VR Review | Spider-Man Virtual Reality Experiences
Since it’s our Month of Marvel, today’s VR Review is taking advantage of that theme. While it’s not our upcoming Iron Man VR review (which is coming next week), we take a look at a different Marvel hero’s VR exploits. For those that didn’t know, there are two free VR experiences featuring the iconic web-slinger, Spider-Man. Based on the MCU movies, these experiences are simple little ways to advertise. That being said, while the Spider-Man: Homecoming Virtual Reality Experience is pretty dull, you might want to check out the Spider-Man: Far From Home Virtual Reality Experience. For this review, we’ll mostly focus on the latter, but we’ll still mention the former just to get it out of the way.
The Spider-Man: Homecoming Virtual Reality Experience is the first time we get to put on the mask of our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, courtesy of CreateVR. It’s not much of a full game, as it’s more of a shooting gallery tutorial. You’ll start out on a rooftop where you’ll be tasked with putting on your suit and testing out your web shooters. Interestingly enough, this experience gives players various different options for their web shooters. This includes rapid-fire webs, web grenades, web tethers, and web nets. While players have a button to switch between them, they never really have a reason to. The only time it matters to switch to a particular web type, the game automatically does it for you.
You’ll simply shoot some bottles, clear up debris, take down posters and web up drones while getting ratings that don’t really matter. Suddenly, you’ll see an explosion off in the distance caused by alien activity. When you get a better look at it, it turns out the damage was caused by the Vulture. When he comes into view, you’ll web him up a bit and he’ll destroy a crane, requiring you to use your web nets to keep it from falling. And that’s the game. There is no rhyme or reason for the tutorial you go through, it’s simply there for show. Of course, you can’t ask for much when the experience is basically a virtual commercial. Either way, it at least looks nice graphically. It’s really just a warm up for CreateVR’s true experience.
Moving onto the Spider-Man: Far From Home Virtual Reality Experience, we get a much grander adventure. The production values here also go up significantly, using newly recorded lines from both Tom Holland and Jacob Batalon. While this one has less to do with the actual film it’s based on, it does a great job as a VR experience. It seems that CreateVR realized how limited their previous project was and decided to open it up. Of course, this means with actual web swinging.
With one look at the tutorial, you can tell this is a much more active game. Gone are the different web types and instead, players can run, jump, and stick to walls. While there aren’t any web net shots, players can still net webs together by shooting two walls and pulling them together. It’s a mechanic that works well, but it isn’t the true highlight of the title.
After finishing the tutorial, players are now ready to swing through the city. You’ll jump off a building and suddenly have the ability to web swing from whatever building is in range. Swinging through the city here feels natural and works surprisingly well. It even helps when you see Spider-Man’s body in front of you from the momentum of the swing. Unlike the Homecoming experience, this one requires reloading of your web canisters. Simply pull the triggers behind you, and you’ll do a quick reload. It’s a small detail, but it’s just enough to keep you paying attention to the game around you. It’s clear that this was the primary goal of making this experience, and it gives us so much more than Homecoming ever did.
Of course, as fun as swinging in the city can be, there’s still the responsibility of being a hero. After a bit of time, drones will start dropping debris and you’ll get knocked out. As you regain consciousness, you’ll see a giant robot that forms armor from the same debris the drones had. Again, this has nothing to do with the Spider-Man: Far From Home movie, but it’s simple enough to give us a challenge in the experience. You’ll shoot webs at the robot and destroy its armor as you also take down drones attacking you. It’s a short experience, but it’s enough activity to give the player a real point to using their abilities.
This “story mode” is over pretty quickly, but finishing it does net you the upgraded suit to wear in freeplay mode. Freeplay is basically a way to let players just have fun swinging around the city. You can activate time trials and combat challenges to hone your skills, but ultimately, it’s just a reason to enjoy this virtual playground. While there isn’t much more to the game, it’s a surprisingly fun experience for a free title.
Graphically, the game does have some problems with details not popping up until you get closer. It mostly applies to buildings, as far off in the distance, they’ll basically be giant cubes or blocks. Upon getting closer, fire escapes and windows reveal themselves and look rather nice. The city itself is pretty big to play around in, but eventually, you’ll run into a barrier. As for the music, the game does use a similar score to the film it’s based on. It does add a sense of heroism, but the real highlight is the use of the actual actors for voice work. It’s not just one or two lines like the previous game either, as Peter and Ned have legitimate conversations in this one.
Overall, the Spider-Man: Far From Home Virtual Reality Experience is a fun time. It may be simple, but it gives players a chance to swing through the city like Spider-Man. While it doesn’t offer as much as a true VR game, for a free game, I honestly couldn’t ask for more. While the Spider-Man: Homecoming Virtual Reality Experience doesn’t qualify for a score, Far From Home is more than worthy. It might not be a reason to purchase a VR headset, but it’s still a fun distraction. What more could you want for free?
Final Score: 7 out of 10