E3 2016: Thumper (Hands-on)

by: Matt -
More On: Thumper PlayStation VR E3 2016

There's been plenty of buzz on Thumper, the rhythm-violence game pegged for a release later this year on PS4. I managed to get an appointment to see the game on Playstation VR during E3 this past week, and what I saw was enough to make me a believer of the Playstation VR experience, along with the game that to date we hadn't really had much gameplay exposure to.

The controls of Thumper are quite simple. The X button is your main form of attacks against the course as it unfurls before you, you'll either tap it, hold it, or hold it while turning left or right. The view from the PS VR headset gives you plenty to see, while at the same time isolating you from the world around you, making the experience quite immersive.

The game gives you plenty of heads up as to what's coming, but you'll want to pay attention to the music since it gives you clues on what to expect in the next area, with beats and sound effects making a pattern for you to repeat. The game is really easy to pick up, but the quick turns can be a little disorientating to handle in a VR setting, as I felt a little bit of discomfort from the quick turns, but given that it was my first PS VR experience, I kind of expected it to be something I'd get acclimated to.

The fifteen level demo continues through one singular track that culminates in a big boss battle at the end that truly tests your reflexes and timing. If you happen to mess up, clearing a track will restore your beetle's armor, but mess up too many times and you're taken back to the start of the current level. In total the demo was less than ten minutes long, but it conveyed everything gamers can expect when the game launches later this year along with the PS VR. As someone who's been a VR skeptic, it was a neat first experience for me, and actually has me excited to order a PS VR, along with Thumper