VR can be a magical place sometimes, but other times it can be a great way to make yourself dizzy and repaint your living room all the colors in your stomach. Many games in recent years have tried to make VR more comfortable, with mixed results. You’ll either end up with something that completely destroys the immersion, which is most of the point of VR, or something that still makes your inner ear think you’ve fallen asleep inside an active washing machine. stray light is an action-packed VR title that sees you swinging through a giant void, and yet claims it won’t make you sick. I’ll have to see it to believe it.
stray light break the mold
stray light it’s a hard game to describe with regular genre tags. It’s effectively similar to other hyper-casual games like Clustertruck, giving you individual levels to try to beat with the simple goal of getting through all the checkpoints until you reach the end. The key trick is that you are crawling along a track made up of glowing orbs using the title stray light like a techno-themed Spider-Man. Along the way, he’ll be joined by a mysterious and slightly sinister voice, vaguely explaining the rules and trying his best not to sound like male-presenting GladOS.
There isn’t much of a story, beyond the fact that you find yourself trapped in a strange void being psychopathic by a voiceover. Is there any information about the stray light device itself, but questions about where it is, what is happening, or what the stray light they even veer to the side in favor of a heavy focus on gameplay, psychedelic imagery, and a variety of background music depending on the situation.
stray light – Control S
Answering the question of whether stray light control well or not is quite complicated. In truth, there is much more intuition than instruction. There’s a tutorial stage that gently guides you through the basic operation of the game, using your two gauntlets to target glowing nodes, then attaching a light-based rope to them to push yourself off. As you progress, the challenges become more difficult and there are more deadly obstacles to face. The only real problem is that beyond telling you “how you move your arms affects how you move around the map”, it doesn’t tell you how the two actually correlate.
For example, you can act like Spider-Man, grabbing nodes and pulling back to shoot forward. However, it’s also a perfectly viable strategy to simply move your hand around a bit while holding a node to achieve the same effect without a properly explored reason. Still, it’s not that bad. The controls are something you have to learn by doing, and after a while, they become like second nature. It’s great that you get to learn the exact nuances of how these strange alien devices work like you just discovered them for yourself.
stray light – How to play
Overall, my first hour or two with the game was pretty fun. It’s easy to get almost zen-like as you swing and crawl at fairly high speeds in the early levels, navigating corners with ease, and enjoying the feeling of shooting into an eerie purple vortex at the end. The problem is that much of the game revolves around the idea of repetition. Retry the challenges over and over again until you get them right. That’s not a problem if you like it, but it can be a bit frustrating, especially when things start to get complicated.
From the 11 main levels you start stray light with, the second half or so starts to ramp up the challenge. Making you fly through levels with limited checkpoints or weird repetitive patterns that you have to solve. It becomes a kind of wear test, which you may not have the patience for, but it can also prompt you to find interesting shortcuts in the levels that become secret paths to unlock the best possible times, made even more enjoyable thanks to the inclusion of ghosts from your previous races to compete against.
stray light – Levels and Modes
The first 11 levels can last anywhere from a couple of hours to several weeks, depending on how well you manage to navigate the tricky twists and time puzzles. But, the game doesn’t end once you run out of standard levels, you also have 11 more intense levels to complete that up the challenge a bit more, as well as a Zen Mode that allows you to enjoy a selection of levels without any death state. to worry about, apart from plummeting into the void, of course. Overall, these new levels end up giving the game a decent length, assuming you don’t have to stop playing out of frustration.
Zen mode is by far the best. You can listen to the amazing soundtrack and admire the epic cosmic landscape while swinging as fast or as slow as you want. You can get through most obstacles, even the giant sun-like thing in the center of the level, giving you the unique opportunity to shoot it right and see what they look like inside. In many ways, it’s a shame that Zen Mode is restricted to a handful of levels chosen by the game, rather than a modifier you can select upon starting a session.
stray light – Sound, Visuals and Comfort
As mentioned above, the music and images in stray light they are top-notch for PSVR 1. The soundtrack is filled with a mix of thumping and chilling synth music composed by Rob Kovacs that is worth the price of admission alone. In fact, you can have a much better time in the main game simply by turning on the voices and sound effects and sliding through the game. Visually it’s relatively standard from a fidelity standpoint, but the cosmic universe the game builds is incredibly immersive. You really feel like you’re flying through a strange kingdom, plunging into mysterious portals at the end of each level.
Of course, one of the main claims of stray light It’s been that it’s comfortable to play, despite being the kind of VR game that usually makes parts of your inner ear scream. On that front, it’s actually a partial success. If you try to play the game standing up, you’ll likely end up with the VR headset on your TV first, but sitting down is actually a pretty serene experience. While users who are extremely sensitive to VR reported needing to stop playing after a while, others who typically experience mild VR sickness seemed to be able to play indefinitely. It’s not exactly clear how the game’s developers managed to make it comfortable to play without compromising visual comfort, but it seems they’ve mostly succeeded.
General, stray light It ended up being an interesting experience. On one hand, it was so frustrating that I felt like breaking something, but on the other hand, there was always something that would hold me back. Whether it’s the fantastic music, the serene feel of playing, or the thrill of completing a difficult challenge, it’s still something I find hard to put down. This is a game for those who want something to truly master through constant repetition. Each new shortcut unlocked is a new path that could save you precious nanoseconds of your time, and when you get frustrated, that Zen Mode will always be there to relax you again.
Tech Raptor revised stray light on PlayStation VR with a code provided by the developers. The game is also available for PC and Meta Quest 2.