PlayStation VR has made huge strides since launch, with countless amazing experiences to choose from and fully realized titles across the catalog. With so much to choose from, having a unique angle is the best way to catch a seasoned PSVR gamer’s eye.
I’m a big fan of anything with a tactile approach, which is why Throw Anything seemed interesting to me. Fending off waves of zombies by throwing anything you can get your hands on out of a window or ledge as they climb towards you seems like a good start for a whacky VR experience. Let’s find out if this title should climb to the top of your list.
Some Great Ideas, Let Down by a Fatal Flaw
Taking a tactile and interactive approach to VR is a great way to make your game stand out. After all, gaming on a TV will never have the option to pick up and manipulate things using your hands the way you can with a pair of Move Controllers (Media Molecule’s Dreams notwithstanding).
Throw Anything leans into this concept by giving you six wildly different stages to mess around in as you try to keep waves of zombies from climbing up to your location and overrunning you. You’ll start in a gamer’s bachelor pad looking out over the street below, then you’ll be chucking money and gold bars out of an office window before being whisked away to other locales in various settings.
There is a story bookending each level, but it’s fairly basic and voiced by what sounds like a text-to-speech narration. The still images and setup are fine, but nothing that really adds to the experience.
When it comes to gameplay, however, variety is certainly on show here, with different types of objects to throw, breakable items in play, interactive combinations, melee weapons, and even guns. Tack on different types of zombies (including a bomb type that will ruin your day if its up to you), and bosses for each level, and there’s a decent amount of content here.
That being said, for the price point just under $20, I would have liked to see at least ten levels total, but the sheer amount of differences between each level is respectable.
A typical level involves grabbing and throwing everything from books, to computers, to bombs, bags of money, and even other people. One thing I really liked was how the other person in each level with you will become injured when you throw them out of the window, to the point where they will actually become a zombie and climb up with the others to exact their revenge.
Melee weapons offer a good backup if the zombies get too close. Whacking them off your window with a frying pan or baseball bat covered in barbed wire is certainly satisfying. Guns do show up on occasion, sometimes they’re even included in random deliveries that happen in the rooms behind you.
Finally, smashing things like tables or combining items together to make makeshift flamethrowers adds some depth to the object management in fun ways. Points you earn from levels even let you purchase items that will spawn when you play next to give you an edge.
At its core, it’s a good idea, and despite the price being a little high, the game wouldn’t be a bad choice at all, if it weren’t for a few glaring flaws, the first of which is the tracking.
Now, I know Throw Anything was originally released for PC virtual reality headsets. These often have tracking all around you, meaning that turning in place has no effect on the controllers you’re using.
PSVR is a totally different story. Since we use one camera facing us, if we turn around to do something behind us, the camera almost always loses track of the Move controllers. As a result you get floating hands, glitches, and nothing short of utter frustration.
To get around this, many VR titles will allow you to rotate your position within the world, or at the very least rotate 180 degrees to turn around without moving in real life. Throw Anything has neither of these things.
Since everything you have at your disposal is behind you, it’s not hard to imagine how frustrating it is trying to break things, grab items, or interact with the areas behind you. With the game’s difficulty being fairly high, this makes the entire experience far more frustrating than it needs to be.
Adding to the issue is the audio. The other character running around the environment will often shout the exact same thing each and every time you grab an object. Usually something along the lines of “No!” After hearing that same line of dialogue ten or twenty times, I went into the options and turned off that aspect of the audio entirely.
Throw Anything has the makings of a solid PSVR experience great for a group to play together, but as it stands, not being able to rotate your character means you’ll be losing tracking almost constantly as you turn around in real life to grab the items integral to your success in the game.
Simple and Effective Presentation
The simple and colorful style in Throw Anything works great for VR because it allows for crisp and smooth visuals. While the audio, including the music, can become grating on the ears, these can be turned down in the options menu in the main hub.
It pains me to say that Throw Anything is difficult to recommend in its current state. Without the ability to turn around or flip your character 180 degrees, the game becomes an exercise in frustration as you lose tracking almost constantly.
If a patch is issued to address this, I’ll be sure to update this review. With a fix like this in place, I could see Throw Anything being a fun title for grab on sale. It has bright spots, it just needs a solution to the tracking issues before I can recommend it.
Final Score: 6.0/10
A copy of Throw Anything was provided to PS4 Experts for review purposes.
Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert date - 2/13/2020