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Review: Yupitergrad – PSVR, PS5, PS4

Yupitergrad, Yupitergrad, does whatever a spider can...

Yupitergrad has a solid idea: swing around like a dieselpunk Spider-Man and solve a few puzzles along the way. It’s that simple and the game doesn’t pretend to say otherwise with any shallow RPG veneers or tacked-on combat. This is a platformer, through and through. And it’s probably one of the best you’ll find on PSVR, or any other headset for that matter.


The story is that you’re a cosmonaut and you’ve been sent off to repair the space station. You’re the only one with the skills to do it, and because this is Russia, you have no choice in the matter.

You do get a tutorial first, though, because it would be unkind to send anybody into space with at least a little bit of guidance.

The tutorial is your first port of call and you’ll want to pay attention to this class. You’ll learn the basics of swinging from your plunger-webs, as well as how to navigate Iron Man-style with your wrist-mounted thrusters. Yes, Yupitergrad wants to be a superhero game so bad, it just doesn’t get the licensing. Shame, because the swinging mechanics are really well done, even with the limitations of the PSVR and its tracking.

As I mentioned during the preview, I had little issue with the light-based tracking of the PSVR headset or the PS Move wands. I’ve found my sweet spot and it works well for almost all games. I must mention, though, that I do play PSVR games sitting on my bum. I’ve played many games in the Oculus Quest that allow for room-scale movement, and I’m just a touch spoiled by it. I can’t guarantee that, in the moment of gameplay, I won’t forget that I’m cabled to the console, and I really don’t want to pull my PS5 off its stand and smash it onto the floor, at least not without a camera recording it.

The controls are good, too, and although I did at times wish for sticks (I may just get this again on the Quest for that very reason) I found the controls to be just about good enough. The layout is logical and well thought out. At some point during the tutorial level the controls “clicked” for me and I went from slowly tumbling into walls to smashing into walls at break-neck speed. I’m still working on my swinging skills…

It’s hard work, too, Yupitergrad. It might sound simple, but when it comes to the crunch, you’ll bawk and die many times, just like I did.

Navigating the space station isn’t easy as there are perils around every corner, with meat-grinders, pits of doom, crushing blocks, spinning fans, and more standing between you and getting the job done for mother Russia. I died. Lots. And that’s alright. Some deaths did feel a little unfair as some sections were really, really difficult. But, for the most part, I think the levels presented a fair challenge. Whenever I got stuck, I’d sit back, observe, learn, and try again. And again. And again. Some luck is required…

Sometimes, though, it felt like the controls were working against me and would lead to a few unfair deaths. I’d pull down on my move wands to fling myself forward, only to pathetically flop a short distance before getting pulverised by yet another strangely-placed meat-grinder. It’s not all tragedy, though, as the game has a fairly decent checkpoint system, so even if you do die often, you won’t be losing much progress. Plus, it encourages you to really take your time and think about a section before spinning your plunger-webs and going in without a second thought. Time and patience, dears. Time and patience.

The main campaign is fairly short and will only set you back a handful of hours, though going for all trophies will obviously take a little longer, depending on your swinging skills. To keep the swinging party going, however, is a brand new Time Attack mode that gives you 20 levels to swing, boost, and die through, pitting your best times against your buddies. I took top spot for all of a single hour before my colleague Jeremy came along and posted a faster time. Will I try to beat it? Maybe. Or maybe I’ll just assign him the worst jobs for the next two months. Who is to say.

Yupitergrad is easily the best Spider-Man VR game we’ve got, even if there is an official Spider-Man game out there (it’s shite, don’t bother).

It’s not just riffing off of the Marvel hero’s popularity, though; it’s a genuinely good game in its own right, and the story, while being ridiculous, is full of cheeky lines and witty banter, which I’m always up for.

Graphically, I’ve got no complaints. The game runs really smooth – I should say, I play my PSVR on PS5 – and looks really good too. It’s got a Borderlands-cartoony-comic-book look and feel, and that’s the kind of art style perfectly suited to PSVR. The headset handles the visuals superbly, delivering a really nice sharp picture that defies the headset’s lower resolution.

Yupitergrad is good fun for a few hours, but I’m not sure it’s got the legs (or arms) to sustain into the double digits. The campaign is on the short side and the Time Attack challenges are a one-and-done affair unless you’re bothered about where you sit in the leaderboards. Still, it’ll be a game that I’ll remember, because whenever I hear the question “is there a Spider-Man VR game” I’ll direct the asker of the question straight to Yupitergrad.

Yupitergrad PSVR Review
  • Overall - Fantastic - 8/10
    8/10
8/10

Summary

Yupitergrad for PSVR is another fine get for the platform. The gameplay is a fair challenge, mostly, and there’s lots of fun to be had finding new ways to swing down dangerous corridors of doom. The controls and tracking are remarkably good, too, meaning you won’t feel hindered by the PS Move wands.

Pros

  • Awesome swinging gameplay
  • Challenging puzzle-platforming sections that are mostly fair
  • Gorgeous comic book graphics
  • Silly but fun story

Cons

  • Occasionally the controls can feel inferior and leave you longing for a nice pair of twiddly sticks, but only occasionally
  • The campaign is short and you would do really well to reach a double digit playtime

Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy. 

Version tested: PS4. Reviewed using PSVR and PS5. 

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