I’m scared of three things in this life: Getting old, losing my hair, and heights. So why on Earth did I decide to drop the cash on Megaton Rainfall, a game that is all about flying over the world and wider galaxy like Superman? I think the £12.99 price definitely played a part.
Megaton Rainfall is a PS4 and PSVR game. You can play it from start to finish using your traditional TV and controller setup, or you can play it in virtual reality with a PSVR headset. However, you will not be able to use the PS Move wands if you do play using the PSVR. Megaton Rainfall is played entirely with a DualShock 4 controller, which is a little weird to start off with but I can see the reasoning behind it. More on that later, though.
I started my playthrough of Megaton Rainfall in PSVR and spent the first five minutes sat on the menu screen while tapping my PS Move wand controller buttons to no avail. I wanted to select ‘New Game’ but my controllers were having none of it. I took my fancy headset off and realised that the little balls weren’t lit, despite them being turned on and connected to the console. The game doesn’t tell you at any point when you boot it up that you need to be using a DualShock 4 controller. Why am I telling you this? So that there is minimal delay between you getting your headset on and becoming a god damn hero!
Megaton Rainfall starts off a little slow and… familiar. You’re floating around in space while your space Daddy talks to you about blah blah blah. Despite the words wooshing on-screen like the opening credits of the original Superman movie, I still can’t remember what he was talking about. Something about bad guys (Intruders) wanting to nick some special orbs or something. Honestly, the story is not the star of the show here, but it’s there to legitimise what you’re doing. So just imagine you’re Superman and you’ll be grand.
The game kicks off pretty quickly once you’ve gone through the introduction and gained your first superpower. Unlike Mr Primary Colours, you don’t fly around punching people in the dick. Instead, you use your hands to fire projectiles at enemies. Wicked! So it’s a little Iron Man, too. More importantly, it works really well in VR.
There are, for those who want them, comfort settings in the game’s pause menu. If I remember correctly, they’re all on by defualt. Personally, I recommend turning them all off for the maximum effect.
I was in my first battle over a city filled with little people running around screaming while a War of the Worlds alien machine was stomping around. I flew around the big bastard and blasted the bright purple energy thingy from my hand. Within a few moments, it was dead. The war wasn’t over, though, and I was soon fighting some new enemies that dropped out of the mothership that loomed over the city. It was incredible, and the sheer sense of scale was a little scary if I’m being completely honest. I’d look down and, despite knowing that I’m sat on my sofa, I’d get the familiar tummy turns that occur when I’m at a height I’m not comfortable with.
Once you’ve gone through the opening mission and you’ve proven to the game that you know what you’re doing, you’re free to carry on at this point in any way you please. You could go to the next mission marker and save another city and collect another orb, or you can just around the planet. Really, you can fly around the entire planet Earth and drop down to wherever you want. However… Don’t expect to find your house, Google Maps style. I tried that and was left a little disappointed. Using the boot of Italy as a reference point, I managed to make my way to Wales. I first headed to the north of the country to the area where I grew up in. I flew down, not really knowing what to expect. Aaaaaand it was just fields and trees. To be fair, that’s an accurate representation of North Wales, but there are some towns around, too, and the train stations play host to many junkies. It’s a shame that this wasn’t better realised in the game, but I understand the massive scope and it just wouldn’t be feasible. Still, it’s a shame.
That being said, there are some famous landmarks for sure. I headed down to the Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, and… yeah, nothing was there. London, however, had the river bloody Thames! It was so good, in fact, that I shouted to the Mrs “oi, c’mere and look at the screen!” while slowly descending from the sky and delivering my best rendition of the Eastenders theme tune. North American readers will have no idea what I’m on about, so here’s a couple of videos:
My point is that Megaton Rainfall genuinely succeeds at giving you the freedom to fly around a planet, albeit one with procedurally generated towns and cities. It does a great job in putting you in the flying boots of a demi-god, too. You’ve got the freedom to fly anywhere on the planet, and even beyond to do battle with great enemies, which brings me back to the control system.
The game doesn’t use the PS Move wands, unfortunately, but the DualShock 4 works splendidly. In fact, I think it’s actually kind of necessary. See, you move through the game using the left stick to control your direction, and your R1/L1 triggers control your height, with powers being assigned to R2 and so on. It’s not really something that would translate all that well to the primitive PS Move wands, so I’m not going to hold it against the developer. It works really well and in a game where precision aiming is key – otherwise you end up blasting the poor citizens to smithereens – I’m grateful for such a control scheme.
I did try playing Megaton Rainfall using a traditional 2D screen setup… and I did not enjoy it one bit. It’s a simple looking game in PSVR mode, and that’s okay as we’ve come to expect simplification in this early consumer headset, but it’s just not all that great when you’re playing on the telly. In fact, it’s a bit rubbish in that respect. Perhaps if I’d not played in VR first I’d have nicer things to say, but the simple fact is that if you want to really feel the power of being a superhero, you need to step into those floaty boots and really be the superhero.
Megaton Rainfall PS4/PSVR Review
Megaton Rainfall isn't a perfect game by any stretch, but it is a damn fine example of what can be done with VR and a little ingenuity. Just make sure you've got barf bag on standby.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a digital copy of the game bought at the expense of the reviewer. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using PS4 Slim.