Courtesy of the folks at MarineVerse, for the last few days I’ve been spending some time on the seas with the VR sailing sim MarineVerse Cup. I’ve been playing here on the standalone Quest 2, where the title is currently in the App Lab. This means of course that it’s one which hasn’t gone through the standard Oculus review, and shouldn’t really be held to the same high standards as the regular catalog.
MarineVerse Cup is a competitive VR sailing simulation, with practice areas and fairly decent tutorials as well as currently holding daily PvP races. You’ll get a decent run down on the very basics of sailing, and while it’s not going to let you sail across the Atlantic, from a non-sailor’s point of view it feels nice and simmy.
As you sail, you’ll have control of independent sails and steering for the most part. Using these two mechanics you’ll need to use real world sailing tactics to tack your way through the fairly simple race courses and set your time for the day. There are currently a small number of ships available, with a small one-sail dinghy, a larger two-sail yacht and the speedy Waszp.
As an App Lab title, they are still working on the features available and in future are looking to implement real-world sailing rules, as well as enhanced tutorials. As it stands, it’s one I’ve had some fun with. It’ll be a good one for those leaderboard-hungry competitive players out there who play at odd times, with the ability to replay old races as well as set independent times.
Parent’s Eye View
MarineVerse Cup is rated by PEGI at 3 and above here on the App Lap store. There’s nothing to worry about here, as you might expect and it’s one which I wouldn’t mind the micro-bandits getting involved with. The sim nature of the title and the different controls you’ll need to get your head around mean that I don’t think that it’s one the really young generation will really enjoy, but with the 13+ nature of Oculus things should be fine either way
In terms of accessibility, MarineVerse Cup is picking up a rating of moderate. Vessels do vary in size, and with the larger yacht you can either walk around the ship yourself (if you have space) or use teleport mechanics. With that said, while I’m usually pretty ok with teleport VR titles, this one has still given me a little motion sickness.
In some ways, I’ve been putting this down to realism within the title, but it’s definitely worth a note for those who are susceptible to motion sickness. Other than that this is one which does have multitasking requirements and is a little tough when racing to beat the best times set by players worldwide.
The Run Down
Visuals – Lacking: On the standalone Quest 2 platform this one looks around as good as you should expect for an App Lab title, but overall it’s not one which I’d want to show off to friends. The clouds are quite basic and appear and disappear on a dime, and spray effects and water clipping through the boat let it down a little. It is still a work in progress however, and overall I’ve definitely found that the visuals don’t affect the experience
Audio – Good: The sound effects in game work wonderfully and do help with a feel of immersion. Music is exactly as you’d expect from a sim title of this nature, and working together effects and OST provide a solid experience. I’d have liked to see a little more work go into the voice commentary, which at the moment is very Stephen Hawking.
Narrative – Fair: To be blunt there isn’t a narrative here, however with the sim nature of the title I think that’s pretty fair. I always love a good narrative, but don’t think it should be expected in this case.
Replay – Good: One thing which isn’t mentioned in the future content is more courses here, which is something I’d definitely like to see. There are a small number of courses here, as well as some stock boats. Multiplayer does add a drag back in, with new races to run every day, and that pull back in, for me, has pulled it up from Fair to Good.
With the App Lab nature of MarineVerse Cup, we’re covering it here as a Preview rather than Review, and with this in mind it’s not really appropriate to give it a final rating. I will say that currently, it’s one that I’ve had a lot of fun with. In addition, the title currently has 96% of ratings on the Oculus store as five stars, with the remaining 4% split evenly between 4 and 2 stars.
This one is a really immersive experience, and while I’m not well versed in the art of sailing it seems like quite an accurate sim experience (something echoed by sailing enthusiasts in the store reviews). I’ve had to take it slow here, simply due to some motion sickness, but I can’t stop jumping in to try and improve and eventually get onto those leaderboards