An action-filled virtual joyride

Platform: Oculus Rift S, Oculus Rift
Genre: Action adventure
Publisher: Oculus Studios
Developer: Twisted Pixel Games

By Jan Ole Peek // Shacknews.com (TNS)

The product of Twisted Pixel Games and Oculus Studios, Defector puts you in the body of an agent on a mission and runs the gamut of typically sticky situations that super spies tend to find themselves in.

The story is told in a series of mission debriefings where you explain what happened in a variety of locales to your interviewer. It’s not clear who you work for, but it’s obvious that things didn’t go as planned. As you recount each mission, you relive them in full motion virtual reality.

The controls in Defector are standard virtual reality fare and allow you the freedom of playing in just about any way you like. It is one of the few VR games that lets you take proper cover behind objects and walls, provided you’re willing to crouch down. Leaning around corners to take cover on an airplane with bullets whizzing past your head is an experience everyone should have at least a few times.

Movement occurs via full locomotion and use of the thumbsticks. There’s no teleportation here. You can choose from snap and smooth turning options and, of course, you can simply turn your own body. Seated playing is also supported.

Combat comes in the form of melee and ranged weapons. You’re able to use just a small variety of firearms and the weapon and ammo reside on your hip. Thankfully, if you drop something like a weapon or tool that’s required for your mission, Defector will just place it back in your inventory or its holster automatically. Melee combat is surprisingly fun; just don’t think about what you look like to anyone watching you outside of your VR headset. There are several encounters where you’re forced into fistfights, none of which were particularly difficult to win..

Defector is easy to pick up and enjoy and could quickly become the title that you use to show off VR to your friends. I have no doubt that even inexperienced players can get into it quickly and live out their secret agent fantasies. Just keep an eye on them if they’re jumping out of that airplane for the first time.

Twisted Pixel Games and Oculus have created a wonderfully immersive and polished VR experience with Defector. Your journey will leave you wanting more so much so that you’re almost bound to go back for seconds. The graphics, sound design, voice acting, and freedom of movement are a great representation of what VR gaming can be today, and everyone should give it a try.