Just don’t waste your time, effort, or money on this one. It’s bad enough when we get the likes of The Martian VR charging £15.99 for what basically amounts to a tech demo, but when a full game releases for the same price but functions far worse, it’s painful.
Surgeon Simulator: Experience Reality is a basic game with a great premise. It’s basically Operation but as a video game in virtual reality. The original release of Surgeon Simulator has been popular for years, so it was with great expectations that I plonked my PSVR headset on, got myself my trusty PS Move wands at the ready and settled down for some meaty mayhem.
Oh, mayhem ensued, though not in the ways that I’d hoped for. My first doubts came creeping in when I was adjusting the PS Move wand controllers and trying to get a feel for the motion controls. I was sat at reception (as all surgeons often do…) and I was trying to pick up the various bits and bobs that were scattered over the desk. A pen, a phone, a radio – you get the picture. The simple task of picking up a pen with the intention of launching it at the closest wall was nothing short of a ball ache. My in-game hands would regularly turn into skeleton representations to indicate that I’d placed my limbs inside something I shouldn’t. Art imitating life, then…
Not to worry, I thought. I was sure the tracking issues would be fine once I strap up and get into the operation room. Wrong. They were just as awful. I was tasked with giving some bloke a heart transplant, but he died within minutes. To be fair, this was all my own doing; I continually stabbed him with a needle in the face before taking the hammer to where his balls should be and pounding away like an angry ex-lover. Ok, next attempt, I’ll give it a proper go, I thought.
I took the hammer went to work on Dave’s ribcage. Then I smacked him in the face with the hammer. This wasn’t me being a bit of a dick, but instead it was the controls having a spazz attack. I tried again and ended up flinging the hammer behind me. Again, this wasn’t my intention; the controls were fighting against me. Not to worry, though, as I’d just about gotten rid of his pesky ribs and could see his minging heart. Time to replace it. After half a minute of fumbling, I picked up a scalpel and tried to cut away at the connecting bits (no, I don’t know what they’re called, I’m not a doctor) but, alas, I ended up stabbing him in the lung and scraping his insides until Dave could take no more. He died, again. (And, just so you know, his name is actually Bob, but I tend to call all game characters Dave.)
Third time’s a charm, right? Correct, but it was more luck than skill. Just pulling off the first operation which is seen as a basic procedure was nothing short of an infuriating nightmare. My hands were constantly going to odd places, my tools were forever flying out of my hands and into Dave’s face/crotch, though to be fair I’d say a good 25% of those incidents were of my own doing, though totally born out of frustration.
There are a few different operations and conditions to work with, but good luck figuring out how to navigate the menu. It took me around 15 minutes to pick the next operation (a double kidney transplant) and even longer to complete it. By the time I’d gotten a few stages in, I was sick to death of the game and attempted to use the mini-saw on my own in-game wrists. It didn’t work, but thankfully exiting a game on PS4 is as easy as pressing the home button.
There is huge potential here for Surgeon Simulator to be a decent PSVR game; it looks fantastic, and the general gameplay behind it is hilarious – it’s just a shame it’s total cack on PSVR. It’s also worth noting that we usually place some gameplay footage of whatever game we’re reviewing, but on this occasion we can’t. That’s because gameplay recording has been disabled within the game, possibly to hide the piss-poor tracking.
Surgeon Simulator: Experience Reality PS4/PSVR Review
Overall - Crap - 2.0/10
Just forget this exists and move on. Shoddy controls and piss-poor tracking really bring this one to the bottom of barrel when it comes to PSVR games. Save your money and buy something decent instead. It’s a shame, really, as there’s massive potential for Surgeon Simulator: Experience Reality to be a funny little time-waster, but as it stands it’s just a total waste of time and an exercise in frustration.
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*Reviewed on a PS4 Slim.