If you've ever wanted to blast at hordes of robot alien insects in virtual reality then here's a game for you.
As someone who generally doesn't enjoy first-person shooters, I actually find that the genre works beautifully in VR. So, when I watched a trailer for Evasion, I just had to play it. The intense action, unique mechanics, and imaginative setting looked very cool and now that I've played it, I can say that Evasion definitely lived up to my expectations. For starters, the shooting is super-tight and the controls are incredibly intuitive. You can adjust the movement options according to how well you adapt to VR so I set mine to the most fluid settings because I don't get disoriented much.
Anyway, you move the DualShock 4 controller around to aim, run with the left stick, tap R2 to shoot, hold R2 for a charged shot, and push L2 to unleash a tether. This tether is used to interact with certain terminals as well as defeat weakened enemies which grants you a power-up. These either generate a healing circle or power up your weapon. Whenever its power is full, you can enter a temporary stronger state where you can hold L2 and R2 to absolutely destroy every enemy in sight. It's exciting stuff indeed.
In addition to the basic mechanics, you can also choose from a variety of 4 classes: Warden, Surgeon, Striker, and Engineer. Each class plays very differently with their own base stats, guns, shields, and special moves (known as Surge Attacks) so experimenting to find your favourite is great fun. As you play, enemy projectiles can be intercepted with gunfire, reflected off your shield, or evaded completely. The enemies come in a handful of varieties such as foot soldiers, flying bugs, hulking brutes, and faraway turrets. They're all a blast to destroy, especially the tricky ones that require some planning and strategy to overcome.
The best way to play Evasion is online. Not only is blasting away enemy alien robot insects even more fun when you're chatting with a fellow gamer, there are gameplay mechanics specific to cooperative play. For starters, you can revive each other which is incredibly handy. However, what's even more impressive is that you can heal each other in the heat of battle so if you notice that your partner is getting low on health, all you do is attach your tether to them and they'll start recharging even if you're currently battling a huge horde of enemies. I should mention that this also makes your shield disappear but that's a small downside for helping out a friend, right?
Although Evasion is one of the most enjoyable PlayStation VR games that I've ever played, it definitely could use a few upgrades. First of all, you only get a somewhat short 9 stage campaign and a survival mode with 3 stages. That's all of the content; there aren't even any online rankings for the survival mode which is a bit silly. Next, I wish there was more variety to break up the shooting action. Sure, it's a ton of fun but if there were puzzles and such between shooting segments then that would have provided a lot of much-needed variety. Finally, there isn't any character growth at all which is a missed opportunity, especially because the later stages in the campaign can be downright brutal. There's no difficulty select either so you don't even have options that can lessen the frustration factor.
First-person shooting and VR seem to go hand-in-hand. Thankfully, the arcade style of Evasion as well as its solid execution and unique gameplay mechanics make it one of the most enjoyable games that fit this description.
- + Tight arcade-like first-person shooting gameplay with very cool mechanics
- + Fantastic variety of character classes
- + Playing cooperatively online is awesome
- - Only has 9 campaign missions and a survival mode with no leaderboards
- - Could use more to break up the action
- - No character growth / limited options