Skyrim VR Impressions

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#1 Posted by Captain_Morgs (8 posts) -

Would love to hear some Skyrim VR impressions from you guys. Reading the sub Reddit and the excitement there has me very jealous as a Rift owner.

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#2 Posted by Pete0r (285 posts) -

I am enjoying getting back into Skyrim after such a long time away. Graphically the psvr can't hope to match the pc, but the immersion of being in the world in 3d really takes some beating.

The scale of the world feels in some way smaller than I imagined that it would, looking up at mountains doesn't give me the same feeling of verticallity that Farpoint does. However I was struck at how much I noticed the effect of parallax as I walked through the valley below Bleak Falls Barrow, you can see the arching structure moving across the horizon against the mountains and it feels like you're moving through a 'real' space that playing on a monitor just can't achieve.

I found VR goes along way to solving the problem of the player never looking up in games, I find I'm always looking around at the scenery and appreciating the waterfalls and suchlike. Maybe this is an effect of view and movement being decoupled, but its great.

The movement with the Move controllers is good for the most part, you tilt the left controller in the direction and press a button to move, it comes fairly naturally after a while. Turning is done with a couple of buttons that turn you by an amount that is adjustable in the settings. I think I have it so 12 clicks turn me fully about. In some ways it sometimes feels like you're playing a grid based rpg like Legend of Grimrock where you are far more conscious of turning that you ever are playing with a controller.

The main problem with the Move controls is during combat when you are using the left hand for a bow/shield/spell which makes any sort of agile combat play pretty difficult. That said I did have a troll encounter last night that went fairly well with me back peddling between its attacks and me firing a bow into its head.

I'm still fairly low level so I haven't settled on a combat style yet. Previously in skyrim I picked bow/dagger as my weapons as they complemented a stealth play style, but I'm torn as to what I enjoy the most at the moment.

Magic wise, having each spell independently targetable is nuts, being able to lightning two spiders at the same time while using a dragon shout on another feels suitable powerful. Playing with a controller in non-vr, magic felt very much like a gun to me, it was just point and shoot with 100% accuracy. Actually having to track your targets makes it far more chaotic that I ever found it previously.

As someone who never used a shield before, I can't imagine using a sword and not having a shield. When you're up close to an enemy and they're swinging a sword at you it is satisfying to just stick out your arm and hear a dull thud as you block it. The problem with melee weapons for me is the lack of weight, it only counts as an attack if you're swinging above a certain speed and distance I think, but with no feedback it feels a bit like you're just waggling a controller at them to do damage. Its not too bad, but certainly a noticeable seam in the game play.

Archery however it absolutely my jam. I can see that it isn't for everybody as there is no crosshair to help targeting, at least not until you unlock on of the perks I believe. Having done some real archery before I find that it feels natural to pull the arrow right back to my ear and then aim pretty much instinctively, with fairly satisfying results. I have seen some people aiming by looking along the arrow but that just strikes me as weird.

I probably will never try playing with a regular controller as the slight boost to agility doesn't outweigh the immersion that hand tracking brings.

Overall I'm certainly looking forward to experiencing Skyrim in a new way after all this time. Hopefully this sells well enough for everyone involved to be pleased. It will be interesting to see Fallout VR in a few weeks.

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#3 Edited by ShaggE (9305 posts) -

As someone who never really got into Skyrim all that much, I'm really excited to pick this up. The very idea of playing a game like this in VR is irresistible to me. I do wish PSVR was getting Fallout as well/instead, but I certainly can't complain.

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#4 Posted by OurSin_360 (6201 posts) -

How do they handle movement for people with motion sickness?

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#5 Posted by Azraeill (70 posts) -

Did the Inventory screen drift for you guys at all? I tried it for a bit on saturday and about 10-15 minutes in the inventory screen had drifted behind me. I was confused by this.

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#6 Posted by Pete0r (285 posts) -

How do they handle movement for people with motion sickness?

There is an option to use teleporting instead of direct movement, there are also options for both moving and turning that will give a tunnel vision effect. The effect has a strength slider that I assume varies the intensity of vignetting.

With teleporting, it shows an arc drawn to your destination, white normally but if you put it at slightly longer range it goes green. If you teleport to a 'green' position it will use a portion of stamina and has a cooldown.

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#7 Posted by Spoonman671 (5874 posts) -

Oh crap, this is $60? I'm not sure I'm up for that.

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#8 Posted by slyspider (1827 posts) -

Can't wait for it to come out on vive, higher res and full roomscale yes please

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#9 Posted by gutterkisser (270 posts) -

I wasn't going to buy it initially - my life isn't compatible with long VR sessions - but curiosity got the better of me.

I ended up returning it the same day. It's really novel, but has too many flaws to be worth my time and money right now.

I tried all control options. Move controls are the way to go for immersion, but their limitations are really evident. Tracking is fine, but the lack of input options forces some pretty clumsy movement.

I wish it had the RE7 option to reset where your virtual body is facing based on your head direction. No matter what angle I set the snap turns to, I often felt my body wasn't facing 'straight' on a path, and at lower angles it was frustrating to turn quickly (one of my first open world encounters was a wolf attacking me from behind).

Melee combat felt pretty bad to me - very limited feedback on what you're doing. Skyrim combat was always like that, but it's especially noticeable when you're the one swinging the sword. I played Superhot VR the night before, and it's a stark contrast - every action you take in that feels like it has weight and consequence. Bow and arrow combat seemed like it could be satisfying to learn, but I didn't get much time with it.

