Now Playing: Unearthing Mars (PSVR)

I may have made a mistake with this one. I passed this one over when it came out for reasons I don’t quite remember, but later I caught a trailer for the recently released sequel and it looked like a pretty exciting sci-fi shooter so I thought that maybe I had better check this series out. I happened to catch the first one on yet another PSVR sale and here we are.

Unfortunately, this is one of those games that’s barely a game at all. It’s really more of one of these so-called “experiences” (I really wish they’d label these things clearly), the kind that features little to no actual gameplay. Unearthing Mars starts with a whole lot of standing around listening to exposition and occasionally pressing a button when someone tells you to, and doesn’t seem particularly interested in doing much else.

Hope you like standing there and waving your virtual hands around to entertain yourself…

There was what was supposed to be a dramatic space piloting and crash sequence shortly after the snoozerific beginning, but it was just more of the same. Sitting there watching and being told to press a button every once and a while. This time it was different though because we’re in deadly danger, right? Nope, turns out it doesn’t even matter. After a few instances where the button or lever I needed to hit was inside a solid object in the real world, I found that the game didn’t even care if you actually hit the damn things or not. Great. So not only is this boring as hell, the one interactive action you can take doesn’t even matter.

It just goes on and on like this. I was already about to hit the halfway point of the game (in under an hour) before the first thing resembling some action occurred. At this point the game lets you take over the controls of a moon rover type ground vehicle, but in the most awkward way imaginable. First, it’s in third person for some reason. Why am I driving a vehicle in third person mode in a first person VR-only game? Worse, for some inexplicable reason the camera doesn’t automatically follow you. The camera sits completely motionless as your vehicle zooms off into the distance and you have to keep manually pressing a camera reset button every few seconds to keep your vehicle in sight. Who designed this shit?

OH NO! WE’RE CRASHING…VERY SLOWLY…FOR 15 MINUTES STRAIGHT!

I had pretty much lost all interest at this point. I figured I’d look online to see if anything really exciting was ever going to happen that could possibly salvage this boring mess of a game (which I usually do ahead of time before jumping into an unknown series like this, but you know how it is, one slips by every now and then). Seems that this “exciting sci-fi shooter” actually only has two fifteen minute shooting levels in it. Meh. I decided not to waste any more time on this snoozer and just moved on to the next thing. OH WELL!

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