Are you ready to wear the virtual reality visor and take on the role of a secret agent without spot or fear? This is the subject of Defector, the new Oculus action we reviewed
It feels strange to play and finish Defector, exclusive Oculus, just a few months away from having experienced Blood & Truth at Sony London Studios, another exclusive, but in this case of PlayStation VR. It has a strange effect because they are essentially very similar games: imagine them as wood from the same tree, but each with very different veins. While the Sony game unfolds like a crime story with a brazenly British taste, Defector puts us to grips with a spy story, of those with very high octane. Both games are basically trying to do the same thing: bringing back the no-frills shooting of the various Time Crisis, House of the Dead, Virtua Cop. Those that once we would have called “shooter on-rails”, or on rails, but that in virtual reality acquire depth and a renewed ability to leave us speechless, especially when done well. Defector makes us move freely in all its levels, but the spirit is unmistakably that. This new Oculus exclusive, of which you are reading review, superbly keeps up with the Sony production, becoming in a short time one of the best exponents of the genre, in addition to being one of the few that stands out on Oculus also through the opulence of the production that supported its development. It is clear that Defector is an internally produced game, an irrefutable sign of one Facebook who finally understood the importance of dictating rhythm and line, pushing their hardware with strong experiences. In short, the company of Zuckerberg for some time seems to have finally realized that only third-party developers do not live, and that if there is any giant that can press the accelerator, this is him.
Fists, guns and …
Of its exclusivity, Defector benefits in every possible way. The only aspect in which some savings have been made is in the longevity which stops at five or six hours of play, which is the standard for similar experiences. The best of the best the game clearly gives it between the explosions, while it immerses the user in the whistles of the bullets or allows him to look out from a gash in the fuselage of an airplane with a machine gun on his shoulder, and be so urged to pull down a whole fleet of hunting as well as the best Schwarzenegger. Really effective the body to body, where we will be called to parry with one or both arms, and to respond with straight, hooks and showers. It makes you sweat, it makes you laugh, #faffico. The game also reserves some rather interesting surprises in this regard, so much so that with a cool head we ended up preferring fist fights, rather than the shootings. With a weapon in hand, Defector in fact proves to be less precise than the controllers it supports: thanks to the context and the explosions, you get used to it quickly, but you could do much better on a technical level to make the recording of shots more satisfying.
After all, Oculus can count on the more advanced PlayStation Move controllers, yet it is immediately evident that the shootings were not built with the same care and experience as in the rival product. In spite of everything, even in this case Defector does his job to the greatest; this game doesn't focus on shooting, which is what London Studios does. Defector immediately puts on the plate a much wider breath of Blood & Truth, not so much in the action sequences, but in that contour that here assumes much more intriguing shades, thanks above all to a system of dialogues that surely wants to appear deeper and more complex than what it actually is, but that nonetheless gives the experience a greater variety of situations and challenges. It is thanks to the dialogues that we can on several occasions choose crossroads that will lead us to new and unexpected action sequences, or put ourselves to the test with investigative phases. The system does not always work properly, and we sometimes find ourselves trying to find the right combination of demand and character, yet even in its worst moments this aspect continues to give consistency to the gameplay. The replay value is not lacking thanks to the structure with crossroads, but we would have liked some more secondary challenges.
Graphics and technical department
Technically, Defector gets along extremely well, leaving his side uncovered aliasing unexpected that fortunately does not harm the fun. We played it on Oculus Rift Sle and the writings appeared to us extremely sharp and although there is a lot of text – very fun to read the different biographies of the characters we will meet, and it is also useful in the dialogues – Defector always remains extremely legible and comfortable, sequences of action or not. Graphically this game can also count on a decidedly high number of effects which, combined with good physics, give the adventure a further layer of spectacle that we absolutely needed. Too bad for the rather rigid facial animations, which often bring abruptly “on earth”.
- Good graphics
- There are crossroads
- Numerous surprising situations
- Some phases are less clear
- Shooting can be improved