RIGS Mechanized Combat League is the initial entry into eSports through VR and it does it well. While we may have sometime before we see VR as a steady eSports component, RIGS shows you the impact virtual reality could have, when done correctly.
Entering the world of RIGS has the same elements of many sports titles. You have a manager, teammates, ranks and championships. Not to water down sports games, but I’m trying to keep the concept simple, rather than dissect every aspect of different sports titles.
So, simply put, RIGS has those elements listed above and then some.
Imagine you’re about to play a game of Basketball. Instead of 5v5 on the court, its 3v3. There is one hoop in the center of the map and there is no such thing as fouls. Oh, let’s not forget to mention that your physically inside a RIG (giant robot), controlling its every move annnnnddddddd…. you’re also the ball. And you have guns mounted onto your RIG, which is needed to destructively prevent your opponents from scoring in the goal.
Its kill or be killed, score or be outscored, this is POWERSLAM! Combining the action of first person shooters, robots and sports games like American Football and Basketball, you get the amazingly fun RIGS. Now, with POWERSLAM, you need to charge up something called overdrive. You can do this by collecting the overdrive icons found on the playing field and by eliminating opponents. Once your overdrive is fully charged, you need to swiftly make it to the top of the arena and jump through the goal as a basketball would through a hoop. Your overdrive can run out if you don’t make it to the goal in time or you can be taken out by the opposing team.
If you’re a fan of American Football, you might be interested in checking out ENDZONE. A simple concept really, grab the holographic football that spawns on the field and rush for the end zone. If you make it to your opponent’s goal, then you score. All the while it sounds simple, it is not. You will be faced with fighting for your life as you push your way through. A supportive team in online mode is recommended. You can always pass the ball if you need to keep it in your team’s hands before your RIG gets destroyed, but the enemy team can steal the ball and vice versa. It can get really hectic out there! Again, no fouls!
The third game mode is as simple as it gets, it’s an all-out team death match when you decide to play TEAM TAKEDOWN! You and your team need to do whatever it takes score the most kills in this game mode. Keep in mind, each RIG has special abilities that can be used to benefit you and your team. Each RIG has different loadouts and it’s important to practice with each one to find your strong points or be able to carry your team in worst case scenarios. While these three modes are simple to explain and understand, strategy plays the larger role in how it all turns out.
So why is RIGS so great then? You don’t need PSVR to find games with similar elements, the list of FPS and sports games is long and you may even prefer to keep your shooters out of your sports titles, but this games brings all the elements together with VR that makes it so much more than it sounds.
VR is amazing and its bringing a whole new life to game industry. Every time I score a goal or earn a kill in RIGS, I am overwhelmed with this feeling of enjoyment. I am generally not a big sports fan, but this game has given me a whole different way of looking at sports games in general.
The biggest thing to keep in mind, is this is in VR. Motion sickness can be a problem for some, but I have not experienced anything like at all in RIGS. The visuals are easy on the eyes and you have the choice to move RIG in the direction you want by either turning your head to view that direction or use the right analog stick. Get yourself comfortable in your seat and just let your imagination go for a moment. If you do have troubles with motion sickness, its best to work your way in with small doses, and not to overdo it. I give RIGS an 8.5 for its innovation. I can’t wait to see what sports games we will be treated to in the future on PlayStation VR.