According to Sony’s end-of-year stats, Green Hell was my second most played game of last year, behind The Forest. Survival sims seem to be my jam. So after the announcement of PSVR2 and a new edition of Green Hell coming to the system, I was quick to wishlist it. Having already played the Oculus version, I stated in my review that the extra dimension brought the whole experience to life. Now, given the extra oomph of the PSVR2 and all the extra trickery in the Dualsense controllers, expectations were high.
Turns out Green Hell on PSVR2 is the sheer definition of anti-climax. What we have here is a near-straight port of the Oculus version. The only difference is the graphics being a shade better.
So dreams of having this expansive jungle to explore are shattered when you discover the game is just a collection of small areas you can explore. The map from the main game has essentially been split into sections each separated by an excruciatingly painful loading screen, immediately pulling you out of the VR experience. They’re not quick-load screens either, and definitely not making the most of the zippy SSD drive of the PlayStation 5.
A Hell Of Its Own
I can’t quite fathom what the developers were thinking. Here they had the opportunity to create a vast open-world jungle ripe for exploring in VR, a chance to enhance the game, to perfect the gameplay mechanics, and make the best survival craft game going. Instead, we’re left with a lacklustre port of the Oculus version.
In case you have been living in a jungle cave for the past forever, Green Hell is an incredibly challenging survival game that fully embraces the immersive potential of VR technology. Gone are the days of pressing buttons to chop trees or eat food; now, you’ll perform these actions through real-life movements.
In campaign, you play as Jake Higgins, a renowned anthropologist who embarks on a journey to connect with a lost Amazonian tribe. However, an unforeseen turn of events leaves you stranded in the jungle, relying solely on your wits, all the while trying to find your lost teammate.
There are plenty of options to help you when you first boot the game up. Various options to customize the game’s difficulty range from ‘tourist’ where you don’t have to worry about anything other than falling off something high, to ‘nightmare’ mode where you have to worry about literally everything, including your sanity.
Nightmare mode is not one for the faint-hearted on a normal screen, let alone in VR. There are loads of options to tweak the way you move through the game, including motion styles and vignette intensity to mitigate motion sickness.
Tropic Without The Thunder
In the initial stages of your survival journey, odds are you’ll face imminent danger, feeling utterly disoriented. However, as you acquire survival skills, identify edible plants and fashion essential tools, you’ll establish a base camp, enabling you to venture out and explore further. The question still remains, can you endure long enough before the VR experience becomes monotonous, confined to the same few small areas with a headset strapped to your head, suffering the dreaded VR sweats?
Green Hell on PSVR2 is a half-decent survival crafting game with ample challenges. Nevertheless, the absence of substantial exploration diminishes its overall enjoyment. When I reviewed Green Hell on Oculus upon its release, I awarded it a favourable score, attributing its limitations in exploration and clunky VR mechanics to technical constraints. However, hardware has moved on since then, and the power of PSVR2 with the Sense controllers should have made this the definitive version across all platforms.
Unfortunately, Green Hell on PSVR 2 is a disappointing letdown, and I dare say it feels like a rushed attempt to capitalize on the market. If you’ve never played the game before, there may be some enjoyment to discover, especially with the novelty of VR. However, for veterans, it’s likely to be a source of bitter disappointment.
Green Hell VR comes along with all the same challenges of surviving in the tropics you have come to expect from the game. However, the PSVR2 controls haven’t improved the experience, and unfortunately exploring the lush landscape is a boring chore as you only have a few small areas and terrible loading times.
Green Hell VR is available on PlayStation VR 2 (review platform), Oculus Quest 2, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Steam.
Developer: Incuvo Games
Publisher: Incuvo Games
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were provided with a promotional copy of the game. For our full review policy, please go here.
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