Dick Wilde 2 Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Dick Wilde 2 RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network What's Does the Future Have in Store for PSVR? 6 Changes We Need to See https://www.gameskinny.com/c2lud/whats-does-the-future-have-in-store-for-psvr-6-changes-we-need-to-see https://www.gameskinny.com/c2lud/whats-does-the-future-have-in-store-for-psvr-6-changes-we-need-to-see Fri, 03 May 2019 10:04:15 -0400 Ty Arthur

If you've got a PS4 and haven't yet jumped on the VR train, now is the perfect time to hit the station. Prices are lower, upgrades have been applied, and the catalog of games is currently booming.

Last year, we took a look at the PSVR's current incarnation and tried to determine if it's worth your money. It's still (essentially) the first-gen trial version of the hardware, and there are a lot of kinks to still be worked out. With big news arriving from Sony, it's nearly time to revise that opinion.

The cat is out of the bag: the PS5 is in the works and potentially coming in 2020. Although, we aren't supposed to call it the PS5 yet for some reason. We also know VR will be supported in some fashion, but the specifics haven't been revealed at this point. 

With new consoles on the horizon and the sea of virtual reality titles steadily expanding, it's time to take stock of what PSVR could do better. That's a fact compounded with Steam putting their Valve Index VR machine up for pre-order, and the Oculus Quest set to launch soon.

What's more, some players may not realize that a handful of quality of life upgrades have already arrived since PSVR launched at the end of 2016. I (sadly) bought my PSVR just before a 2nd-Gen edition came out that includes an inline headphone jack and slimmer connection cable.

While those are welcome additions, there are still some major shortcomings to overcome in its hardware and its overall design. Let's take a deeper look at the top 5 changes the upcoming iteration needs to implement to take the console VR experience to the next level.

Build The PSVR Breakout Box Into The Console

Anyone considering VR knows that price is a barrier. However, what a lot of new PSVR players don't realize is just how much shelf real estate this system takes up. 

Take it from someone who knows  you absolutely need to get a charging stand to hold all of the components in one place. This helps avoid a ton of extra clutter from the headset (with its massive cord) and the Move controllers all rolling around.

Even with a charging stand, though, you are still stuck with the connector brick (called the "breakout box") sitting next to your console. That's where the design could easily be improved. Sony absolutely needs to have the PSVR brick built directly into the base console at the PS5 launch.

Considering that devices like the new Oculus Quest completely ditch everything but the headset and controllers, its clear that smaller devices that take up less space are the future of VR.

Improved Tracking

I have to admit, the current PSVR camera is pretty nifty. Sony's engineers managed to make it highly adaptable in a very tiny package.

However, there's big room for improvement here. The PSVR has a major Achille's Heel not present in other PC-based setups: you only get a single camera for motion tracking.

Other systems like the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift S, and impending Valve Index all use multiple camera setups for significantly improved tracking (either with two base stations or with multiple cameras built into the headset).

The PS5's VR headset desperately requires either a multi-camera setup or some new design that tracks better with the single, forward-facing camera system. This single feature alone would catapult the PSVR past "novelty" into "must-buy" territory.

Foveated Rendering

Hardware setup aside, the biggest issue with the PSVR right now is that nearly all of its existing games feel hampered or restrained in various ways by existing technology.

On-rails or stationary games tend to be the most fun because you don't expect them to have huge open environments that can be fully explored.

Granted, some developers have found clever ways to get around that by using limited areas like the confines of a mansion in Intruders: Hide And Seek or by implementing teleportation-based movement.

Those are just workarounds, though, and they don't address the root problem. To make bigger, more immersive VR worlds, the next iteration of PSVR needs to take advantage of foveated rendering. If you haven't heard this term before, prepare to see it flung around like crazy in the coming months.

Essentially, what this technique does is track where your eye moves so the headset only renders what you are looking at. It then ignores all of the stuff you aren't actively seeing at the moment. The result is a massive reduction in system resources needed to render huge VR environments, allowing developers to go hog wild with bigger areas.

Quickly Switch Between Normal Vision And VR

I've spent hundreds of hours in VR at this point. However, I'm constantly wishing for a way to quickly switch between the VR game and the real world without taking off the headset. There are a couple of different ways the PSVR 2.0 could tackle this issue:

  1. Placing a button on the side of the headset to pop off the front of the helmet or slide it back into position for an easy physical solution.
  2. Using a see-through material for the front of the headset and then projecting the VR image against it, with an option to quickly turn the image off by tapping a button on the headset or the DualShock.

