E3 2017: Hands-On Impressions with Sprint Vector

by: Patrick -
More On: Sprint Vector E3 2017

Sprint Vector was billed to me as a VR experience with no motion sickness. I would work up a sweat, and have a great time while doing it. "Working up a sweat" while gaming isn't anathema to me as it probably should be, but I do generally view gaming through the lens of "time to unwind, and not move." But I was really hoping the demo of Sprint Vector I played would start swaying me towards the DDR camp of gaming, turning me into a Wii Fit believer a decade too late. With that said, VR developer Survios' new game was a lot of fun. I am hugely impressed with the game's VR capabilities, and the gamified work-out session I had early Tuesday.

The game's conceit is that you run races in a futuristic world. You can jump, sprint, climb, even glide along a neon metallic landscape with bright broad colors, and a rounded-edges theme to the architecture. It looks very cool. You can race against up to eight friends which sounds like an absolute bonkers mess that I desperately want to see played out.

The game's controls are simple enough, swing the VR remotes as if you're running, holding down the trigger until the fastest point of your swing. No matter how you swing your arms, the game effectively registers movement, though part of this involves sacrificing some choice in mobility. Basically, people swing their arms all different ways, and since the game's objective is to have you go forward, the game heavily biases your movement to go in the forward direction. This means you'll have to turn your body to dash past objects in your path during a race.

You can get power ups that make you go crazy fast. One dev told me he wants to make sure the game gets you running at "50 MPH" and it's not at all hard to see how this is possible. The gliding mechanic is stupid fun too, since you just hold your arms out like Superman and hold the triggers.

So, did I get motion sickness? No. And the devs attribute that to focusing on arm and head movement. I'm not too prone to motion sickness, so I am interested in how others have faired, but that I didn't feel any discomfort at all was fantastic.

Racing against an opponent was brilliant. I had the lead for the first half of the race, but the turning tripped me up (this is a mechanic that I'll have to get used to, but it's not insurmountable at all) and when my opponent passed me, I felt a competitive urge I don't normally feel. It was a cool moment, and even after I lost, I didn't want to stop playing.

And yes, I did sweat.

There's no release date yet for Sprint Vector, but expect it sometime later this year.

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