SAIRENTO VR / DEVELOPER & PUBLISHER: MIXED REALMS / PLATFORM: OCULUS, PC, PSVR (REVIEWED), VIVE / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Sairento VR went down a storm when it was first launched on PC in 2016, and has now arrived on home consoles with this PSVR release. Set in 2066 Tokyo with its blend of modern technology and traditional Japanese architecture, players assume the guise of Cheiko Hatsuri, a cyber ninja tasked with defending the covert Sairento organisation from a technologically-savvy rival company.
The main story mode might be relatively short (just a couple of hours), but it packs a ton of excitement into its brief duration. Running, sliding, flipping around, slashing and shooting semi-robotic samurai enemies, it's really quite breathtaking and the action never lets up until each mission ends. The mandatory PS Moves add to the immersion of being in VR, with each controller representing one of your weapons. Cheiko can carry four at once – two over the shoulder and two at the hip – and players swap between these by making the appropriate motion with the relevant controller. Blades, guns and projectiles are available, some with hidden uses that don't become apparent until you play around with them.
Away from the main campaign, there are plenty of other modes to keep you entertained. “Missions” are mini objectives based in a single area, and “Operations” form a set of three Missions to play through. Each of these can be tackled with various difficulty options, and random modifiers can be added to make things even trickier. There are also a couple of challenge modes - “Endurance” which asks you to survive for as long as possible, and “Gauntlet,” an endless run through various levels.
Rewards are earned during play that can be used to modify and upgrade your weapons and armour, and the quality of loot increases in line with your character's level as well as at higher difficulties. The more you play, the stronger you become – we were particularly satisfied with the neon pink plasma blade with healing properties and additional damage!
There's a lot of content to get through, especially when replaying at higher difficulties, and it's all tremendously great fun to play. If we had to nitpick, aiming with a gun can be a bit tricky to get the hang of, and owners of original PS4 consoles might find a lot of the text is difficult to read until you get close up, but other than that, we've got no complaints. Sairento VR is out now on both download and physical disc, and we highly recommend it to VR owners everywhere!