Wednesday, 17 Oct 2018
Tech

Skyrim VR: test (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, WMR)

A note is good. But knowing where it comes from is better! Discover our test in details, below.

Bethesda released in late 2017 three of its flagship titles in virtual reality: VFR Doom , Fallout 4 VR and Skyrim VR (PSVR) . The latter, however, was declined only on PSVR, but since April 3, 2018 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR is finally available on Steam at the price of $ 59.99 , DLC Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn being included in the price, which is a lesser evil for a title that still accuses already 7 years. Good news for PC players, whether on HTC Vive of course, but also on Oculus Rift or Windows Mixed Reality which are officially supported this time.

So it’s time for the dragon sons to return to Tamriel to face his fate and see what the PC version of Bethesda’s hit RPG has to offer in virtual reality (tested on Oculus Rift).

Skyrim VR PC Release Announcement Trailer

  • Genre: RPG
  • Release date: April 3, 2018
  • Platform: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Windows Mixed Reality
  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
  • Price: € 59.99

The prophecy (or there)

We will not make the affront here to go back in depth on the presentation of what Skyrim, everyone must today have knowledge of what he returns if he is interested in any kind of video games . The VR version of the title is indeed in all respects identical to its original version, except that it has been adapted to VR and that suddenly, this time, we find ourselves immersed in the heart of the world. universe of Elder Scrolls. And we must admit that it is not nothing.

We will not be surprised to begin the adventure as a prisoner of the imperialists, alongside Ulfrik Sombrage and his henchmen, in a wagon towards Helgen where we are destined to be executed. But the Earl of Vendeaume is rendered helpless, because gagged to prevent him from using the power of the voice. Although we were not part of the Sombrages and we were simply stopped while we were trying to cross the border, General Tulius will not have pity on us. The Nordic thief by our side who is also here by chance will try to escape, but the arrows of the elves Thalmors will not allow him to go far.

Arrival in Helgen - VR
The arrival in Helgen

Resigned to our fate, we kneel on the block until a dragon comes to interrupt the execution and destroy the city. Yet these had disappeared for centuries, how come they reappear today? And could it be that this dragon is at the boot of the Shadows and come to free their leader? In any case it will be an opportunity for us to escape by crossing an underpass that will allow us to recover our first equipment (armor, weapons, potions, books …) before joining Rivebois, while crossing the first Stones Guardian. The adventure takes place in the province of Bordeciel, 200 years after the events of Oblivion.

We will then be able to get our first quests, main and secondary, as well as to discover that Bordeciel, which is ruled by emperors children of dragon, descendants of Alessia, for centuries, has just entered a civil war following the assassination of his High King by Ulfrik Sombrage. This one indeed wishes to release Bordeciel from the grip of the Empire which prohibited the worship of Talos following the treaty of peace signed by the Emperor with the Thalmors to save the Empire, unless its sole objective is to conquer the throne. Your first mission will be to join the Châtellerie de Blancherive to warn of the return of the dragons. As a foreigner, everyone will try to convince you of his good faith, so you are free to choose to join the Imperial Legion to defend peace or the Shadows to fight for freedom, but the prophecy announced the arrival of the Last Child Dragon (the Dovahkiin) and this one is about to be fulfilled. But Alduin, the Devourer of Worlds does not intend to let himself go.

Original Skyrim trailer (2011)

Sky rhymes with tortoiseshell

The fact of being immersed in Skyrim in the middle of its steep mountains and breathtaking landscapes, in broad daylight or under the starry sky lit by the huge moons hovering above our head, and rub shoulders with everything the bestiary of Skyrim, the dragons in the lead, is undeniably something strong. But we must recognize despite everything that, as beautiful as it is, the game still shows its age and it shows (angular 3D, characters that lack flexibility, textures bland …). In addition, this is an adaptation of a title that was not originally intended for VR. And if the work done is very well done, this does not prevent the technical limitation of the current helmets which, with their definition, generate an unfortunate blur on everything that is a little distant from us. We also observed here and there some temporary display bugs and lag effects in the display, but nothing serious, the whole remains very fluid. It will not sulk our pleasure to walk the wild lands of Bordeciel, but it’s still a pity.

From the beginning, we are offered to choose between free movement or teleportation. The first takes the technique of reducing the field of vision already discussed in Fallout 4 VR. Although having the impression of playing with a diving mask on your head is not what you do best, it is very effective to avoid the motion sickness and therefore to take full advantage of free movement that is very intuitive with the Rift joysticks. Some will still prefer teleportation, but it is also not what we do best for immersion. For our part, we preferred a natural displacement, but, on the other hand, we opted for a rotation by notch rather than fluid, because it was not very appreciated by our stomach. A VR menu allows you to configure everything at any time: mode of movement and rotation, angle of rotation, speed … Everyone can find his account without problem and define the best options to enjoy an optimal gaming experience . Similarly, six levels of difficulty are offered to suit all player profiles.

Technical precision : A small bug that has bothered us, we tell you, story that you do not live the same annoying experience. If, at the launch of the game, it always returns to the SteamVR Home and you can not play it, know that it comes from the beta version of SteamVR. But beware, not the SteamVR Home or even the Rift Core 2.0 as we originally thought, but SteamVR, in your library Steam, apart from the RV so. Make sure that SteamVR is launched in a classic version and everything will be back to normal.

Teleportation - VR
Teleportation

The soundtrack, meanwhile, is still nice and the title is fully dubbed in French, but the acting is often perfectible. A small flat must also be put on the inventory in which it is not always easy to find one of the multitude of objects that can be transported (it must also always be as careful management this one to avoid finding oneself slows down by an overweight, and choices will have to be made constantly). But on PC, unlike the PSVR version, we can benefit from the many mods proposed for Skyrim, including to improve the interface or the graphic rendering, a big plus compared to the version intended for the console of Sony since one can then tweak the game to our desire.

