I have had my eye on Budget Cuts for a very long time. Ever since it was first shown on PC VR headsets a while ago, I have been eagerly anticipating this stealth-based teleportation title. I have seen some amazing things in videos for the game and I have now been able to experience them for myself. Did it live up to all the hype? Read on to find out.
The robots have taken over, the androids have snaffled all our jobs and the only way we can survive is to send someone back in time to stop the robot uprising. Sorry, I got a bit carried away there, that is just the plot for Terminator. Budget Cuts is nothing like Terminator, there's no Arnie but there is a lot of machines that want to kill you horribly. So I suppose it does have a few similarities
In Budget Cuts you are trying to escape a mega-corporation that has been taken over by the previously mentioned androids. Rather than a hard as nails Terminator being sent back to stop the source of the robot uprising though, all we have is a teleporter gun, sharp throwable objects and our plucky wits. Well, in that case, it sounds like we are a bit screwed then, doesn't it?
You are stuck in Transcorp, people are disappearing and your only friend is a mysterious person called Witta. Witta contacts you on various devices, tries to help you quell the metallic uprising and offers helpful advice on your dangerous stealthy jaunt. I did like these interactions, especially when I had to drag phone handsets behind desks to avoid being seen by enemies. It was all very tense.
Budget Cuts is mostly a stealth title, get spotted by a robot you get shot in the fac. And I did get shot, over and over again. This was until I fully understood the teleportation mechanics. Budget Cuts has a splendid movement system. In fact, I would go as far as saying it's one of the best, it's simply revolutionary.
You use a gun and fire on orb where you want to move to. Then you are prompted with a view of the target position as if you were stood there. You can then look around in full 3D on a small screen on top of your in-game controller as if you were there. Once you have checked the coast is clear you can then initiate a teleport to that location or retrieve your orb if things get a bit hairy. Well, if androids had hair anyway! It's truly astonishing and works so well.
It's a wondrous system that works amazingly and especially fitting for a stealth title. Once I had got used to checking my environment and retreating if things were unsafe, my progress started to become more fluid. That was until I was presented with knives and combat was an option. I should never be given knives, virtual or otherwise.
It was here that Budget Cuts shows its true colours, it gives you many tools and numerous ways to complete your goal. You can go full stealth or full John Wick, it's up to you. I usually used stealth until the brown stuff hit the fan, then I just murdered everything in sight. I pierced them with whatever pointy object I could lay my hands on and let the oil flow from the metallic monstrosities.
Budget Cuts, on the whole, follows the template set by many popular VR games, move, rotate and teleport to your various objectives, throw stuff about, rifle through peoples draws and generally cause virtual chaos. I really enjoyed working out how to traverse each room, I loved using the teleport gun and enjoyed tackling the hordes of metallic foes laid before me.
I really got taken by some of the light puzzle work and investigating what to do next. Finding keycards, solving light riddles and firing my teleport gun through air vents is extremely rewarding. Budget Cuts is a lot of fun, it's very well made and at times, extremely clever. When you solve something, find a great route you can bounce your teleportation orb down or take down some robotic enemies with a well-placed knife throw, you feel amazing.
Graphically, Budget Cuts is very clean, crisp and gives off the vibe of being in a bland office space brilliantly. Even on the low resolution of the PSVR headset, everything is legible, nice to look at and fully immersive. From a graphics viewpoint, it was everything I wanted from a PSVR title and one of the best looking titles to date.
Soundwise, Budget Cuts was again, very good. I loved the little announcements over the tannoy and the voices of your robotic co-workers. They had conversations as you spied on them from afar, they spoke to me as I passed them and it really made me feel like I was really a cog in this massive machine of a corporation.
I did have one issue with Budget Cuts but it was by no means a deal-breaker. I spent far too long looking at load screens. It did not detract from the great experiences I had playing the game but I feel making the screens a bit more interesting would have gone a long way.
Don't get me wrong, the loads did not take too long but while your experimenting and dying, you will see them fairly often. A little minigame to play while you waited would have been great, perhaps a target you can practice your knife throwing on would have been a good idea to pass the time, rather than a drab black screen.
The control scheme, inventory systems and tool selection systems in Budget Cuts are amazing. Everything is designed so well, after a short period of experimentation I was able to swap tools, teleport and fight smoothly, successfully and competently. It shows the game was tested and thought about thoroughly, I have played a lot of VR games and the VR implementation here is of a very high standard. There is nothing worse in VR when things don't work properly, there are tracking issues or it's too cumbersome. It takes you out of the experience, makes you frustrated and erodes all the fun of being in a virtual environment. Amazingly, you have none of that with Budget Cuts. You are left to enjoy a fun game and I did, I enjoyed it very much. Right, give me a knife, I have plenty more androids to murder!