I do not know when I first heard of Jeff Minter, but I had played his games before it happened. I associate him mainly with his frantic shooters. Wild, abstract, and very pure pieces of action art which did the most of each platform's ability to smoothly display as many colours and shapes as possible on the screen at once. Simple gameplay wrapped in a fantastically trippy package, they felt to me like an artifact of ages past, gems created by an auteur but which had fallen by the wayside as the world moved on to more complexity, fancier machines and new ways to play.
It is so nice to be wrong.
Not only has Jeff Minter kept making games, one of them is brand new and was immediately recommended to me when I mentioned my purchase of the Playstation VR: Polybius.
Here we are in 2017, and through my brand new VR headset flows the most Minter of Minter creations, one of the purest shooters and an excellent example of what VR can do. It is fair to say it looks and feels retro, but it is completely at home on this brand new platform, as if all Llamasoft was waiting for was for technology to catch up to their visions.
I would not be surprised if that was the case, come to think of it.
There is not much point in providing screen shots or 2D video, but here is Nine inch nails' awesome video for Less than instead (backstory):
Like all shooters, it has rougher spots. There are gameplay elements I do not enjoy as much as the rest. But mainly, and on the whole, Polybius is about getting into the flow, staying there and having an experience. An experience no less immersive platform can approach. Of course it is VR, why would it be anything else?
I am heaping on praise and fancy expressions here, and perhaps making the game sound like a difficult thing to get into, something you need to be in a certain place to appreciate.
It is not.
Polybius is a very simple shooter to pick up and play. It works great in short sessions, there are no complex controls, and you have at least as much fun re-playing levels as you do advancing to new ones.
Oh, it is cheap to pick up, and a very small download as modern games go. If you have splurged for a Playstation VR, you should invest in Polybius. It pays back in no time at all.