A beautiful day! The sun is shining, the birds are singing…or so I think. I’m actually locked within the parallel dimension of PSVR, a comforting escape from the dismal hellscape that is the real world. Yes, just as overeager analysts said throughout the past couple years, virtual reality has come into its own as a platform that’s popular with both the hardcore set and more casual…wait, that’s not what’s happened?
Well, the PSVR is really the only VR headset with any sort of mainstream penetration and most of the games for it are kind of iffy? Well, damn. I guess we’ll talk about Light Tracer on PSVR and try not to think about a future that hasn’t come to pass.
Light Tracer opens by expecting you to use a pair of Move controllers, so that’s already a bit of a rough spot since not everyone’s going to have two. Let’s assume you do, though, and they’re both charged. The idea, then, is to use them to guide an adorable princess up a giant tower. Your left hand’s able to manipulate the environment, pulling switches, dragging yourself around to get a better look at things and so on, while your right holds a light-emitting staff that serves as a beacon to tell the tiny royal where to go. She’s very obedient and will happily follow the light beam wherever it points, including into danger or to the wrong place entirely, so the name of the game is precision and multitasking.
I found Light Tracer to be mildly reminiscent of classic games like Lemmings, particularly given the Princess’ love for falling off the side of the tower. I wasn’t especially great at those games and that trend certainly continues to Light Tracer, where I quickly found myself confounded by the many puzzles that comprise the game; ice, for instance, becomes a thing fairly early on and soon proves to be a horrific and deadly obstacle. Seriously, just take a blowtorch to all ice.
Despite this, I found Light Tracer to be a surprisingly enjoyable experience due in no small part to the fact that it’s in VR; yes, you heard that right, it’s a game that’s noticeably improved by the use of virtual reality! The levels end up feeling like little toys with all kinds of widgets to mess with and the game has a very tactile feel to it that wouldn’t have been quite the same outside of VR. It looks and sounds solid enough for a VR game as well; this sort of stylized anime approach is well-served by VR games given the graphical limitations that the format places on them and I’d expect us to see more games go this direction in the future.
Should you go out and buy a PSVR to play Light Tracer? Of course not, that’s ridiculous! If you already happen to have Sony’s VR headset, though, and you’re willing to go through the agony of setting it back up again (not to mention charging two Move controllers, assuming you’ve got two to begin with) then it’s certainly one of the better titles available for the platform. It’s definitely an interesting take on VR as a means of enhancing games rather than pure gimmicks, and I think in that sense Light Tracer is an example of where we might end up in a more realistic, less overeager future.