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Panoptic (Steam VR)

Panoptic (Steam VR)

Panoptic (Steam VR)

System: Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift & Windows MR
Price at Time Of Review: £11.39
Comfort Rating: Red
Genre: Party Games
Input: Tracked Motion Controllers
Best Playing Position: Standing
Multi-Player: Yes
Age Rating: 15+
VR Shop Score 1/100: 90

Description: Panoptic is a tense, 1v1 asymmetrical VR vs PC game that pits a colossal Overseer, armed with a slow but devastating eye laser, against a tiny dissident Being intent on destroying the Overseer’s energy sources by mimicking the movements of others to remain undetected. Born out of a multi-award winning game jam prototype, Panoptic sees one player enter virtual reality as the Overseer, a powerful being that searches the world and its inhabitants for any signs of an uprising. The other player uses the PC, and becomes one of the tiny Beings under the watchful eye of the Overseer. Tasked with destroying the Overseer’s energy sources, blending in becomes critical. A misstep, breaking away from the crowd cover of other Beings, or being spotted destroying an energy orb turns the search into a nerve-wracking hunt. Armed with a slow-charging eye laser capable of killing a Being with a single shot, the Overseer will suddenly have the advantage, as the dissident Being attempts to once again hide in plain sight. With an unsettling, mysterious atmosphere that hints at a dark and secretive lore, Panoptic features several levels and environments, a wondrous sense of scale, and short – but constantly intense – rounds of local 1v1 competition.

Review: Panoptic is a game that sounds pretty simple on paper but in the reality of the game this is a complex game that is deeper in strategy than any game you have played before. The idea is one player in VR tries to hide in plain sight and the other (using the PC) must work out who the other player is and who is an NPC. Sound simple right? Well…its not and it takes a keen eye to spot your friend out from the crowd. At times it’s frustratingly hard and at other times it is bum clenching tension and endless fun.

The main problem here is not so much the value for money as I do think £11.39 is a good price for such a well thought out and endlessly fun game. No, the main problem is getting someone to play with you. At times it will be hard and that also means it gets rather boring for the player who isn’t in VR. It’s about choosing the right friend and that friend having a load of patients with an end gold of catching you out. This is a genius idea for a VR game that everyone should try and play at least once (even if you are just the finder).

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