Here at The Elite Institute, we are keen on highlighting a variety of great games to our audience. Whether it be indies, AAA titles, or anything in between, we want to show off as much as possible in order to help guide your purchasing decisions.

That’s why we’re not entirely restricting ourselves to the Nintendo Switch. Thanks to Nintendo Labo VR Kit (check out our review), we’ve fallen in love with virtual reality and as a result have invested in a PlayStation 4 along with PSVR. There are some truly great experiences on the system, and we’d love to share our thoughts with you.

WHO WANTS TO BE THE GUY?
Back in 2018 (before the site even existed), I played a game on the Nintendo Switch called Suicide Guy. Despite many writing off the game simply because of its seemingly insensitive title, it actually offered a rather interesting premise whereby you have to force yourself out of a series of dreams by finding a way to die – after all, you can’t die in a dream. It had a really charming concept, but was ultimately let down by imperfect controls.

Now I’ve had a chance to review the PSVR version of that same game (relabelled as The Guy VR) thanks to the publisher, so I can see just how well it holds up when I become The Guy.

Many thanks to Chubby Pixel for the review code.

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Despite the game’s seemingly macabre subject matter, The Guy VR quickly sets the tone for something much more lighthearted as soon as you open up the game. After some initial calibration, you’re quickly put into the chubby protagonist’s role complete with massive hands and a beer belly than you can satisfyingly pound should you so wish to do so. The proportions are perhaps a little bit too exaggerated, but if you prefer you can decrease hand size and remove the body completely. I personally found The Guy’s body to be quite endearing and didn’t mind that it got in the way at times, but it can be adjusted depending on your preference.

Speaking of which, there are a number of tweakable options to help improve your VR experience for those prone to motion sickness. You can add blinders, adjust the turning style, and even switch between smooth movement and teleportation. I quite liked the teleportation movement in The Guy VR as it made the jumping a breeze, since clambering up objects with smooth movement can be as finnicky as it was in the flat version. The disadvantage of teleportation is that getting around takes much longer. Perhaps a movement approach that combined the two would have been ideal, as the teleportation is only really needed as a jumping assist. Whilst switching between the two may seem like a viable alternative, there’s currently a bug that removes the world when you switch movement type, meaning that you’ll have to restart in order to actually be able to use it.

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Each of the game’s stages task you with solving a series of puzzles or platforming challenges in order to find a way to die. One could have you crashing a space-ship into the sun, whist another is very heavily themed on the Super Mario franchise and tasks you with doing a bunch of 3D platforming before getting plunged into a bed of spikes. There’s some real creativity involved with the game’s stages, and many even subvert your expectations. One such stage early on has you go through a saw-mill, looking on at the deadly saws behind closed glass; however, you soon find out that being splatted is how you’re meant to die. It’s moments like these that help add to the surprise, and some of the later stages can make you laugh out loud once you your intended fate finally ‘clicks’.

Controls are relatively straightforward for the most part, and manipulating objects (such as drills) with your massive  hands is particularly satisfying – although I will say that the button mapping isn’t always the most intuitive; in particular, I always had issues remembering what the crouch and jump buttons were, but the slow nature of the gameplay meant that it never mattered all that much either. 

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Unfortunately, all this charm and creativity is spoiled by one major issue: the game is riddled with some major bugs that can make the game nigh on impossible to get through. Some of them can be resolved by restarting the level, such as the one mentioned earlier, but others are much harder to bypass. Oftentimes it’s an issue where the physics won’t work properly, and objects get stuck (sometimes in thin air), or perhaps it’ll be a wall that you can just fall out of by pressing against it. One level would literally push me out of a wall just by climbing a ladder and holding forward at the top.

There are also moments where the levels don’t take into account the teleportation movement mode. Anywhere you need to duck under will allow you to teleport but can then result in you getting stuck inside a wall. One level early on was even impossible to beat without pressing the jump button – thus forcing you to use the smooth control scheme.

These issues occurred frequently and affected almost every stage, and there were stages that were seemingly unbeatable (at least on the PSVR1 version, since I watched a playthrough of someone playing on PC without encountering the same issues). It’s a real shame too, as the game is genuinely really enjoyable in VR and deserves to be patched sufficiently enough so that people can really enjoy playing it.

VERDICT
The Guy VR would be a fantastic PSVR experience if it wasn’t riddled with a variety of major bugs. From walls that can be walked through to physics that just refuse to work sometimes, it can be a real test of patience as you’re forced to continually restart in order to get through the game. A patch so long after release is probably unlikely at this point, but hopefully it happens one day as that is the one thing stopping me from wholeheartedly recommending it.