Rise of the Tomb Raider: Blood Ties DLC (VR mode)

Discussion in 'Playstation VR' started by TheyCallMeTJ, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. TheyCallMeTJ

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    Feb 16, 2011
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    I had Rise of the Tomb Raider on PC (brilliant gameplay with RPG elements and cinematic action setpieces but somewhat dull character performances and narrative).

    But I never played this DLC, Blood Ties (which is available on all platforms but I believe VR mode is exclusive to PSVR)

    So I bought the game again this time on PS4 in the recent sale for just £11.99 (terrific value for the whole non vr game itself) just to play the VR mode dlc. But the whole game is definitely worth a full revisit, anyway.

    Turns out I had to play a good half hour to an hour of the main game to actually unlock the DLC. It unlocks once you set up camp for the first time in Syberia. I was enjoying my new playthrough so much though, I was almost too hooked to checkout the VR mode dlc. But I eventually went out to the main menu, don the PSVR and clicked on the Blood Ties dlc.

    I completed the dlc in 2 sessions, taking about 2-2.5 hours (including full exploration to find all collectibles).

    This is basically a re-skinned version of "Gone Home". Zero action. Pure exploration inside Lara Croft's Manor, pure atmosphere, sprinkle of puzzle solving and a mystery to unravel by collecting reading documents. I love "Games" like Gone Home and Everyone Has Gone to Rapture but its not for everyone as they are just simply experiences involving exploration to unravel a mystery and hardly any puzzle solving either. They are absolutely not games, at least not in any conventional sense. But in VR, this type of game or experience sounds perfect.

    Unfortunately, Croft Manor is not as fulfilling an experience in VR mode. It only uses DS4 controller so there are no object interactions to give any sense of full immersion. Its a far inferior VR experience compared to dedicated VR titles such as Batman Arkham which fully integrates interactivity in the environments with the use of move controllers. The only time DS4 controller becomes integrated into the environment is when its used as a torch. But that's it. Letters and objects are picked up by pressing action button resulting in an overlay screen of the object with no animation to show the objects being picked up.

    This dlc is not really optimised well for VR mode. I say this because for the first time ever in my PSVR life of intense vr titles, I felt motion sickness in Full Locomotion mode. Problem is turning around is blurry, so clearly refresh rate is not at optimum. So I had to use the small incremental step turns (I most recommend method) however I kept directional movement locomotion on to still have that free movement (there is the option to teleport, but I hate that type of VR maneuvering). I dont think they spent much time at all on VR tweaking. It feels as if they simply used an auto VR conversion tool.

    Having said all that, I did enjoy the DLC because I love Gone Home style exploration experiences but most of all, I am a long time Tomb Raider fan since its stunning debut 20 years ago on good ol' MS Dos, so exploring the Croft Manor was a fan serving love for me, including some gentle nods to the very old classics...but I could have played it without VR mode and enjoy that element just as much. But in VR you do get a sense of being there and the scale of the Manor itself. Its all nicely detailed (as far as PSVR is capable of course), just the immersion is not complete. Feel more like a ghost floating around.

    I think this was an early VR experience released soon after the PSVR headset was released and unfortunately, that shows.

    Its a reasonable VR experience but not one for demoing to friends. Far from it. But just about worthy for a long time tomb raider fan.

    6/10 for the Blood Ties dlc
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    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018

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