- System: PSVR 2, MetaQuest
- Publisher: Truant Pixel, LLC
- Developer: Truant Pixel, LLC
- Release Date: February 21, 2023
- Rating: T for Teen
- Genre: Arcade
- Players: 1
- Official Website: https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP0964-PPSA10469_00-0859159378301341
The PSVR 2, Sony’s second take on their virtual reality device has been released and already we’ve seen plenty of games to get hyped for. While the launch window of games was a bit questionable, we can’t deny there are plenty of solid titles to enjoy and one of them caught our eyes almost immediately here at Honey’s Anime! Clearly inspired by 80s anime like Akira, RUNNER by developer Truant Pixel is a love letter to those early sci-fi anime days like Akira and Macross.
We have played several hours of this on-rails arcade-like title but does it deserve buying the almost $600 PSVR 2 headset or should you load up some old anime and get super close to the screen? We find out in our review of RUNNER for the PSVR 2!
Get on That Bike and Drive!
The story for RUNNER is pretty simple and honestly isn’t worth focusing on too much. Your goal is to take control of MINA, grab your futuristic motorcycle, don your two guns, and ride to escape the city from a bunch of police aiming to take you down! The focus of RUNNER is driving through a city filled with vehicles and enemies/checkpoints and surviving…simple as that. There is deeper lore to RUNNER but to see what we mean, you’ll have to keep reading as we discuss an added bonus when you buy RUNNER!
Returning to the gameplay. RUNNER is pretty simple. With your fancy new PSVR 2 controllers, you have controls for the bike itself which can shoot various armaments out, and two guns that use energy. As you race along the highways you can grab energy to fix damages to your bike and with enough energy, you can go into a Matrix-like mode where you can dual wield both guns holstered in your bike and unleash hell on your pursuers. The gameplay never really deviates from this formula and only occasionally will a larger enemy stand in your way as you escape. As you progress through RUNNER you’ll gain new weapons, upgrades and abilities that will make escaping easier and you’ll need that if you want to complete this short but difficult VR title.
These Images Bring Back Nostalgia
Usually we aren’t people who judge a book by its cover but we can’t deny RUNNER was one of those purchases we made because of the cover. From the trailer to the intro sequence, RUNNER appealed to our older otaku days when we’d watch those cool sci-fi anime on Saturday or via a VHS we rented from Blockbuster. From the art to the music, which was done mostly by Fat Bard, RUNNER screams older anime and that makes it so easy to jump into.
No Sickness Here
Here at Honey’s Anime we won’t deny that many VR games give us extreme motion sickness. While the PSVR 2 has also given us some moments of bad nausea, especially when we played a game about Kayaking, RUNNER surprisingly was pretty easy on the stomach! Yeah when our gaming sessions went past an hour or two, we felt a bit sick but RUNNER’s use of minimal movement made it easy to play for longer sessions. Does it completely eliminate motion sickness? No. Again, you’ll feel it no doubt if the PSVR 1 or 2 already gets you a bit queasy but RUNNER can be played for a bit with minimal issues, at least for us.
Comes with a bonus Game!?
You might be surprised when you download RUNNER and see a separate download in the form of RUNNER: Preamble appear. No, you didn’t get hoodwinked for two games but are instead getting a prequel VN—similar to the experience found in Ghostwire: Tokyo—with fully voice segments and a solid soundtrack! Preamble isn’t an extremely lengthy VN but it does a nice job of giving you more depth to the world of VICE, a main character in RUNNER, and his purpose in this tech-heavy future.
RUNNER isn’t worth buying a PSVR 2 for but if you have the system already, we can’t deny it’s a great game to buy for your VR library! With fast-paced on-rail gunplay and arcade racing, RUNNER is a fun VR experience that is perfect for that old-school otaku. Plus, the price of only $14.99 for basically two games is an even sweeter deal overall! We are loving RUNNER and even now can’t wait to finish our review and hop back on our futuristic bikes to take down some corrupt baddies!
Are you grabbing RUNNER for your PSVR 2 library? You should let us know in the comment section below! For more game reviews and all things otaku, keep stuck to our 80s-themed hive here at Honey’s Anime!