E3 2019 Hands-on – Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot

To say that I had high hopes for Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot is an understatement. With the exception of Sony, Bethesda is basically the only AAA publisher that actually tries to make vast and impressive VR games, as proven with its Skyrim and Doom releases, even though they are ports of existing games. That obviously meant that I had even bigger expectations for Cyberpilot, given that it would be a brand new game set in the current Wolfenstein lore. You pilot a mecha and your objective is to kill a bunch of Nazis. What could possibly go wrong? Well…

I had the chance to test Cyberpilot on a HTC Vive at Bethesda’s booth. I could play a tutorial mission as well as a short first level. I was expecting groundbreaking visuals and more realistic controls compared to what the PSVR could offer. Sadly, that wasn’t the case.

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You thought the Division enemies were bullet sponges? Think again.

It’s not that the demo was bad, but it just felt… okay. The visuals were decent for PSVR standards, but definitely unimpressive for a Vive game. The controls were a bit unresponsive, as the aiming reticule was shaking like crazy. I had a limited range of movement with my mech, being able to dash in four directions in order to avoid bullets, but the game still felt like a very basic shooting gallery. I didn’t feel like I was free to move around like in Zone of the Enders, for instance. It reminded me more of an old-school arcade game like Virtua Cop. While that’s definitely not a bad game to be compared to, that was already being done back when the PSVR first came out. I expected more from a 2019 title.

Killing the Nazis also felt somewhat underwhelming, as the bigger ones took an excessive amount of hits before being killed. It actually felt like that game was glitching, as I was showering some bigger enemies with a bunch of missiles, flame shots and bullets, and they weren’t even flinching.

The demo was very short, and in no moment managed to impress me as much as Bethesda’s other VR efforts. Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot‘s E3 demo felt more like an early VR game from 2017 rather than a massive full-fledged title like the previous games released by the publisher. I’m still looking forward to the final product, as killing Nazis never gets old, but I was definitely expecting a lot more from Cyberpilot.

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