Call of the Mountain: Exploring Hidden Valleys in Call-of-The-Mountain with Sony’s New Sense and Move Controllers
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Sony’s new headset is a massive improvement over its predecessor in almost every way. Gone are the external camera and processor boxes. Plug the headset into the front of the game console. The old Move controllers (which were initially designed to compete with Nintendo’s Wiimotes) have also been upgraded to more robust Sense controllers. It can even track your eye movements inside the headset itself.
The Sense controllers proved to be very impressive when things went wrong and it was time to begin survival mode. The feedback I got on my boat, bow and arrow was different and it made it easier to get immersed in the action. Climbing up mountains felt especially tense and thrilling, to the point where my real-life hands started to sweat as I worried about falling off a steep cliff. Thankfully, the game and controller did not let me fall down in real life, because I only made a few slips.
Call of the Mountain is shaping up to be a solid launch title for the new headset, offering an intuitive mix of traversal and combat — and no doubt plenty of narrative easter eggs for serious Horizon fans. I walked the game’s trails by holding down two buttons and moving my arms, which definitely felt like a small workout, though you can walk around in standard controller inputs if you don’t feel like sweating. I enjoyed picking up, playing with and tossing every wooden box, piece of fruit and random tambourine that was laid around the wasteland.
My only real nitpick was the combat — while drawing my bow and slinging arrows felt intuitive, it took a while for me to accurately land shots. This was especially true during a big boss battle that required me to dodge and shoot on the fly, though I imagine it’s the kind of thing I’ll get used to after more game time.
Tip-Guide for Using a Blurred, Tilted VR Headset to Keep Your Brain Away from Running Out of Battery
Whether this is your first VR headset or just your most recent purchase, here are a handful of tips that might keep you from getting sick, tripping on a cord, running out of battery, or — and we hear this is particularly common — thinking Sony shipped you a blurry VR headset when it’s probably just a trick of the light.
If you want a comfortable fit that doesn’t drag on the front of your head, you should wear it properly. Take a good look at the picture above.
If you want to see how the entire headset is tilted, you can click on the picture. See how the back of the headband is beneath the back of my colleague Adi’s head, while the front lies on top of her forehead? That is what you should be aiming for. The PSVR 2 should rest on your head, secured diagonally — not sandwich the front and back of your head in a vice. I wouldn’t let you cinch the headband down until you’ve got your eyes aligned.
The dial on the outside of the headset can be used to adjust the lens inside. This is crucial, because if the lenses are misaligned, everything can get very blurry and difficult to focus on. This is one of the reasons why a lot of people get headaches when using a headset. It’s ideal to see the control in its proper place.
You also need to physically shove the entire eyebox up and down, and maybe even tilt it left or right like you’re straightening a picture on your wall. Want an example? The headset is not currently level, despite the fact that mylens are the right distance apart.
Then, you can finish cinching down the headset with that clicky dial. It shouldn’t feel like you’re squeezing your brain; just twist until you don’t lose that sweet spot.
The more games my colleagues and I play on the PSVR 2, the more we get tangled up in its 14.7-foot cord. Turns out it’s especially easy to trip when you’re playing intense, death-dodging games like Pistol Whip, Pavlov and Resident Evil Village.
If possible, start the game facing away from your PS5 so the cord is behind you. With games like Pistol Whip where you don’t need to turn around much, that can sometimes be enough.
4) Try sliding your feet across the ground instead of stepping so you can easily feel the cord. Wear socks or go barefoot instead of shoes, slippers and sandals.
How to Get Sick in Virtual Reality? The Case for Drifting Headlamps in Resident Evil Village, Pavlov, and Kayake
Some people don’t get sick at all in VR. Some always feel sick because of how the technology generally works; any headset that puts magnifying lenses in front of a flat screen can trigger a vergence-accommodation conflict. Over time people who get sick can sometimes get their “VR legs”.
Your body might be uncomfortable if you move in the game without moving the same way in the real world. When I flick a thumbstick to turn right, without turning my head right, I get the sweats pretty quickly. Some games, like Resident Evil Village, suggest you should do it with a thumbstick, but you always have the choice to move your real body instead.
If you insist on using a joystick to turn, many games will let you pick snap turns instead of smooth turns, which snap you 30 or 45 or more degrees to the left or right and can be less triggering.
While some games (Resident Evil Village, Pavlov) don’t offer teleport move because it breaks immersion and could be unfair in multiplayer games, many single-player titles will let you aim at a spot on the ground nearby to teleport to that location. One of the nicer things about moving in virtual reality is that you know where you are going, but don’t experience the act of getting there.
I have watched them silently drift when a single bright bulb is aimed at my head, despite the fact that Sony will warn me if things are too dark or bright. The problem went away when I aimed the overhead lighting in a different direction.
If you have a TV in your bedroom, you can use it as a tracking marker by turning on Tracking Support.
I will not play Kayak VR again because the act of sitting in a kayak while paddling smoothly set my brain on fire… even though I feel fine driving a car in Gran Turismo 7. You may have a different mileage. Resident Evil Village’s virtual reality mode has a scene where the game puts you on the floor, forcing you to bobs your head around, and drags you along the ground. Forcing your head to move in a way that is not moving is not a good idea in virtual reality. I did not like it here.
Analog earbuds for the PSVR 2 and PS2 Senses, and how to hide them in a virtual reality headset
You can fit earbuds into little tabbed openings built into the headset if you want, for example, the built-in earbuds don’t need to dangle when they’re not in use.
And though most replacement headphones might have a longer cable, you can go for completely wireless audio by plugging a headset’s USB wireless audio dongle into your PS5. We tried it with the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless, and there are other cheaper options as well. Bluetooth audio is not supported, though.
One of the problems of plugging the PS2 Sense controller into the PS5 alone is that it can be difficult to keep it charged. Sony sells its own $50 controller charging station with a pair of pogo-pin adapters that slot into the controller’s USB-C ports so you can just set them down to charge, but we can’t necessarily recommend that either: it’s really easy to set them down wrong and find them nearly dead the next day. Though Sony advertises a “click-in design,” it’s nowhere near the reassuring click you get from the company’s DualSense Charging Station for the PS5’s standard gamepads.
The biggest challenge to adoption of virtual reality is making a tech that doesn’t make you uncomfortable. In an Iron Manesque fantasy world, a simple pair of glasses would be ideal, but Sony has taken a different route. And for the better.
The headset is not heavy, but it is bulky. The lens module can slide forward or back along a track, and the headband is sturdy enough to sit on your head and distribute its weight. There’s a large dial on the back which can be used to tighten the headband. The PSVR 2 is much better than the Metaquest 2 because it uses an upgraded strap.
Finally, there are a pair of earbuds that plug into the rear of the headset. The included ones are meant to attach to the headset, and can be placed in small holes on the side when not in use. The earbuds are … fine. It’s easy to get immersed in a game while the sound isn’t coming from your TV, even though the audio quality isn’t great.
What’s Streaming in a PC with the PSVR 2? Having Problems in Tuning TV Tune-Up
The PSVR 2 automatically streams what the user is watching to the TV whenever it’s convenient. Other systems often have a complex or finicky system to pull this off, which is really boring for anyone else just watching one person wave their arms around in the living room.