Coming off the launch of our annual helping of Call of Duty (CoD), fans of the series can further immerse themselves in the future world of CoD: Infinite Warfare by stepping into the Jackal Assault VR Experience, best of all, it’s free, so no excuses for you PSVR owners!
This is a standalone experience that is meant to give you a taste of Infinite Warfare, an appetiser that showcases the potential scale and advanced technology that you would be facing and wielding in the actual game. If you are looking for the full CoD experience of frantic combat and tense set pieces, you will not get it here.
Fly, You Fool!
The Jackal Assault experience starts with a bang, showing you the ropes and pushing you straight into the action. Piloting your own Jackal aircraft, the 4-5 minutes experience has you blowing up enemy ships and marveling at the gorgeous cockpit, with little more.
The meat of the experience takes place over multiple stages, starting with dogfighting to the conclusion of a boss battle with a giant enemy ship. Fans of high-score leaderboards will have a good time trying to best your record with each try, and watching the end finale explosion is still satisfying even on the thousandth run.
The experience works with both the Dualshock 4 or the Playstation Move controllers, although I prefer the Dualshock 4 overall for comfort. Unlike other VR titles, you can sit comfortably in your chair while taking the fight to the enemy. While you can mark targets with your head (tracking was smooth), this only works for rockets. The right analog stick is used to aim your reticle and it will take some time to get used to, but probably for the best considering how fast-paced the experience may become. Movement is controlled using the left analog stick.
The Nuts and Bolts
The design of the experience is frankly great, and certainly achieves its goal of immersion, from the pre-flight to that first boost into space swarmed with enemies, the cockpit view gives a real sense of place and transports you from your living room to a futuristic fighter aircraft. The sound design is spot on as well with solid voice-acting and wonderful environmental sound replication help to make the experience awesome when you try it for the first time.
While the presentation is wonderful, the content itself is lacking. The fact that you are invincible throughout the short session takes away the tension that pumps up the adrenaline that typifies CoD.
Enemies will struggle to hit you and collision detection is awkward and sometimes completely missing. In fact, it was frankly too easy and renders the experience a glorified demo more than a true showcase of what VR can bring to the table.
The argument that a full, no holds barred CoD experience will cause nausea and motion sickness holds true, but there could definitely be better set pieces that could fit the overall VR experience without compromising on the trappings of CoD. The Jackal Assault VR Experience may be short, but it could have been sweeter if it was more in line with the Call of Duty franchise.