  3. Adding an in-screen segment in the corner of the VR image that shows your surroundings by using the camera, with the ability to turn this inlay segment on or off quickly.

  4. Implementing a boundary system like the Oculus Quest, which scans your surroundings and notifies you if you are getting too close to the edge of the play space. If you step outside of the play space, the Quest automatically shows you your surroundings with built-in cameras.

If you haven't played VR games extensively, you might be wondering why this is such a big issue.

First up, it's very (very) easy to get turned around when you can't see your surroundings.

That's not just an issue of looking silly if other people are in the room. Due to the current single camera setup of the PSVR, this can result in reduced precision for your movements. This is especially true if you are facing sideways where the camera can't track the controller lights.

But here's the biggest reason: people have pets and kids. At the moment, I almost always have to wait until my toddler has gone to bed to play VR. That's because he loves to get underfoot and try to figure out just what the heck his papa is doing with that weird helmet on his head.

For The Love Of Everything, Go Wireless!

If you haven't seen it in person, it's hard to overstate the bulk and length of the PSVR headset cable. That length is needed so you have room to maneuver while playing. But the girth and weight of both are out of control.

Thankfully, that was dealt with when Sony released the 2nd-Gen update and the cable was made much thinner, but frankly, there shouldn't be a cable at all.

Whether you have the huge first version or the slimmer second version, the cable gets in the way during games where fast, precision movement is important, like Beat Saber.

It seems like a flat out necessity for the PS5's VR headset to be entirely wireless if Sony wants to get a bigger selection of gamers to lay down the money on the virtual experience.

Add Multiple Headset Support

This is perhaps more of a personal preference than a "must have," but I'd like to see a local co-op solution for the PSVR. At the moment, only one PSVR headset can be connected to the PS4 at a time through the breakout box.

The desire to use two VR headsets at the same time may seem odd at first. Since you are immersed in a virtual world and many of these games already offer online co-op, why two headsets? Well, for a certain section of couch co-op fanatics, it's a must that is sorely missing.

In particular, it's noticeably absent from games just screaming for the functionality, like Dick Wilde 2. Both stationary shooters and VR versions of local co-op favorites, such as Fruit Ninja, would be more fun with in-room co-op. If your friend or spouse could play next to you in the same room and discuss strategy or just shout expletives together, that would considerably increase the social factors of VR.

This option wouldn't be useful just for games where you are getting up and moving, however. There are plenty of mini-games in The Playroom VR, for instance, where a group of people sits on the couch and one player stands in the middle. Adding multiple headset support would mean the whole family could sit together and watch VR movies.

Of course, making this work is entirely dependent on the on-screen surroundings solution above being effectively implemented so you don't smash into each other unexpectedly.

There's another potential barrier to local co-op, and that's the issue of CPU power. Rendering all of those fast-moving VR images at a constant rate is already taxing on the PS4. It's something that results in noticeably reduced graphical power from non-VR games. So, doing two at once might be a no-go even with the PS5's increased specs

What Do You Want To See From PSVR 2.0?

When do you think VR support will be added to the PS5, and what do you most want to see in the PS5 rendition of PSVR? Sound off in the comments below or take our poll of the most-requested new PSVR features! 

What feature do you most want to see in the next generation of PSVR?
Backwards compatibility
Built-in power brick
Improved tracking / multi-camera setup
Foveated rendering / bigger environments
Quick switching between living room view and VR view
Wireless connection
Multiple headset support
Something else entirely - leave a comment!
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Dick Wilde 2 Review: Longer, Harder, But Not Quite Wilder https://www.gameskinny.com/gfeqv/dick-wilde-2-review-longer-harder-but-not-quite-wilder https://www.gameskinny.com/gfeqv/dick-wilde-2-review-longer-harder-but-not-quite-wilder Tue, 26 Feb 2019 14:11:39 -0500 Ty Arthur

At the start of a level in Dick Wilde 2, the titular protagonist proclaims, "Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit!" This should tell you just about everything you need to know about this wild river rafting ride of a sequel.

Dick Wilde 2 knows exactly what it is, and it never tries to be anything else. That's actually a good thing because, right now, these kinds of games simply play better when working within the confines of VR's limitations. With a solid combo of southern fried humor and fun shooting mechanics, there's really not much to lose by trying out this budget PSVR title.

