Vertigo 2’s reputation preceded itself, making the jump to PlayStation VR2 already highly regarded as one of the best PCVR titles that money can buy. In fact, a quick online search will reveal it as many people’s favorite virtual reality game ever. Unfortunately, I am sorry to say that the game did not have that same impact on me. It’s not a bad game by any means; it just didn’t do anything that blew me away on PS VR2. I wanted to love it. I tried to love it. But sometimes the chemistry simply isn’t there with a game, and you’re better off as just friends.
The game opens with you waking up in a quantum reactor on an unknown planet. You’re an alien on this world trying to find your way back home, and you quickly begin encountering other alien life as you fight your way to the reactor's core. You meet a gentleman named Brian, the head of Brian Industries, who seems keen to help you reach the core and return home. Brian’s motives aren’t entirely clear, and the game sews a seed of distrust right off the bat as there is more going on here than meets the eye. The story initially had me invested, with its tinge of mystery wrapped in a sci-fi package, but I eventually became disenchanted with it, feeling as if the game was just dropping me into one arena after another for the sake of “sci-fi”. It’s not a bad story, but again, it just didn’t keep me engaged. However, the voice acting was well-done apart from Brian, who in the game is a balding old man, but sounds like he is voiced by a guy in his twenties, which was very off-putting. I was otherwise impressed with the performances and the subtle humor of the dialogue.
Moving from one environment to the next was like running through a sci-fi fever dream, as if I was visiting a theme park. One minute I was blasting robots, the next storming a church with robot communists, and then I was fighting my way out of a giant space whale. I appreciated the variety and attempt at making it feel like an epic, sprawling adventure, but it simply didn’t land for me. With that said, I did enjoy some of the boss battle designs, which could be quite challenging, even on the standard difficulty.
Speaking of difficulty, as someone who isn’t all that great at VR shooters that require you to constantly be on the move, Vertigo 2 can be tough, and if you remain stationary during combat, you’re toast. But shooting, moving, reloading, and trying not to run into hazards became too overwhelming. Eventually, I lowered the difficulty and things became more manageable, though I still bit the dust from time to time. There is a large amount of enemy variety in the game, with new types being introduced all the way through. It constantly kept me on my toes as there was a new attack pattern to learn and strategy to adopt. There are cube meathead things, squid humanoids, stealth cloaking robots, liquid jelly tree leaf things, and so many more. While the mishmash of bland levels didn’t really resonate with me, the carousel of enemies did.
The issue I had with the combat is that it too fell flat. Despite having a plethora of enemies to contend with, and a cool arsenal of weapons, fighting felt uninspired. It lacked punch, which left me feeling like I was shooting bullet sponges. I was just shooting at things and watching them fall over in pools of blood and guts, not feeling much of anything. It’s hard to put into words, but I never felt truly immersed in the game, and more like I was playing a light gun shooter with a headset on. This could have been ameliorated with better use of the PS VR2’s haptic feedback, and more importantly, the adaptive triggers, which Vertigo 2 does not utilize at all. At the end of the day, the combat is serviceable, but I’ve certainly had better.
Across Vertigo 2’s 10-ish hour campaign, I encountered several bugs and glitches. The game has received a couple of patches pre-release which did alleviate some issues, but I was still experiencing texture pop-in, finnicky hand-tracking that would require me to unequip and re-equip weapons, audio cutting in-and-out, and poor audio mix in certain areas. I didn’t experience anything game breaking post-update, but just know that there are some hiccups here and there.
My headline for Vertigo 2 is that it doesn’t do anything bad enough to push you away, nor anything good enough to truly standout in a crowded launch year for PS VR2. It’s a meaty experience for a VR romp at 10 hours, but it never could get over the hump of truly endearing itself to me, and that’s okay. I certainly don’t hate it, but I most certainly don’t love it. Afterall, sometimes you’re just better off as friends.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.
Jason has been writing for Gaming Nexus since 2022. Some of his favorite genres of games are strategy, management, city-builders, sports, RPGs, shooters, and simulators. His favorite game of all-time is Red Dead Redemption 2, logging nearly 1,000 hours in Rockstar's Wild West epic. Jason's first video game system was the NES, but the original PlayStation is his first true video game love affair. Once upon a time, he was the co-host of a PlayStation news podcast, as well as a basketball podcast.View Profile