VR Skater – Review

VR certainly excels at making people feel cool while making them look really not. That said I doubt I’d look particularly cool tripping over my own knees 50 times trying to operate a real-life skateboard. Wiping out 50 times in VR is much less embarrassing… and less painful.

VR Skater for most intents and purposes is a skating simulator. Not quite as goofy, obvious or dangerous as Tony Hawk’s Ride – does anyone remember that? Assume your stance and swing your arm to build up speed, it feels close enough given it doesn’t use any kind of leg tracking. That’ll get you moving, next come the jumps and tricks.

two vr handsets and a skateboard in a vr environment

This is where it gets, well, tricky. Grabs, grinds and board spins are performed through a combination of arm movements and button presses. Plus clearing obstacles or landing on rails takes precision. You might very possibly feel like an uncoordinated donkey for the first hour of play, but at least you won’t have scuffed knees – unless something really went wrong, but if so that’s on you.

The game isn’t forgiving, it won’t magnet you towards rails, guide your alignment or correct your jumps. You mess up, you wipe out, you reset. It’s going to take some dedication, not as much as skateboarding in real life but you’ll need patience if you want to stay upright for any amount of time.

two vr handsets and a skateboard in a vr environment

Luckily, there’s a fantastic soundtrack to keep you company. I went into this game fully intending to play the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater soundtrack via Spotify, but the game soundtrack has much the same vibe while introducing me to whole new bands. The rest of the soundscape puts you right there whether it’s the rolling of your wheels, the scrape of a rail grind or the clatter of wood on concrete as you flub another trick. There’s not much environmental sound beyond that though.

The same pretty much goes for the graphics too. Your immediate surroundings are as detailed as they need to be, with little clutter to distract you. That means environments aren’t super populated or detailed and tend to just end, surrounded by the void. It’s fine though and there is at least variation in locations from a school to a shipyard.

With the variety of maps and more due via DLC, there’s a fair bit to do. It’ll take some time to learn the ropes and then each challenge has medals to aim for. These challenges start as single trick spots but there are options to do full runs in which we’ll need to string together combos. There are no open exploration or race modes though so the four current modes can feel a lot like more of the same. There are customisations to unlock and in a nice touch, they’ll show accurate wear and tear.

two vr handsets and a skateboard in a vr environment

VR Skater isn’t a casual pick-up and play experience, but it’s a well-crafted experience and, if you have the patience and dedication, it’s going to be super rewarding. It’s out now on PSVR2 and has just left early access on PC.

8/10 star rating

Developer: DEFICIT Games

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Microsoft Windows

Publishers: DEFICIT Games, Perpetual Europe, Perpetual Entertainment







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