Out of all of the PlayStation VR 2 titles that I’ve played at launch, Kayak VR: Mirage is the one that stood out the most to me. Not because it’s necessarily the best game on the platform nor is it the one that I’ve played the most, but rather because it’s the one that took a simple concept and made it feel mesmerising thanks to the immersion and beauty offered by VR.
Check out some screenshots down below:
The concept of Kayak VR: Mirage is simple: players jump into a kayak and paddle around an assortment of luscious locales to their heart’s content. You’ll physically have to move your Sense controllers in order to control your kayak, with the momentum of your paddling reflected in-game by providing a stronger thrust to your movement speed or when making a quick turn. It’s not particularly gruelling thanks to the lack of water resistance, but it can take a bit of practice to nail. If you’ve kayaked in real-life, you’ll feel right at home with the game capturing the motions perfectly. And if not? It’ll teach you the basics, so it won’t take too long before you’re riding through the water like a pro.
There are four different destinations to kayak across (Antarctica, Australia, Costa Rica, and Norway) that each bring with them their own wondrous sights to see, whilst you can even tackle them at different times of the day to experience varied set pieces. Believe me, Kayak VR: Mirage has some absolutely jaw dropping moments to experience, and whilst some focus on excitement (especially when tackling Norway’s rough waves in the night-time), most are more awe-inspiring as you see the beauty of the natural world around you. I don’t want to spoil too much here because it’s best to be experienced in-game, but trust me when I say that Kayak VR: Mirage’s sights and sounds will blow you away.
“Kayak VR: Mirage has some absolutely jaw dropping moments to experience, and whilst some focus on excitement (especially when tackling Norway’s rough waves in the night-time), others are more awe-inspiring as you see the beauty of the natural world around you.”
It helps that the game looks so gorgeous, with some absolutely wonderful visuals shown off throughout that make each locale all the more believable. The water in the game looks super realistic, whilst it never failed to impress me when I saw all sorts of aquatic life swimming through it. It just looks SO good, with it clear that the capabilities of the PlayStation VR 2 are in full swing as you admire each of the mesmerising environments.
There are multiple ways to experience Kayak VR: Mirage, with players able to go on free-roam trips through each locale or even have the game control the kayak itself, which might be ideal for VR newbies who just want to appreciate the sights of the game. It’s actually what I’ve been using to show off PlayStation VR 2 to my non-gaming family and friends, with the easier pace of the game making it one that’s ideal for those who don’t have their VR bearings. They’ve all been really impressed with it too, with it clear that the game appeals to a wider audience than most VR releases.
What about those who want a bit of excitement, though? Well, Kayak VR: Mirage delivers there too, with plenty of race sequences to complete that’ll see your racing times added to a global leaderboard. It’s an addictive way to experience the game and makes it feel more like… well… a proper ‘game’ at times, whilst racing against the ghost times of other players adds an additional competitive edge to it. I just wish there were a few more races or game modes that offered this sort of competitive experience, if only to give players a reason to keep coming back for more Kayak VR: Mirage action. Sure, checking out the sights of the game is awesome, but there are only so many times you can do that before you start to tire of seeing some of the same things over and over again (no matter how beautiful they are).
Check out some screenshots down below:
You know what, though? It didn’t stop me from loving Kayak VR: Mirage. I haven’t even mentioned the way the Sense controllers manages to offer resistance when gliding your paddle through rougher waters, or how the haptic feedback of the headset itself makes those minor collisions you have feel more believable. They’re small touches, but the go a long way in making the experience more immersive and believable. And hey, there are even some unlockable items to earn on the way, so players can customise their kayak in a few little ways to give it a personal touch.
Kayak VR: Mirage Review
Kayak VR: Mirage is a wonderful and immersive experience that really showcases just how good the PlayStation VR 2 headset is. The paddling mechanics are satisfyingly realistic, the environments you explore are jaw-dropping, whilst there’s even a competitive element in place for those who want a bit more action from the experience. Best of all? It’s very accessible, making it perfect to show off just how good your PlayStation VR 2 headset is to non-gaming friends and family.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish it had a bit more content and it might not be the sort of game you come back to time and time again, but these issues don’t make Kayak VR: Mirage any less impressive. If you want to play a game that really showcases how good the PlayStation VR 2 is (and that could only be done so effectively in VR), you’ve got to check out Kayak VR: Mirage.
Developer: Better Than Life
Publisher: Better Than Life
Platform(s): PlayStation VR 2 (Reviewed), PC VR