Review: Sairento VR

Here's a call to all Genji pros in Overwatch! Do you own a Virtual Reality headset? Then I may have the ideal game for you in our review today! Sairento VR, become the best ninja ever, or die trying.

At least that's how the game felt to me for the first few minutes. Sairento VR is a Virtual Reality ninja game set in a futuristic setting. Instead of throwing stars, throwing knives or smoke bombs, you use firearms. You start with two pistols and a set of brutal katanas. These are your tools of great pain battling against 'swarms' of enemy samurai and the flaws of PlayStation Move.

Discs and blocks or dents and holes

In Sairento VR, you take on the role of a futuristic ninja and fight against evil in a cyberpunk Japan. To be honest, I didn't get anything further from the story because you have to follow it through dialogues in the main menu before the mission starts. When you're done with your Move controllers in hand, ready for action, no one has time for that.
The first thing you will notice while playing this VR ninja game is how ugly the game is in PSVR. In the beginning I found this very disturbing. I had played such great games in VR and only started to see progress visually. Sairento visually takes a big back flip, but after a few hours of playing it doesn't bother you much. Levels that take place a bit further in the story are a bit more colorful, wider and more vertical so that you can ignore the sometimes horrible textures.
It therefore also takes a while until you start to appreciate Sairento. The gameplay is strong from the very first minute. It feels good, although in my opinion it could be a little more responsive, especially in the main menu. Your first campaign missions are very easy and straightforward. Fortunately, things soon take a different turn and become a bit more interesting. On the other hand, you can quickly get through the campaign. Fortunately, there is still plenty to do and you have missions that do not belong to the campaign.

Hate/Love

It's hard to fall in love with Sairento VR, but you don't hate it either. The gameplay is cool, but everything that floats around it is a bit 'okay'. The enemies are mostly very static and stupid. This combined with the ugly environment makes you feel like you are playing a 2002 ninja game in VR. It's only late in the game that there are some enemies that bring in some interesting mechanics. They all react rather slowly and don't necessarily make you feel like you're fighting a worthy ninja warrior. Most walk in a straight line towards you without making an effort to dodge your bullets.
The moments when the more unique types of enemies show up really keep the gameplay up in this game. The standard enemies don't have to be master ninjas, but they can do a little more than act as a target.
On the other hand, the game offers various options to make life miserable for your enemies. First, you have a wide variety of weapons available that will only expand. Different kinds of swords, firearms like pistols, submachine guns and shotguns and even bow and arrow. In addition, the terrain you are on is your playground. In the tutorial you will quickly learn how to use your environment. Although you could do pretty much anything stationary. Is a ninja game a ninja game only if you pull out all the stops to display your moves.

Your game, your style

Something I couldn't get used to in this VR game was the playstyle. I tried hard to do that, but I decided to dive into the settings anyway. Fortunately! This offers a lot of adjustments in VR to make your experience as good as possible. Everyone experiences VR in a different way. Some can't bear it at all while other players don't mind. Fast movements in VR are usually the culprit and therefore you can also adjust the speed of movement by means of a slider.
While playing you can choose locomotion, but also a certain teleport option. You can use them both. The teleport option for ninja jump is done in this game. This fits nicely with the game in general. By moving your Move controller you choose where you want to jump and you can even choose how high you want to jump. Then you can make a double jump and the time is slowed down while jumping. This means you don't have fast movements and you can take out your enemies in slow motion. Cool!
You can also choose to turn faster, or change your turn angle between 45 and 90 degrees. By default, it is set to 90 degrees, which I personally find very silly since you can never be precise enough with this. If you select smooth running you will be able to adjust the speed of this, although the chance of motion sickness increases if you choose this option.

Verdict

Sairento VR is a game with very interesting mechanics and a good first impression of what it would be like to play a ninja game in VR. Unfortunately, the game is very reserved on many fronts, so that deep investment in the game doesn't appeal to me so much. This VR game is also living proof that it is quite difficult to make a VR game for any genre. Finding the balance between experience and ease of use is a difficult task, but one that you have to place with the player. Fortunately, Sairento VR does. If the game would have looked a bit better graphically and most of the enemies would have been more interesting to fight against, I would recommend this game to every PSVR owner.At this point, I can only recommend this game to players who are looking for a ninja experience and willing to embrace the learning curve to get the most out of the game.
I'm definitely not saying this is a "bad" game. It certainly isn't. The problem with Sairento is that the gameplay is your only powerhouse, the story is not immersive and visually it is not great. If you don't have the patience to learn the combat and change your settings to your liking, this ninja title won't hold you in its grip for long. Fortunately, the wide choice and freedom are one of the saviors to make every fight look fresh and fruity.


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