Give the full levels of immersion offered by Virtual Reality and the general sci-fi esq aura they seem to have, it is a wonder that sci-fi racing games – as a genre – haven’t covered more ground in this segment. Could XOCUS’ ZRace VR have what it takes to give this niche a little more attention?
Following in the footsteps of games like WipEout: Omega Collection and, Radial-G: Racing Revolved – which have both given gamers a good idea of imaginary space-car racing might be like, however, this segment is still lacking in terms of available choices to play.
To remedy some of those issues, Z Race VR’s approach looks to liven things up by opting for a 3rd person view over the more common 1st person view. Beyond this, the game’s visual style and Formula 1 inspired space racers are some of the other unique features that this title stands out from the others – can’t really call it a crowd.
The design of the race courses themselves is also a well put together affair. Though mostly tubular in their building, there are moments when they are open, exposing pristine views for racers.
Generally speaking, Z Race VR has what it takes to become a truly enjoyable game. However, the fun comes to an end far too quickly. For starters, there are only 10 vehicles for players to choose from and these are split into categories based on the speed of the space racer ships. In order to move up from one category to the next, players will have to upgrade their vehicle to the maximum of its capabilities – which can only be done by using coins gathered through playing and winning races.
As for the race tracks, there are a total of twelve to race on and, in much the same way as the vehicles, these are also split across three categories – which are the Bronze, the Silver and the Gold cups respectively. The tracks are far less impressive in terms of variety of the terrains – making the experience feel monotonous by the time you get to the Gold cup. However, XOCUS attempts to relieve this stress by increasing the number of obstacles one may encounter during a race.
These obstacles – there to make the game more challenging of course – will slow you down when you hit them, so avoidance is key. However, this is easier asind than done when racing spaceships in a tunnel. To help with that, Z Race VR gives players options like nitro-boost – which are blue orbs scattered around the track – and the ability to use slow-mo – which can be used 3 times per race.
Z Race VR can make for some properly thrilling gameplay, with stiff competition with the intense thrill of high speed sci-fi racing. However, not seeing the action from inside of the cockpit may not sit well with some players who’ve already gotten themselves acquainted with sci-fi racing – as first person view is the truest means of rendering the sensation of moving at high speeds.