At E3 2016, Square Enix revealed a PlayStation VR shooter that had you playing as the character Prompto, teleporting around and shooting at monsters. That VR mode, Square Enix says, has been cancelled.
At the reveal, Square Enix had planned to make the mode a bit of free DLC for Final Fantasy XV owners, but it seems circumstances have changed since then.
“Final Fantasy XV: VR Experience at E3 2016 was a technology demo that we showcased. Since then, we have learned much from the technology and have leveraged our learnings from the Episode Prompto DLC,” Square Enix said. “The result of that is our first PlayStation VR title, Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV.”
It sounds, then, like what the developer wanted out of the Prompto shooter mode didn’t quite work out. Compared to Monster of the Deep, the VR Experience was a fast-paced mode that put both the game’s visuals and the PSVR’s motion-tracking abilities to the test. It could be that the tech just wasn’t up to the task of doing all that at the level of visual fidelity the game requires. The significantly more chill Monster of the Deep, which is essentially a fishing game, doesn’t have nearly as much movement, it seems, nor require the same level of precision.
While I’ve heard the fishing in Final Fantasy XV is a blast, though, a fishing minigame doesn’t seem as well suited to Final Fantasy as something combat based.
Whatever’s happened, though, I do think it’s somewhat of a sign. The mode was well received, and Square Enix had clearly spent a lot of time developing it, so they had to have hit a pretty big roadblock to make canning it seem like a better alternative. VR, as a general technology, seems to be able to handle the pace of action the game requires just fine – check out this Robo Recall trailer:
It seems, then, less like a limitation of VR and more of PlayStation VR itself. That doesn’t bode well for PlayStationVR. While Sony gave the tech some lip service at E3 this year, its showing was pretty underwhelming. Despite Sony having its own VR tech, Bethesda had complete gaming offerings on display with Doom, Fallout 4, and Skyrim all headed for VR in one form or another.
It’s disappointing to see a game canceled, even if the so-called VR Experience wasn’t much on its own. At least Monsters of the Deep is still coming though, right?