Multiplayer first-person shooters on PSVR are a very unusual occurrence. In fact, multiplayer PVP games in general, are quite rare to track down on PlayStations virtual reality headset. I have played a few of these titles ranging in quality from amazing to very drab and I am very excited to see where Telefrag VR fits into this very barren genre.
Telefrag pits two players against each other on five small maps. Using an array of weaponry and teleporting skills, you must best your foe in a best of five shootout. The gameplay plays out like any other first-person shooter you have played, however, Telefrag does have a few unique traits that separate it from its peers.
Firstly, the Telefragging, I am not sure that is even a word but its a feature this game is built around. You can teleport around the stage, not unlike a lot of other VR games. A well-placed teleport, within a certain range of your opponent, will kill them. This technique, when pulled off correctly is quite satisfying. However, it's so much more powerful than the firearms in the game I found myself, at times, depending on it too much.
The other defining features of this game are the portals and anti-gravity style layouts of the levels. Some of the best matches I had were when my opponent and I were trying to outwit each other from opposite sides of the room. Me on the ceiling and my opponent on the floor, that is when precision, prediction and tactics really shone through. These matches were fun and it was in these tight skirmishes I most enjoyed my time with the game.
Littered around the levels are portals leading to other segregated parts of the levels. You can teleport to them as well but your teleporting is governed by an energy meter. Sometimes, in a pinch, you must use these portals to escape or flank your enemies. There are also health and armour pickups, to keep your various levels topped up and elongate your survival. All standard stuff but the bouts, even though they are short most of the time, flow nicely enough.
I do have issues with the format, the one on one battles soon lose their charm and become monotonous. Especially with the telefrag feature, it turns into an elaborate game of cat and mouse and unfortunately, it takes the focus off the great arsenal at your disposal. The game features five weapons, all with varying fire modes and I am afraid due to the power of the telefrag technique, they don't really get used to their fullest.
Each weapon has a normal fire mode, a secondary fire mode and each one has a different teleport technique associated with it. Ranging from an instant teleport to a beacon teleport and even a bullet-style teleport that can be fired far across the levels. Getting used to all the different armaments and modes they have will serve you well, as will the differing teleportation methods and we all know how powerful they can be.
Control-wise, there are a lot of VR options to make you as comfortable as possible. Along with various input methods and supported peripherals, you should be able to play any way you see fit. You can use the Dual Shock controller, Move controllers and apparently, the Aim controller will be patched in at a later date. I even used the 3DRudder and it felt great doing so. The developers did a great job of making this title accessible to everyone.
I used the Move controllers for movement for a short time but ended up going straight back to the 3DRudder, once you have used that movement system you will not want to go back to controlling both shooting and moving with your hands. Moving with your feet makes much more sense and leaves your hands free for combat. I can't imagine playing it any other way.
Graphically, Telefrag will not win any awards but it's not too bad. Sometimes your opponent can get lost in the background and the resolution is quite low. I know the PSVR headset is a low resolution anyway but some games do a great job of overcoming this shortfall. Unfortunately, Telefrag is not one of them. Its the same with the sound and music, while it's not bad, it's not memorable in any way whatsoever.
I had some issues online too, I rarely found any human players to compete against. I think all but one of my matches were with AI bots and that soured the experience even more. The AI bots are too easy, rarely mix up their tactics and are far from ideal opponents. I found myself getting bored very quickly fighting the same AI opponent over and over. It's a shame really, Telefrag can be fun, it's just not enjoyable often enough for my liking.