When I played it with the DS4 it obviously solved the above control issues, but the experience felt really diminished without hand presence.

I knew the visuals would be rough, but I can't understate how grimy they can look. Again, having played Superhot VR prior, I really think 'photorealism' is the wrong target for early VR, especially on a PS4. That said, there was an undeniable appeal to gazing around at the outdoor vistas.

Anyway, this wasn't meant to be a huge dunk on Skyrim VR - I think it's awesome that Bethesda is making these bets, and I'm glad I've had a chance to check it out. There's a good chance I'll grab it at a cheaper price one day, but for now I'll stick with the occasional short VR game.

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#10 Edited by TheFlamingo352 (377 posts) -

For the most part, it works better than expected: movement works, most of combat works, and the scale of Skyrim just comes through so much more on a headset.

As someone who loved Skyrim the year it came out, then never cared about it again, I can say that when this port is firing on all cylinders it really makes it feel "new" in a way the special editions didn't seem to. The melee combat is subpar, and some UI decisions seem oddly half-baked, but I just got to the college of Winterhold and think I might actually play through this whole thing again.

Like, how does the werewolf mode work in VR?? How does vampirism and the vampire lord form work in VR? Dragon-riding? My curiosity for how the game's familiar systems will feel is compelling me to play as much as the fun archery and big things to look at.

If you're a VR enthusiast I think this thing is wild and can be checked out for fun, not just interest. If you have any hesistation though, just wait, cause $60 is kinda a lot for what this is.

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#11 Posted by Oodli (246 posts) -

I've played up until you get your first dragon shout (so about 3 hours), and I seriously can't stop thinking about it.

It's amazing how much the game is enhanced with VR and move controllers. pulling a stealth head shot with a bow feels so satisfying, and blocking attacks for a counter hit just gives the combat a rhythm that I don't remember having in the non VR version. Though I played last time on my PC back in 2011 so maybe I just forgot how it went back then.

Luckily for me, I'm having zero problems with tracking on the headset or the controllers.

My only "gripe" with the game is the low resolution, which makes far away scenery look a little flat (on PS4 lite).

But even then, the scale and sense of presence just makes you forget about any graphical shortcomings.

About the controls, you get used to them fairly quickly. I did need to adjust some setting at first for free movement without feeling a little woozy, and by now I'm used to it.

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#12 Posted by WheresDerrick (326 posts) -

All these impressions makes me excited for Fallout 4 VR (after a price drop)

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#13 Posted by deactivated-5b031d0e868a5 (935 posts) -

I'm quite interested in this and similar scoped games for VR. Most of the experiences I've had in VR have been smaller scoped, rather quick play through style of experiences (Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives and Rec Room) so I'm eager to see how I'd react and if I'd actually finish a longer experience in VR of this type.

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#14 Edited by FesteringNeon (2288 posts) -

I like it. I also agree with a lot of what has already been said. Controls take some getting used to, but feel pretty natural over time. I do all manual controls so no clicking / teleporting for me.

Graphics/fidelity are a bit ragged, but to be expected. The feeling of 360 3D environments is immersive and nice. My first 'wow' moment was being able to look under the water and see Salmon swimming. The water effect is very satisfying.

Combat feels good but could use a bit more weight. Unfortunately that's not going to be easy without throwing off the 1:1 feeling.

Overall I'm really impressed by the experience and it makes me want go get back in there. This is a game that has me excited for the future of VR, for sure.

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#15 Posted by BradBrains (2274 posts) -

Ive never played skyrim. Is this a good starting point?

I feel like a lot of the impressions are people who played it before. Would I be blown away by both seeing this the first time AND in VR?

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#16 Posted by TimesHero (974 posts) -
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#17 Posted by sfw44 (275 posts) -

I really enjoy this game in vr, and yes the graphics are not great but it's still very immersive. I can't wait for the PC version of Skyrim VR to come out.

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#18 Edited by FesteringNeon (2288 posts) -

@bradbrains: I bought Skyrim on PC 3 years ago but only did the opening scene and some of the tutorial dungeon before putting it down and not going back. (Maybe I was playing something else at the time)

Since my roommate won the Skyrim VR bundle I decided to give it another go. It's safe to say I'm glad I'm not only having my first good VR experience, but with a good game too. It may be harder to do extended play sessions beyond a couple hours at a time, and while graphics are muddied and not as great as you'd expect, the immersive feeling is worth the hit and the wait if you know what you're getting into through the likes of previous Bethesda games.

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#19 Posted by whitegreyblack (1980 posts) -

Full disclosure - I have next to no experience with Skyrim (other than watching some people play it on Giant Bomb) before trying the VR version; and have only put about half an hour into the VR version.

Skyrim is an old game and it shows graphically, but the immersion helps to make up for it. Looking out at vistas and distant landmarks/mountains is pretty great, though as someone else mentioned it has a bit less of a wow factor when compared to other games that have huge impressive structures and landscapes put right in your face.

I found the handling of conversations and weapons/combat to feel really clunky, even more so when you have it mixed in with the range of motion and free-look VR offers (counting on you being able to handle that, motion sickness wise) - though in reference to my first paragraph, I have very limited Skyrim experience so the clunky conversations & combat might just be par for the course on this game. My feeling, though, is the other mechanics of the game being more fluid because of VR really makes the clunkier bits even more pronounced.

Still - all in all, this seems like a great time and a good fit for VR for those who want big expansive games on that tech.