Final Fantasy XV VR Experience kind of sucks

A poor man’s Link’s Crossbow Training

I appreciate that Square Enix is probably stretched thin with 478 different Final Fantasy XV‘s spin-offs and tie-ins planned around the long overdue launch of the latest in the series. There’s the prequel anime, Brotherhood. There was the Platinum demo. There’s Kingsglaive, the CGI feature film in the vein of Advent Children or Spirits Within. An even-further-back prequel A King’s Tale. There’s even a pinball game.

So, hey, I appreciate that there’s not a lot of resources left for the PlayStation VR-exclusive Final Fantasy XV VR Experience. But that’s also why it’s less exciting than Link’s Crossbow Training was 10 years ago on the Wii.

The VR bit is introduced at 2:18 in the above video from Sony’s conference and you’ve basically seen everything I played. You play as Prompto, or his disembodied hand holding a pistol, as the team thwacks on a Behemoth in some unfinished construction site. There are only two buttons to use on the Move controller. The trigger shoots, and the big button on top will send Prompto warping to various points on the map from which he can shoot at the monster — that’s it.

You can get damage bonuses for hitting the head or other weak spots, which is easy enough, and sometimes the gun turns gold and you can hold the trigger for rapid fire, but that’s all it is. Shooting a monster from set stationary positions. A monster who really didn’t seem all that interested in me, either, and was mostly batting at the flies zipping around his face. There’s no real stakes, Prompto’s existence in the scene feels like an afterthought given how little of the action revolves around you, and I’ve played Oculus demos years ago that were more involved or interesting.

There is the random scene at the end when the Behemoth dies and suddenly you’re in the front passenger seat as Cindy (Cidney in Japan) drives you down the highway and I honestly enjoyed peering off the coast or at the car’s interior for a minute more than the shooting part. Or you can just try and rest your virtual reality head in Cindy’s lap and doze off.

Steven Hansen