Alright VR fans, I am back with another review. This time I took a look at Cosmic Rush for the Gear VR. In Cosmic Rush players take control of an astronaut who has just survived an explosion that has killed the rest of the crew. Now adrift in space our hero must zip through asteroid fields and space junk while gathering up minerals in order to survive. I put on my space helmet (my Gear VR) zipped through space and this is what I thought of the experience.
Immersion: I have said it before, but I feel that it’s worth repeating, when stepping into the realm of VR immersion is king. Excellent immersion can take a boring experience and make it feel worth your time. This is one area where Cosmic Rush lacks. Sound and visuals are great for only being powered by my S6 edge, but it takes more than some good sound and pretty stars to make the player feel like they are drifting through space at breakneck speeds. The game is in third person with the player taking a seat behind the astronaut’s butt. This may tell us that the developer wasn’t interested in a fully immersive experience, or they felt that this camera positioning lends itself better to the gameplay. No matter what the intention is first person is the prime perspective when it comes to immersive VR. I will admit that in the moments when the game’s speed picks up, and fast reactions are necessary for survival, then it almost feels like you are the astronaut.
Gameplay: Immersion may be the king of VR, but gameplay is the king of gaming. In short Cosmic Rush is a space shooter mixed up with an endless runner. You control our space man by tilting your head much in the way some endless runners have you tilting your phone. By tapping the touchpad you can shoot lasers at approaching asteroids—though I found that you might as well just keep your finger on the touchpad and never stop shooting. By destroying asteroids you gain minerals which can be used to unlock new sections of space and new costumes. While the gameplay is nothing groundbreaking the controls do feel tight and the astronaut always moved with my head. Some of the unlock able costumes are pretty cool looking and if I was a bigger endless runner fan I could see myself putting in the effort to unlock them.
Conclusion: Cosmic Rush doesn’t really add anything to VR. You will never feel like you are hurtling through space while playing, no matter how responsive the controls may be. Take away the VR gimmick and you are just left with a decent endless runner that will cost you $3 bucks. There are other endless runners that are just as good for free. Temple Run VR for instance is available on the Gear VR for free and is far more immersive. Only get Cosmic Rush if you love endless runners and have already played through all the best ones.