it being crap are GREATLY exaggerated, like an urban legend almost. It runs FINE. Obviously Pro gives it a boost, but it's mainly just a bit more detail. It has very little to do with smoothness or playability.

Avatar image for deactivated-59578f923f062

I sense a disturbance in the force. And this is another reason why i haven't picked up PSVR besides the fact there are no games that intrest me.

Avatar image for guitarpete462
guitarpete462

@fanboysaretrash: I'm with Utnayan. You're missing out. It's your money though. But there is no disturbance in the force. Just fun to be had.

Avatar image for Utnayan
Utnayan

@fanboysaretrash: You are missing out. Until Dawn Blood Rush, Batman VR, Resident Evil 7 in VR is absolutely amazing and you will never play another horror game without it, as well as some awesome titles like Thumper (VR is a must), I Expect you to die, And some other cool but cheap to purchase experiences.

Avatar image for xantufrog
xantufrog

Looks pretty damn fun, TBH. I totally get that design-wise it's a generic shooter, but everything I've read about this indicates that VR elevates it and vice versa. Sounds like a must for a PSVR owner

Moderator
Avatar image for guitarpete462
guitarpete462

@xantufrog: It is. I just got it. It's a blast.

Avatar image for jmartin1016
jmartin1016

I tried the demo. It was a blast!

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Farpoint More Info

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  • First Released May 16, 2017
    released
    • PlayStation 4
    Reunite with your stranded, separate scientists on a foreign planet while fighting back an alien menace in this VR thriller.
    7
    Average Rating15 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Farpoint
    Developed by:
    Impulse Gear
    Published by:
    Sony Interactive Entertainment
    Genre(s):
    Action, VR, First-Person, 3D, Shooter
    Theme(s):
    VR
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Mature
    Blood and Gore, Strong Language, Violence