Rarely does a Tutorial give you such an intense work out that when you reach your first competitive match, you need to take a breather.
But that’s exactly how RIGS likes to roll.
With this full-on mech warfare, Guerilla Games are looking to prove out of the gate that VR won’t go the same route as other motion devices, it’s here to stay.
RIGS is going to be a heavy-handed introduction to VR for some people as it picks up the pace of Tumble and Playstation VR Worlds, slotting itself firmly into the Hardcore category. Most of the experiences we’ve discussed on the site are manageable for the majority. This? This is the dividing point.
And that’s ok because RIGS shows that VR doesn’t just do gimmicks and novelty acts, it can also deliver a compelling hardcore gaming experience
There’s several control schemes you can opt for, whether you prefer comfort or ease. For example, turning your head to move the RIG around or using the right stick. There’s even a way to opt out of the pilot ejection animation by creating a wall around you. Which is definitely worth considering as it’s a pretty destabilising, whoa moment the first few times it happens.
The most interesting thing about VR is that this will have varying effects for different players. Some will prefer one scheme over the other, prefering to be in total control of the movement of a vehicle using their head or going for the familiarity of using the DS4. For others it won’t even be a choice as taking control through an additional play scheme can really induce brutal nausea.
And while this is ultimately a FPS in VR, RIGS really shines in unique ways by enabling you to head-track targets. Once you’ve sighted a target, either Tap L2 or R2 to shoot, depending on the type of offense you’re going for.
That’s where the game comes into its own as you can set your RIG to three different configurations. Either an auto-repair mode where you can still defend yourself, a quickening boost which means you can zip around the map like lightning, or a damage boost which increases your DPS output but also makes you susceptible to greater damage.
And if you’re fortunate enough to get the Overdrive by blasting a set number of enemy bots to smithereens, you’ll get all three blended together in one sexy concoction making you one fearsome fighting machine.
RIGS allows you to purchase various different bots as you go through the campaign by earning credits and points. All RIGS are different in colour, shape, size, and statistics. You’ll even get different brands with buffs – for instance, a red RIG that has vampiric-like qualities enabling you to drain life.
Of course, there’s customisable opportunities for your pilots. You can choose their celebratory poses, the emblems they wear, the look of the pilot and even sponsorship opportunities. By fulfilling certain criteria – for instance, meleeing 5 enemies in a match – you earn lots of credits, fans, and experience which you can use on purchasing additional customisable bonuses and new RIGS. You can even choose which teammates to roll with.
Having a team is crucial to RIGS as the game is made up of several different modes that require you to look to your left and right as well as dead ahead. You’ll have your Capture the Flag variant where you have to collect the enemy banner and bring it back to your base. There’s also a dodgeball-like mode where you can pass the ball between allies, though be mindful of interceptions.
And, of course, standard death match types where you go head-to-head with an enemy team to see who can score the most.
You’ll likely play RIGS in stages, gradually starting with short games then building up to longer play sessions as you acclimitise yourself to the look and feel of the game. And there’s plenty to keep you coming back, with a solid online component, plenty of tournaments and leagues to win, as well as throwaway contests in online matches.
RIGS is solid, in-your-face, fun. With its slick combination of Titanfall meets Battlezone, the game delivers plenty of heart-stopping, smash mouth action that is consistently enjoyable, whether you’re into lengthy play sessions or pick up and play blasts.
If you’re looking for one of Playstation VRs killer apps and one reason to justify purchase of the unit, look no further.
8 out of 10