The studio that brought us the stellar Killzone Mercenary on the PlayStation Vita has moved on to the next PlayStation accessory.
Guerrilla Cambridge’s PlayStation VR (PS VR) debut, RIGS: Mechanized Combat League, is a smart and entertaining way to spend time with Sony’s latest virtual reality toy. Big mechanized suits engaging in sports could not be more exciting, and RIGS definitely delivers on the promise, though the elation is hampered by some graphical issues.
But if you ever wanted to feel like a futuristic star athlete suited in a mecha, this is the place to be.
Step into the Arena
First and foremost, RIGS can and will make you feel uneasy and queasy if you do not have the legs for VR. It is, after all, an action-packed and fast-paced first-person shooter.
Thankfully, Guerilla Cambridge has included several options to ease potential motion sickness, such as masking transitions, and narrowing vision. But you have been warned.
RIGS has singleplayer and multiplayer modes, both which task you to emerge as the champion through a season of events. Gain a following of loyal fans, capture the attention of sponsors, and become a star! Destroy your opponents in RIGS’ version of team deathmatch, Team Takedown, or take part in Endzone (Mechs, explosions and American Football) or my personal favourite, Power Slam (a mashup of mech combat and basketball). All three modes are equally fun and satisfying to partake in, with highlights and memorable moments coming thick and fast
All three modes are equally fun and satisfying to partake in, with highlights and memorable moments coming thick and fast. From making an epic last-minute comeback to total dominance over your opponents, RIGS will make you feel like an athletic superstar and you will believe it.
Show me the money
Doing well in RIGS awards you with currency, and better AI pilots to join your team in single player. With four classes and 24 unique RIGS to choose from, you will be spending to upgrade to more advanced RIGS and having special abilities to call upon during matches. The Vampire ability will instantly repair your RIG to full armour when you take down an opponent, and Nuke RIGs will be able to eject and detonate their power core when destroyed, damaging nearby opponents.
The RIGs can switch into three different modes depending on the situation. One for dealing damage, the second for maneuverability, and the last to repair your RIG. The varied types of RIGs do well to complement the four arenas in which you do battle in. Verticality is a big component of the level design, coupled with cover points and paths for smaller RIGs to take advantage of. Your playstyle will change based on which RIG you choose to take into combat.
Not your average shooter
Getting into RIGS could not be easier, with simple controls contributing to it being a pickup and play experience for everyone. Using the Dualshock 4, you control the movement of your RIG, and FPS gamers will be right at home with the jumping, strafing and shooting controls. What sets RIGS apart from its FPS brethren is the use of the PS VR headset for looking around and aiming, in place of the right analog stick. This certainly messed me up in the initial stages, but with more time it became second nature. Of course, you can always switch back to the good old right analog stick for control.
The performance of RIGs can be considered great compared to the other offerings on PS VR right now. The sense of scale and sound design are some of the best I have experienced in a VR game, but the visuals can be jarring due to the lower resolution output of PS VR. This is made worse by some janky character and RIG animations. It can also be really slow in matchmaking, and load times can be excruciatingly long, so be ready for that. However, these issues did not make me feel any less excited about the gameplay and the direction in which Guerilla Cambridge is taking RIGS.
RIGS: Mechanized Combat League is the perfect showcase of great gameplay and smart design in conjunction with PS VR. With enough variety of game modes, RIGS and highlight reel-worthy moments, it never failed to entertain despite the graphical hiccups and torturous load times. It is a hoot to play with friends, but I advise you to try it out first, just in case you do not have the stomach to be a RIGS superstar.