Review Code Provided
You play as Chieko the bad ass cyber ninja out on a mission to discover what happened to the Sairento network and who is behind the hacking which leads many of her Sairento peers to lose their senses and be manipulated into attack her, believing her to be the enemy.
There’s a whole host of options available to set the game up to play how you most feel comfortable. You can change whether or not you can flip, how quickly you can move, whether or not you turn based on where you’re looking or pointing with the controller, etc. There really are an abundance of options to try and make it as accessible to as many players as possible, it even offers the ability to use the 3D Rudder, a foot operated controller that allows you to move about in the game while leaving your hands free to focus on the action.
If you’re curious about the 3D Rudder you can find more information here.
There are a few game modes to choose from in Sairento but they all boil down to the same thing, fighting hordes of enemies in arena like settings. The campaign is very short and sweet so it won’t take you very long to get through it, particularly if your level of ninja awesomeness rivals Chieko’s herself. One major problem I had with the campaign was the length on the levels, you can literally get through the first few missions in about five minutes. There is a co-op mode but I couldn’t find a match for that so was relegated to playing by myself. There’s a map full of missions you can access, similar to the map you might find in Payday: the Heist and much like that game, they seem to be endless in this one as well. There’s also a challenge mode where you can see how long you can last against endless enemies or fight through endless enemies as the difficulty increases the longer you stay alive.
Replayability definitely seems to be the purpose of Sairento since everything seems to be geared towards that goal, you get random loot drops that will increase your character’s weapon stats, when applied; like allowing you to carry more ammunition, deal more damage or increase your reload speed, basically everything you would want when it comes to stat boosting. You’ll even get daily rewards for playing to encourage you to go on regularly and keep your ninja skills sharp.
Sairento has a decent arsenal, allowing you to swap your loadout from the dojo. You can carry different handguns or maybe grab a shotgun if the mood takes you, or if you really want to, you can go full ninja and load yourself up with shuriken and kunai and maybe a nice pair or tiger claw gauntlets. There’s a fair bit of customisation to be had with the arsenal as well since you can add relics to your weapons that improve their initial stats or you can even change the colour. My personal favourite was taking the energy sword and changing its colour and I even had a mod to make it double ended so none of my enemies could stand in my way. For all you Star Wars fans out there you can pretend to be a cyber ninja Jedi, since the energy sword has the appearance of a katana themed lightsaber and comes complete with the sounds you know and love from the iconic tool of a Jedi’s trade.
When it comes to the actual gameplay of Sairento, many of you who have played games like Shadow Warrior may already be familiar with the premise, but while it is a bit like that one, it’s also got a style that’s all it’s own thanks to the abilities Chieko has. You’ll be running along walls, sliding around and flipping every which way, even upside down, and yes you can still dispatch your enemies during flips so you’ll get to feel like a complete bad ass. A lot of the movement features, like with any VR game, are subjective to how comfortable you feel while playing. If you’re the kind of person who can barely take one step without suffering the dreaded motion sickness, you might want to stick to teleporting around and disable any of the fancy acrobatics. Luckily I don’t tend to get affected by motion sickness so I had all of the aerial manoeuvres turned on and had the movement set to be as free as possible, short of phasing into it Tron style and I can say without a doubt, it’s a blast to play. The movement is fast and fluid and flipping upside down was one of my favourite things to do, it was very trippy the first time I attempted it though.
The only problem I have with VR, which is unavoidable in any game with melee weapons, is the weightlessness with the weapons. It never feels like you’re actually fighting, though if it did it may be that you’ve taken to accidentally pummelling someone else in the room. I did find that you didn’t really have to be precise with your weapons either, you could block bullets and other projectiles with your sword but if you’re expecting some epic one on one sword fights with lots of clashes and blade wrestling, you’ll be disappointed. A lot of the time you could just run about aimlessly flailing your arms around and you’d have no problem slicing through your enemies, on occasion I would even charge into them with my sword held straight out and it would do the trick.
There’s definitely some challenge to be had if that’s what you like, a lot of the time I would get stabbed in the back by some teleporting, kunai throwing ninja so you really have to try and be aware of your surroundings whenever possible because it can be fairly easy to slip up and get killed. I only played on the standard difficulty so I didn’t have too much trouble, but those among you who are braver will be glad to know that there are a couple of notches above the normal difficulty to really get your blood pumping.
Sairento VR is a fun little VR game offering a lot of replayable fast paced action and would be a fine addition to anyone’s VR library. If you’re looking for something new to play with your PSVR then this one is definitely worth checking out, I had quite a bit of fun with it myself. Unfortunately, if you happen to have seen the screenshots on Sairento’s official website, you might be expecting something visually spectacular but what we get instead is something that looks like it was made to run on a PS2. This is understandable given the PS4’s limited specs so if you wanted something more pleasing to the eye you might be better off picking this one up on the PC, assuming you have a compatible VR device and a capable machine of course.
If you want to learn more about Sairento VR you can visit the official website here.