Down & Out – The PlayStation VR2 Review

January 15, 2024 ·

Fighting in games can be a hit or miss. Sometimes being able to hit an enemy and see some type of impact makes it worthwhile, while other times, no matter what you do seems to have no impact, and makes you overthink what your next move will be. But if we must think of our next move, does that mean that our strategy in itself, needs to change? It’s interesting when you think about it. So does developer, Zatun, give us the skills to survive the streets? Let’s find out with Down and Out for the PlayStation VR2.

Down and Out is a first-person brawler where you take to the mean streets as a wandering fighter, fresh to the streets and eager to prove yourself. Face waves of enemies in an intuitive, real-time combat system, rise to the top of the street-fighting rings, or explore the city and stake out your territory! Wealth and fame await you in an open world brought to life in VR, where both danger and opportunities lie around every corner.

So before going in like you rule these streets, there are a few things that you will want to know about. First, stretch. You will be throwing punches and other activities, so you don’t want to pull anything while playing and pay for it later on. Second, make sure your Sense controllers are fully charged. You don’t want to go into these streets about to defend yourself when your controllers die because you didn’t feel like charging them. And lastly, just go in with a carefree attitude and some time to kill, and before you know it, the streets will be all yours. With that said, let’s continue…

One of the first things that you notice about this city, is the art style. It’s grungy and gives the illusion that you small fish in a big pond. I felt like when I first entered, it could be a nice town. You could hear some vehicles going by and just the sounds of the city all around you with even the overcast of the smog up above. You do have just your two hands throughout the game where you will be using them for different activities and of course, fighting. The first part of the game is all about getting accustomed to your new life in the city. So as I moved ahead past the cop cars, there was a sign with a few choices such as BGM and SFX, but also I could view the credits if I wanted to or just start with a new game. So venturing out, you start with $0.00. I mean, what better way to enter a shady part of town with nothing to your name and your fists? And what better way than walking up to someone who is peacefully facing the wall, throwing some things at them, fighting them, only to then get a spray can so you can paint a wall and have a cop show up? Oh, the city life.

You start Down & Out with $0.00. So it’s up to you to do a variety of activities to earn money. Some of these tasks include things like finding a wallet in the dumpster before the time runs out, standing your ground to defend your spot, Basketball, to even chasing the pizza delivery guy on a bike all before the time runs out. But sometimes, it’s just trying to walk through the streets and minding your business when someone has to come up to you to start trouble.

As you keep moving through the city, new activities will become available, and where the fights become more of a 2 vs 1 to an all-out city gang fight vs only you. Once you survive and you have earned enough money, you can visit the store where the clerk is masked up and I was able to choose my selection of a variety of gloves before I headed across the street to play some hoops.

Let’s look at the graphics and sound. The part of the city that you are in does make it feel like the not-so-good part of town. With the strange characters that walk around, that looks like some could be on some type of illegal substance that you want no part of. Items from the different activities looked ok and the outer parts of the city had this art style that does work in VR. With the sound, I wanted to hear the different sounds of the city to see how close to real it could be. Closing my eyes and hearing the different sounds of the city helped me envision that I was there in that city. Punches had a little bass along with using the bat (R.I.P. pizza delivery guy). I also liked how the music would kick in during the fights. I mean, might as well have some tunes in these city streets.

There are some things that I hope to get updated and added. For one, more activities. There are a handful of activities, that even though you can keep doing, I just wanted more of them to do. Going around the city and doing the same activities works for a while, but having more would add something to it. Second, riding the bicycle. I am not sure what was happening, but the activity where you have to chase the pizza delivery guy while throwing things and using a bat just felt off at times. I tried to reset my view a couple of times, but it was almost like I was riding off-center at times. Also, there was no way to speed up while riding so I hope this can be added to the controls. Third, more boss fights. I think having more activities while ranking up to become the boss of the city would be a nice touch. Fourth, an update to the graphics. Originally playing Down and Out on the Rift S, it just seems something is off. I am not sure if the game is fully using the PlayStation VR2 visuals. This is not to say things are not clear when coming close to the dog, which I liked the look of, it’s just maybe I wanted to see this big comparison between PCVR to PSVR2. Plus, it would be nice to see the impacts of the faces when you are fighting. Fifth, the use of the PlayStation VR2 capabilities such as eye tracking. Sixth, update to the settings. There is not an option to play sitting. That is how I was playing and maybe that gave me this advantage where I could just everyone more easily. But it would be nice to have choices for the settings for the types of turns and play style. We have to remember, not everyone is going to play the same way. there are going to be players that may be disabled where they can’t stand for long periods or be able to play with certain movements and we don’t want to leave them out. And finally, more of the city. By the looks of it, the city is big and just being able to visit a portion of it made me want to explore more of the city.

Down and Out gives that VR experience to brawl through the streets of the city while leaving us wanting more. It may not be for everyone, but given the chance and if updates can be made, there very well be a reason to return to the streets. In life, most of us strive every day to be as positive as we can be, but then there is something that will set us off and if we start to feel down, may get in this spin of things where it seems we can get out and making our lives much worse than it needs to be. But if treat everyone with kindness and not only give the respect that every person deserves, we just may get that respect in return, and couldn’t we all benefit from respecting ourselves and each other?

Down and Out is out now for PlayStation VR and PlayStation VR2 on the PlayStation Store and is also available for the Oculus Rift/S on the Oculus Store and Steam VR. A review code was provided.

To learn more about Zatun, please visit their site, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, follow them on Instagram, and subscribe to their YouTube channel.

In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I am going to try and clean up these streets.

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