VTOL VR Multiplayer Beta: Impressions
VTOL VR is a game that, without looking photo-realistic, managed to immerse me like no other game had done in VR. Stable framerates on mid-range machines, immersive cockpit interactivity and unparalleled blend of realism and simplicity. I have always loved this game but, like many, I noticed the biggest flaw that it had: its lack of multiplayer.
When we saw that BahamutoD, lead dev and creator of this title, announced that a public test of the multiplayer feature was available both Ribbon-Blue and I jumped right in to test it. I am not going to lie, I was pretty excited when I heard the news. Until then, players had to rely on a community-made third party mod to use multiplayer, so this was a long time coming.
The first aspect we tested was the stability of the "netcode", or, how well could clients see each other and how the clients synced. I am extremely happy to report that our experience with this was extremely stable. There was never a case of client de-sync, enabling us to fly in close formation, dogfight and engage targets without any issue.
Staggered carrier take-offs and naval ops were awesome to explore in multiplayer, but what really changed the way these scenarios changed was the ability to share information between aircraft to build even more situational awareness (SA) than before. We had more fun in PvE scenarios just because of this. Marking targets with IR lasers at night with night vision googles (NVG) on, planning your own objectives with your friends and using the aircraft to its absolute limits, that is what made this beta worth it to me.
Aside from gameplay, I was highly impressed by how smooth the entire experience was. From choosing a lobby to getting airborne, every step of the way is as clean as it can be. Menus are simple and easy to read and before you sortie out, you enter a briefing room where you and your teammates can plan out everything, load your weapons and go. It is impressive, but I kind of expected this. After all, this same level of polish was first seen in BahamutoD's secondary title: Jetborne Racing. This racing spin-off served as testbed for networking within the developer's framework, allowing him to hone his skills to make VTOL VR's multiplayer transition even smoother than it could have been.
VTOL VR's multiplayer is the last piece in the puzzle for me to consider this as a must own title for everyone with a VR headset. You have to try this out for yourself. It might be hard to adjust to not having physical feedback from a joystick, but believe me when I told you that this compromise is well worth it for the immersion that you will experience.
About the author:
Santiago "Cubeboy" Cuberos
Longtime aviation fanatic with particular preference towards military aviation and its history. Said interests date back to the early 2000's leading into his livelong dive into civil and combat flight simulators. He has been involved in a few communities but only started being active around the mid 2010's. Joined as a Spanish to English translator in 2017, he has been active as a writer and the co-founder of Skyward ever since. Twitter | Discord: Cubeboy #9034