When I visited Bethesda’s area during E3 2019, one of the titles I got to try was Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot. This game places you in the shows of a hacker in the French Resistance who is using her skills to command various powerful war machines, which you’ll be using to destroy the armies of the Reich. Quite wholesome!
Now I have to admit: I had never used a Vive headset before, only a PSVR, so this took some getting used to. The controls were entirely different and far more accurate (and sensitive) than anything I’d used before.
E3 2019 – Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot Preview
Once I took a minute to get used to the movement, it felt great. Due to the feedback in the controllers, it truly felt like I was pushing different buttons or pulling the arms on a giant mech around. After the tutorial was through, I was set loose on the streets of Nazi-occupied France. This isn’t an on-rails shooter: you’re in full control.
The most immediately noticeable thing for me was just how good it looked. The quality was great, with very little blur or visible artifacts compared to other VR games I’ve played. Now, I’m sure part of that comes from the game being run on a high-end PC and being seen through a Vive headset, which has a higher resolution than other models, so do bear that in mind.
You’re equipped with a powerful flamethrower on your right hand and a rocket launcher on your left. You can also crush weaker infantry under your mech’s feet. By slamming my left hand in a sharp motion, I could put up emergency shields, while the right allowed me to call in repair drones. I can’t emphasize this enough: the way it feels as the guns pivot from side-to-side is simply awesome. The feedback and visual quality make for one of the best feeling VR games I’ve ever played.
It’s not just a giant mech that you’ll control in the full game though, as there are other vehicles like flying scouts. This 15-minute demo only allowed use of the massive mech.
As much as you seem unstoppable though, you’ll definitely need to be careful, as your foes throw all manner of heavy troops at you and your health (indicated by a row of lights in the cockpit) will quickly be whittled away if you aren’t careful. I only died once during my session, when I failed to notice that my health had gotten low.
The main issue I had was with movement. While I didn’t feel any motion sickness, the controls were ridiculously sensitive and I learned I had to just barely rest my thumb in a particular direction in order to move. Still, that’s not a fault of the game – once it finally clicked, I actually found the controls remarkably fluid and intuitive.
The demo was short and ended after a brief but fierce fight against two other massive mechs. It also ended on a wonderful line, as mission control helpfully reminded me “You can’t debate a Nazi, but you sure can destroy them.”
All in all, while I’m not sure I’d buy a VR headset just for this one game, I can definitely say that if you have a VR headset already, you should absolutely look at grabbing this. Using mechs and killing Nazis are wonderful things separately. Combined in a VR game? Yes please.
Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot releases on PC and PlayStation 4 on July 26th, 2019, alongside Wolfenstein: Youngblood. It will naturally require a VR headset for either platform in order to play. It’ll be $19.99 USD, so it’s not a full-priced game.
If you’d like to read my other E3 2019 coverage, you can check out the links below:
- Doom Eternal Hands-On Preview
- Gears 5 Escape Mode Preview
- Project xCloud Is the Power of the Cloud in the Palm of Your Hand
- Borderlands 3 Promises a World of Color, Guns and Colorful Guns
- Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood Preview
- The Sinking City Puts Together the Clues of Madness
- Cyberpunk 2077 Shows a Breathtaking Glimpse into a Heart-stopping Future
- The Riftbreaker Preview
- Iron Harvest Shows the Toll of War
- Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout Preview
- Dying Light 2 Preview
- An Interview with Adrian Ciszewski, Creative Director at Techland on Dying Light 2
- Journey to the Savage Planet Preview
- An Interview with Alex Hutchinson, Co-founder of Typhoon Studios