Release Date: 21/12/2017
Platform(s): PlayStation VR (Reviewed), HTC Vive, Oculus Rift
Roller coaster sims work REALLY well in virtual reality. One of the first titles I experienced in a headset was based around creating your own tracks and then playing through them, and naturally it was a bit of a thrill. It’s surprising then that after being released for more than a year, RollerCoaster Legends is only the second one to be released on PlayStation VR (unless you want to count the more shooter-focused Until Dawn: Rush of Blood).
Unfortunately though, whilst RollerCoaster Legends offers an enjoyable little ride through Greek mythology, it’s a short lived experience that doesn’t pack the punch to keep gamers coming back for more.
So it’s probably worth noting to begin with that RollerCoaster Legends doesn’t push itself out as a game or a fully interactive experience, but rather a ride on a roller coaster that’s based upon ancient Greek mythology. It’s also worth noting that it’s only around eight minutes long too, so I don’t really want to go into too much detail as to what you can expect to see.
Whilst its short length left me a little underwhelmed though, the ride itself didn’t. You’ll see some familiar sights as you head through RollerCoaster Legends’ deadly escapade, with encounters with a rushing Minotaur, a ride over the river Styx, and even a showdown with a huge Titan proving to be some of the highlights of the show.
The track itself is well designed too, with it scaling across massive environments and offering plenty of speedy twirls, huge jumps, and daunting drops. Virtual reality newbies will be glad to know that RollerCoaster Legends has been designed with comfort in mind too, so there’ll be no feelings of queasiness – that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t manage to capture the thrill of a roller coaster, though.
The visual presentation is generally on point, but there were a few dull textures here and there. The more cinematic scenes that demand attention are well crafted (such as the encounters with the many inhabitants of the roller coaster ride), but then the environment itself could feel a little bland and lacking in character. Don’t get me wrong, it certainly looks like you’re surrounded by Greek architecture, but it just doesn’t do anything to particularly wow you.
This typically wouldn’t be too big of a deal, but when RollerCoaster Legends doesn’t give you much else to do but sit down and enjoy your surroundings, you begin to notice it a lot more. There are plenty of moments during the game where there’s not much going on around you, so just having the huge but often vacant surroundings to stare at did feel a bit underwhelming. As mentioned though, you’ll be going at some speed, so maybe it won’t be too big of a problem for most players.
You’ll probably see all you need to of RollerCoaster Legends in just the one ride – there’s plenty of action that takes place but it’s showcased right in front of you, and, as mentioned, there isn’t a whole lot in your surroundings that you’re going to miss. I’ve gone through it three times now and whilst the thrill of the ride remains the same, the surprise of the sights you see doesn’t. It never becomes boring, but it doesn’t really warrant multiple rides to see what you might’ve missed out on the first time around.
Still, it’s a neat little experience to show family and friends who don’t necessarily play games but want to see what virtual reality is all about. There are plenty of virtual reality experiences available but everyone can find common ground on a roller coaster, so being able to ride one that takes you through some well-known Greek mythology would certainly appeal to those around you. RollerCoaster Legends might not necessarily deem multiple playthroughs, but it’s certainly a neat little experience to share with others.
RollerCoaster Legends is by no means a bad roller coaster experience, whilst it’s also pretty neat to witness it all in virtual reality. It’s just that it’s so short and doesn’t really offer enough to warrant repeat playthroughs; I saw everything I needed to in my first eight-minute ride alone.
Those who are aching for a roller coaster ride in their PlayStation VR headset can probably justify the fairly low £3.99 asking price, but don’t expect a thrill that’ll keep you coming back for more time and time again. There’s definitely potential here though and I enjoyed seeing the ancient sights, so hopefully developers WarDucks will bring a more fleshed out roller coaster experience to virtual reality headsets soon…