In any case, virtual reality brings a big capital gain for Bethesda. Moving around your city or in the wilderness, facing the different enemies, from the smallest to the biggest, has never been so realistic. Just to live this experience, the game is worth the detour. Its price is probably a little high for a title of 2011, especially if you own the original and you have already skimmed over and over, but how to feel part of this universe. Even for swimming an immersion trick has been realized. On the surface, you move like on land, but under the water you will have to extend your hands forward then, pressing the triggers, spreading the arms to the sides, as if you were swimming, a nice idea. It is the same to switch to stealth mode where you can either use the controller, or stoop really, which is much more immersive. Without going so far as to reproduce all the movements of his character as Elliotttate says on Reddit have lost 5 pounds in 10 days, there is way to really get into the skin of it. And Skyrim VR must be played standing in roomscale to be as realistic as possible, another big advantage over PSVR. We can even answer with our own voice to the NPCs by reading the chosen answer thanks to the mod Dragonborn Speaks Naturally available on NexusMods (you can change the language in the ini file).

Melee combat, the least convincing - VR
Melee combat, the least convincing

The truth comes out of the mouths of children (dragon)

At the beginning of the adventure, down the cart, we are asked to decline our identity. This is the opportunity to choose our race, our sex, as well as our physical characteristics that we can tweak to our liking, as in the original game. This does not matter here, however, because in virtual reality we will only see our hands. A step to which one can indulge with minutia or jump without moods. The only thing that matters, ultimately, is the breed that will give us particular characteristics. As a reminder, we have the choice between 10 different races: Argon, Breton, Wood Elf (Bosmer), Black Elf (Dunmer), High Elf (Altmer), Imperial, Khajiit, Nordic, Orc, and Redguard. The remark about our physical appearance also applies to our outfits, we will see no visual difference (except on the hands) between wearing this or that armor, which removes one of the charms of the game, any self-respecting RPG giving the importance to the look of the character that we build. This is inevitable in VR but we still regret not being able to admire the great outfit that we just acquired.

Gameplay level, we find all the exploration aspect of the title, as well as fighting, through the craft and dialogues with the NPC to learn more about the lore. On this last point, we also have many books to flip through. The game is a port, we find here not very VR manipulations like grabbing objects by a key or the choice of answers in a list, but we can always turn to the mods to adjust that. Throughout the adventure, goals are assigned to advance the main frame, but also many additional quests that we can choose to honor or abandon. Filling them, however, allows you to gain experience and loot that will allow us to be stronger to face the enemies more and more tough that will punctuate our adventure. Many dungeons are also at the rendezvous. And to guide us in this huge open world, we can use the map that we view as an aerial view in which we can move to observe the different points. As for the skills, they can be selected in 3 trees: mage, warrior and thief.

Archery already more interesting - VR
Archery already more interesting

The choice of course you will take will depend on the style of combat you want to favor. The body-to-body is the option that seemed to us the least interesting. Here we can alternate between simple attacks by reproducing the movement with the controllers and powerful attacks by operating in the same way, but keeping the trigger pressed down. It is also possible to block the shots or to unbalance the opponent using the shield. Even on the Rift (or Vive) controllers are much more efficient than PSVR’s PS Move, we were not convinced by this type of fight that gave us the impression of making big reels a bit random. with a huge hitbox to touch the enemy without being very precise and sometimes even far enough away. Moreover, if the two-handed weapons prevent them from wearing a shield, which seems normal, they are handled with one hand and leave the other free but stupidly useless. Finally, no difference is felt between the handling of a small light dagger or a big heavy ax. However, the use of arches or crossbows is much more convincing, and this time, it will be necessary to learn to aim correctly. But our crush remains the magic that really gives a sense of power. Using our hands to cast spells, each hand being independent, is truly exhilarating.

Skyrim VR offers us a great playground where we can have fun for many hours, which is not common in VR, especially since the three DLCs of the game are included. Between the neat main frame and the multiple side quests, we really have something to do. Bethesda shows us that it is possible to play real games in VR, and just for that, we want to say thank you. So this is certainly not a new title, but it should hopefully pave the way for more ambitious projects developed specifically for VR. In any case Skyrim VR, demonstrates the potential of VR in this area and it’s already a lot.

The power of magic - VR
The power of magic

We really enjoy returning to Skyrim and immersing ourselves in the magnificent Skyrim universe. Even if the ambient blur is unfortunate and the dubbing could have been much better, we still a hell of a slap. All that made the success of Skyrim is still there: the scenario, the many quests, the soundtrack … And for the unconditional fans of the series, no doubt that the note could be raised by 5 points, especially as, although as in the original title, there are some elements that can hinder us, the game is entirely moddable, which often makes it possible to remedy the problem. Its price is certainly high, but it includes the 3 DLC and promises very long hours of adventures, which is far from common in virtual reality. Finally a real game in VR!

Meet in person at Bordeciel

The richness of the universe and the scenario

The possibility of using mods

Magic

Free movements without motion sickness …

Soundtrack

A phenomenal lifespan (especially in RV)

A real game in VR

Unfortunate blur effect in basic configuration

French dubbing not always very neat

The interface

Melee combat

… but with a diving mask

We do not take advantage of the makeover of our character

A technically aging game

Price

The famous game The Settlers of Catania is declined in virtual reality, so let’s see what the board game is with a VR helmet screwed on the head.

Visit the VR Portal

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