It was disappointing that Netflix brought an end to Final Space, with the cartoon escapades offering a fun fix of silly sci-fi action on the streaming platform. I really enjoyed the show and was hoping for more adventures for Gary and co, with the quirky sense of humour and outrageous antics ticking plenty of boxes for me. Naturally then, I was excited to see that the series was making the transition to virtual reality in the form of Final Space VR: The Rescue. There’s something about seeing cartoon properties in virtual reality that feels really immersive and impressive to me, with Rick and Morty: Virtual Rickality one of my favourite titles to play on the platform. You actually feel like you’re there *IN* the cartoon.
Somehow though, Final Space VR: The Rescue falls short of the mark. It’s not that the game is bad by any means (and I certainly had fun playing in co-op), but rather that the gameplay loop feels a little bland and doesn’t always capture the chaotic essence of the series.
Check out a gallery of screenshots down below:
Final Space VR: The Rescue is a first-person shooting adventure that sees players blasting their way across three different chapters as they look to bring down a deadly AI named STVN. What’s STVN’s goal, I hear you ask? Well, it wants to steal Mooncake’s powers to cause destruction of course, which will make complete sense to you if you’ve seen the show, or leave you utterly confused if you haven’t.
I guess that’s the first point I need to make. Final Space VR: The Rescue is going to be enjoyed the most by fans of the show, with the dialogue, humour, and narrative most appreciated when you know the characters. Of course, a lot of the narrative is fun anyway and will be able to get a few laughs out of just about anyone, but there’s plenty to be experienced across the game that makes it feel like it’s delivering itself directly to fans of the show. Personally, I really enjoyed it and seeing the familiar troupe of heroes back together was a real treat.
“Final Space VR: The Rescue is going to be enjoyed the most by fans of the show, with the dialogue, humour, and narrative most appreciated when you know the characters.”
Gameplay-wise, Final Space VR: The Rescue sees players blasting their way through robots in first-person shooting action, with the likes of pistols, shotguns, and rifles (to name a few) used to dish out some pain. This can be done solo or with up to three other players in online action, and believe me, it’s in co-op where the game really shines. Whilst Final Space VR: The Rescue is alright to play solo, co-ordinating with a bunch of friends and laughing at the zany action together felt really good and is definitely the best way to experience the game.
It helps alleviate the somewhat repetitive nature of the game too. Whilst Final Space VR: The Rescue doesn’t do anything bad, it feels very by the numbers as far as virtual reality shooting is concerned. You’ll enter a room, have to clear it of waves of enemies, move to the next, clear it of waves of enemies, move to the next… you get the picture. It doesn’t do much to innovate upon virtual reality first-person shooting, but instead feels very basic in design. I was never bored playing, but I did wish it had that special *something* to make it stand out a bit more.
There’s a severe lack of interactivity within the world itself too, with players limited to just moving around and shooting. It would have been neat if the developer maybe put some more nods to the series for players to interact with or even a few extra traversal options such as climbing to spice up some levels, but there’s nothing of the sort to be found. It can make some levels feel a little bland in design and means the only thing you’re really left doing is shooting enemies. It just felt like a bit of a missed opportunity to really embrace the Final Space universe.
“I was never bored playing, but I did wish it had that special *something* to make it stand out a bit more.”
At least the shooting feels satisfying though, with the player able to dual-wield their weaponry for all-out chaos or hold it two handed for extra accuracy in each showdown. You’ve got unlimited ammunition and don’t have to worry about manually reloading either, which was something I appreciated given that a lot of virtual reality titles like to overcomplicate the reloading process. There is an ‘active reload’ system in place where the player can reload quicker by hitting the trigger at the appropriate time, but you won’t suffer too much if you don’t manage to nail it.
The enemies are decent enough too, though it would have been nicer to have a bit more variety. The robots do attack in different ways and there are some bug-like baddies to take down, but things can start to feel samey fast. The boss battles do spruce things up a little to take the player out of their comfort zone, but they’re one-off battles that don’t change up the fact you spent the rest of the level facing the same sorts of foes over and over again.
“Whilst Final Space VR: The Rescue is alright to play solo, co-ordinating with a bunch of friends and laughing at the zany action together felt really good and is definitely the best way to experience the game.”
That being said, the game isn’t really long enough for things to feel TOO old, with it easily beaten in around two hours. There are three levels to play through in total and they go by quite quickly, so it’s certainly a fleeting experience. Fortunately, the co-op aspects do add some replayability, as does playing as each character; whilst switching between Gary, Nightfall, Tribore, or (my favourite) Avocato doesn’t really change things up from a gameplay perspective, I still liked playing as each one. Anyone who is planning on playing solo, though? You might find yourself underwhelmed by how little there is on offer. Hopefully, the team at Grab Games can add some additional modes in the future, if only to keep players coming back for more.
I feel like I’ve been giving the game a lot of digs in this review, but I have to emphasise that I did enjoy playing it. I’ve beaten the campaign twice already in co-op and am looking forward to another playthrough, especially since we’re getting a fourth friend in to play with us next time around. I just wish it could have offered a bit more pizazz in its adventure, with a lot of aspects of the game feeling a bit too bland and repetitive when compared to modern (and better) virtual reality shooters.
Final Space VR: The Rescue Review
Final Space VR: The Rescue is fun to play with friends, even if the gameplay can be a bit bland and missing the imaginative spark of the TV show. It feels like it just lacked that special something across all aspects of its design; levels feel samey and don’t offer much variety, there isn’t a whole lot in the way of player interactivity, whilst it doesn’t always feel like it fully embraces the Final Space universe either.
Still, there’s nothing outright bad about the game and with its enjoyable co-op action and genuinely funny narrative, there’s plenty to like about Final Space VR: The Rescue. I just think it’s a game that’s going to be appreciated the most by fans of the series, with better first-person shooters available for everyone else to play on their Quest headsets.
Developer: Grab Games
Publisher: Grab Games
Platform(s): Quest 2 (Reviewed), Quest, PC VR