Melee Attacks Are “Meh”
This is one area that you think would be straightforward. One-to-one movement, where the controller actions mimic exactly what is happening on screen. While this is technically true here, too, it just feels extremely bland. It’s hard to get into melee combat in VR when a mighty swipe with good form is exactly as effective as just sort of waggling the controllers around in the air a bit. The other issue which may have you wanting to just waggle a bit is some misalignment with the Vive Controllers. The hand position is okay, but the top of the controller and the top of your sword and shield don’t follow the same path. That can make blocking and swinging a weapon exactly where you want difficult. Plus, if you want to melee, you better be prepared to move around a lot, which brings us to…
The Movement Issue
Like many games, Skyrim VR does offer up multiple locomotion options. Teleportation and Direct Movement should be familiar by now. Teleportation is, of course, good for the weak-stomached but bad for anything that involves having to really scurry around, aka melee fights. Direct Movement offers more freedom, but possibly at the cost of your last meal. I’ve seen some big strides this year already when it comes to more direct movement styles that don’t want to make you vomit in other games, but this is very much the same Direct Movement of over a year ago, where either you can handle it or you can’t, regardless of the number of “comfort options” there are available. Which ties in nicely with the final issue.
VR Is Added On
Not being specifically made from the ground up for VR doesn’t always mean there are going to be issues, but things can get messy in a hurry. Consider this: the huge open world of Skyrim, including all the winding paths, caves and dungeons obviously weren’t originally designed VR in mind. If there were, Bethesda may have put some thought into things like how often a player has to turn in a particular direction in this maze, item placement that doesn’t compound the issue, etc. These are all things that can leave a VR player more tied up than a calf at a rodeo. Sure, you can compensate with controls, but that doesn’t often provide the most immersive experience. Menus and inventory are a big part of the game as well, and that’s fine, it’s just another thing that gets lost when it comes to an immersive VR experience. There are some VR-specific features (you even have hands at times), but at the end of the day, you’re playing something in a way that it wasn’t originally intended to be played. That will come with some costs.
So what say-eth ye dragonborn? Have you been enjoying your journeys in Skyrim VR? Let us know in the comments some of your favorite or least favorite aspects of the game!