Virtual reality is still in a fledgling technology, but we’re already starting to see a number of studios confidently flexing while others fumble and some have failed to grasp what gamers want from this new technology. Despite only have two games under its belt, Survios is one of these VR champions.
Sprint Vector is the Californian developer’s second hit and is unlike anything we’ve experienced on PlayStation VR to date. One part Mirror’s Edge, one part Mario Kart, Survios has created an extremely energetic parkour racer with a bold futuristic style.
Much like the team’s first game, Raw Data, Sprint Vector is more than just a superfluous exploration of some cool concepts. That’s a trap quite a lot of VR titles fall into – making a solid first impression only to fizzle out just moments later. Survios manages to strike a balance between that initial wow factor and a rewarding sense of depth, however.
Although incredibly simple to learn, Sprint Vector’s fluid character movement is tough to master. Whether a rookie runner or virtual athlete, one thing’s for certain: you’re gonna need to invest in a pair of wrist straps for your Move controllers. Having a clutter-free play area is just as essential, leaving enough room for you to flail around without causing any damage.
Performing a running or ski-like gesture will build speed depending on how fast your arms are pumping. You’ll need to pair this motion with the T buttons on your Move controllers, holding and releasing them at certain times to get the best results. It sounds strange on paper yet feels so natural. Straight out of the blocks, Sprint Vector also encourages players to think vertically. A simple double jump motion, combined with a Superman-esque, fists-out, flying gesture can be used to find alternate routes and avoid hazards.
These more advanced moves require precision and timing though they make you feel like an absolute badass, especially when stumbling upon shortcuts and exploits while travelling at breakneck speeds.
The only slight caveat here loops back to the Move controllers themselves. Survios has done a fantastic job in streamlining the button layout to make it feel as smooth and intuitive as possible. However, those with meaty digits and a low dexterity will accidentally find themselves pressing random inputs. It’s an easy mistake with the Move’s buttons being tightly crowded and your arms constantly swinging back and forth.
Going back to what we said about depth, Sprint Vector offers plenty for its £20 price tag. There’s a decent spread of tracks that can either be played online or against up to seven AI opponents. With various power-ups and a network of interweaving path, these maps are a ton of fun to explore, not to mention highly replayable.
Survios also dishes up a selection of bonus challenge stages. Each one is its own self-contained obstacle course perfect for time trials as well as Sprint Vectors other modes including high-speed “hardcore” runs as well as treasure hunts. Going for the five star rating in these challenges, as well as competing for a spot on the leaderboards, will keep you coming back throughout your racing career.
For a game that moves so fast, I was shocked at how comfortable Sprint Vector is to play. In the past I’ve written about my motion sickness woes in games such as RIGs, Resident Evil VII, and Here They Lie but I encountered no such issues here, even during prolonged sessions. This is due to the game’s use of vibrant colours and simple environments, clearly signposting where to go.
Sprint Vector is a wonderful surprise and by far the best VR title I’ve played in 2018 so far. The feeling of movement is just so ridiculously fun and empowering yet precise and responsive at the same time. When it all comes together – the drifts, the jumps, and the well-timed manoeuvres – there’s honestly nothing else like it.
Version tested: PlayStation VR