River Rafting Rampage

The setup to Dick Wilde 2 is incredibly simple: you move down an on-rails track while dodging projectiles, blowing up obstacles, and firing like mad at everything from angry birds to killer rat men. I'm not quite clear on exactly what happened to turn all of these animals both sentient and homicidal, but I'm glad that it did.

A wide range of enemy types and the cartoonish color scheme are some of the game's highlights. You'll fire wildly at deadly mollusks, kamikaze moles riding drills straight at your raft, poison-shooting snakes, jellyfish who generate an impervious electrical barrier, projectile-flinging beavers, and even fireball-spitting frogs.

There are quite a few similarities between the gameplay in Dick Wilde 2 and Blasters Of The Universe, and if you like that style, you'll probably love this game. The games do differ though, in that Dick Wilde 2 has significantly more levels than Blasters, although only a handful of scenery types (wilderness, subterranean, and concrete) are reused across these levels.

Despite these repurposed settings, Dick Wilde 2 still ends up with far more variety than Blasters, as there are multiple routes to take through each level. That means you can replay them in different ways, using different guns, and you will have to if you want to gather all the gold keys and unlock everything.

Unfortunately, Dick Wilde 2 features significantly fewer weapon types than Blasters, one of the bigger strikes against the game. However, you can change your loadout at different check points in a level, which is a nice feature not included in Blasters.

Additionally, you'll quickly notice there's no reloading and you have infinite ammo in this shooter. This could be good or bad depending on your preferences, but these small elements can make all of the difference in a VR title.

For example, in Blasters Of The Universe you have to physically grab a pack of ammo and jam it into the side of your gun. While this is a little detail, the mechanic vastly increases immersion when playing the title. This element is completely gone in Dick Wilde 2, and instead you'll focus on mastering each of the game's weapons.

Fortunately, the guns are all distinct enough from one another to require different strategies in each level. Uzis, for instance, are less likely to make your finger tired than a revolver or shotgun, since you can just spray 'n pray. However, they do less damage and are less accurate the longer you hold down the trigger.

Plamsa guns, which appear to be made from magic 8 balls and a paint sprayer, are probably the best weapon overall. However, they are harder to use since the plasma projectiles move slower than traditional bullets.

It is also worth nothing that the on-rails movement means there's no chance of getting nauseated while playing Dick Wilde 2. This is a problem with quite a few VR games right now, and players that have issues with it will be happy to play this title.

The Difficulty Spike

 This corridor will become the bane of your existence

Your wilderness vacation starts out fairly simple: just a fun float down a river where you occasionally fend off man-eating piranhas. No big deal, right? However, once you've mastered the basics, Dick Wilde 2 gets incredibly hard, especially in the later levels.

This isn't a level of difficulty that will make you scream and throw your Move controllers while cursing the developer's name for all time, but you can expect to die quite frequently in many of the harder areas. This difficulty jump leads me to the two main gripes I have about Dick Wilde 2.

First off, if you want to survive, you basically have to play co-op for some of these levels. At the moment, that can only be done online, and that really left me longing for the days of local co-op.

Of course, I realize that even if you could hook up two VR headsets to the same PS4, having two blind people flailing wildly in the same room may be a recipe for disaster. That said, Dick Wilde 2 feels like it could be one of those insanely fun two player experiences we've been missing from movement-based games since the Kinect.

Second, there's a noticeable lack of a screen clearing bomb option. When dealing with bullet hell games, that's a major issue. Even if the weapon had a ludicrous cost, and you could only buy one per level, that would still be a very welcome addition to dealing with the difficulty in single player mode.

The Bottom Line

Pros
  • Hilariously fun gameplay
  • Simple but solid mechanics
  • Plenty of levels and a satisfying level of difficulty
Cons
  • Limited weapon types
  • Fairly short
  • You'll end up having to play online co-op to beat the hardest levels

Let's make this clear: you aren't going to sink 100 hours into this game, but it's a hell of a fun time for 10 hours or so. If you're looking to expand your VR collection with a fun diversion, or just want something to show off when people come over, Dick Wilde 2 will be a solid addition to your game catalog.

Looking for more VR titles to check out? Here's a roundup of some of most recently reviewed PSVR games as well as the VR entries we are most looking forward to playing this year:

[Note: A copy of Dick Wilde 2 was provided by PlayStack for the purpose of this review.]

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