Farpoint is one of the best first-person shooters you can play in VR right now and an upcoming free update is poised to make it even better. When we reviewed Farpoint (and the PS Aim controller) earlier this year we praised it for its gameplay and how well it translates the traditional shooter concept to VR. The single player campaign got the job done, single player challenge modes were more fun than they had any right to be, and the cooperative multiplayer maps were better than expected, but it was severely lacking a competitive offering.
With the upcoming 1.08 Versus Update, Farpoint will finally be getting that competitive feature and the update is releasing totally for free. At a private PlayStation press event in San Francisco, CA earlier this week we got the chance to go hands-on with the new mode and see how it stacks up to the rest of the game.
The update will introduce two new game modes: Deathmatch and Uplink. Deathmatch is exactly what you think it is and Uplink is a variation on King of the Hill, which requires holding points that spawn in the map to accrue points. Both modes are only 1v1 with two total players to make sure finding a match is easy, but the ability to summon minion creatures helps alleviate the monotony of only fighting against one other person.
In order to win in either PvP mode you have to win two out of three rounds and the update will introduce three new PvP focused maps. Each map has three different areas so every round will be in a slightly different location.
For my demo I got to play a round of Deathmatch. Before it started I was presented with an elaborate loadout screen that featured five base weapon classes and five variants on each weapon. From here I could choose two weapons to bring into battle of the 15 total variants. Luckily the variants are different enough to be considered their own guns with choices such as the standard heat-based assault rifle and a new ammo-based SMG occupying the same category. I went with the new SMG and one of the long-range pulse sniper rifles.
Combat is fast-paced and intense in Farpoint, just like you’d expect, but this time you’re contending with another player. Fighting alongside another human and facing off against them are two very different dynamics. It’s a lot harder to aim down the sights of a plastic gun at a moving human target than it is an AI monster you can predict.
The ability to summon AI monsters is a huge boost to the game mode. By standing in summoning nodes it loads AI creatures that seek out and attack the enemy player. In addition to helping you find where they are hiding, they’re also a great distraction to use so that you can take them out while they’re otherwise occupied.
While I’d have liked a more robust multiplayer offering with at least 3v3 matches, I can understand that there are just not enough people actively playing PSVR games to warrant that. It’s likely a big reason games like Rigs couldn’t last, so this move does make sense. It’s a fun new feature, but is once again something that’s merely good that could have been great — much like the rest of the game.
In addition to the new game modes the free Versus Update includes the following other changes:
- Player XP progression system with unlockable skins,
- Weapon XP progression system with 15 new weapons to unlock,
- Chaos difficulty Co-Op games are significantly more chaotic,
- Easily crouch while sitting using the crouch button toggle,
- New turning comfort settings (yes, they can all be disabled),
- New trophies,
- Various bug fixes and improvements.
Let us know what you think of the PvP update and any questions you might have down in the comments below!