What had originated as a Gear VR title, VR Karts has gradually transitioned across virtually every VR peripheral. It’s a first person go-karting simulation game that feels exciting upon conception, but come finished product, fails to accelerate past its generic start/stop formula.
Cut from the same cloth of a Mario Kart game, VR Karts feels relatively familiar. You frantically race around tracks, dodging and swerving oncoming players/NPC’s, with the main intent to finish first or within the quickest amount of time. It’s an experience heightened by the PSVR’s first person perspective, that provides brief spells of thrills when drifting around corners or looking in your wing mirrors to see your opponents behind you, and these were all little novelties I could appreciate for a VR title.
VR Kart’s true charm is within its cartoonish environment. Each location offers its own quirky backdrop that range from the sun-blazed beaches to the rainbow-ridden utopias, they create a colourful playground that is visually striking on the PSVR. Disappointingly are the customisable options available for your driver though, which are significantly lacking in quantity and creativity. Limited to just a handful of vehicle colours and head accessories, they aren’t particularly thrilling choices to choose from here, and feel restrictive to the player where it could have been more experimental and gutsy in design.
VR Kart’s offers three, rather predictable modes of either single-race, time-trial mode or championship. You begin by picking from a variety of locations offered, race around your desired track for three of four laps (the choice of laps is available to you through the settings) and repeat the process over again. It’s a repetitive formula that we’ve seen before, and is in desperate need of re-invention. Moreover, this gameplay structure feels fatiguing to play after a few trials, with no unlockables or structured campaign mode to keep you motivated throughout.
There are minor quirks to races that come in the form of speed boosts and its own player-targeting system. Whilst these are designed to give you the upper-hand over your opponent, they feel unsatisfying to execute after the numerous amount of times doing so. It’s a feature added to keep the races unpredictable, but it is one that feels all too distinctive, with its intention purely to bulk out the monotonous nature of these races.
VR Karts is best played within the company of friends to combat this monotony. Although this follows the same principle of racing around tracks, playing with friends or rather battling them one-on-one can add some competitive challenge that is more motivating, exercising the game’s fun-factor and as a result, keeps you playing just that little bit longer.
VR Kart’s basic presentation and predictable gameplay structure fail to carve out its own identity, despite its colourful worlds and little novelties. It’s a game that is still within its infancy, and even as a current £29.99 PSVR title, the finished product fails to reflect an experience that is justifiable of this premium price – despite catering to its intended family-friendly demographic.
- Colourful and varied environments
- Charming quirks
- Responsive control scheme
- Under-confident and basic presentation
- Limited customisation options
- Generic gameplay structure