They just had to throw my biggest fear into an otherwise pleasant adventure…
Fun fact: I’ve never been great at aiming. I’ve got slow reflexes in Call of Duty, and miss all my Widowmaker headshots in Overwatch. It’s been a while since I’ve shot a real, bonafide firearm, but even then, I wasn’t a true marksman. Farpoint, the new sci-fi FPS for PlayStation VR, is molding me into the perfect soldier with its enemy design: the title relies HEAVILY on spiders.
Everything was perfectly chill in Farpoint for almost 30 minutes. I absorbed the story, explored an alien planet, and genuinely enjoyed my return to VR. Suddenly, the ground shook, and I heard a low rumble. The earth in front of me slowly opened in a small dust cloud to reveal a head-sized arachnid.
The little demon reared onto its hind legs and opened its “Head Crab”-like mouth, loosing a gut-churning screech. The hairs on the back of my neck forcefully shot up, like someone “nope”-ing out of a movie theater. Time stopped as the blood-curdling monstrosity leaped straight at my face. The hilarious folks at Impulse Gear thought it’d be a neat prank for their game to throw a giant spider at my virtual head.
I wasn’t laughing. This heathen needed to die a slow, painful death.
Farpoint descends into madness from there, as the spiders grow larger and more dangerous. Yet, the environment begs me to soldier on, and pleads for me to survive its torture.
And so I am. Farpoint isn’t a perfect title and didn’t set out to be a horror game, but man does it work well as one. Instead of shooting at some digital person, I’m gunning for my life against one of my biggest fears. The fact that Farpoint is unafraid to ambush me with hordes of my archenemy is one reason why I’m digging it. It’s a true experience and makes me feel alive, rather than making me feel like a man on a couch.
I won’t even hit a spider with a shoe, in real life. (Seriously, what if I miss and that thing climbs onto my arm?) But Farpoint is fantastic because it’s providing me a way to deal with that phobia. In fact, arachnophobia is a large reason why I’m still pushing through the game. I’m scared out of my mind, yet Farpoint provides a fantastic incentive for me to hit every shot. Instead of wasting ammo, every rocket, grenade, and slug is now a life raft keeping me away from my nightmares.
You better believe that I still shudder when a Head Crab wannabe careens toward my eyeballs. But I’m dealing with it in the funnest way possible: by one-shotting the anklebiters out of the sky with a shotgun. Farpoint gave me an ultimatum: get better aim, or suffer. I’ve got some problems with the experience: its storyline is subpar, and the world feels a tad empty. But thanks to its unique enemies and atmosphere, Farpoint is one of the coolest adventures I’ve had with PlayStation VR.