Have you ever looked at a sports arena, breathed a breath of disappointment and thought “what if?” What if this arena was specifically designed to house epic sporting events featuring robots piloted by humans competing for supremacy? If that’s the case then you have a very vivid imagination, so congratulations. You’re also in luck because you can pretend to be one of those robot pilots in RIGS Mechanized Combat League.

 

The game starts with a rather lengthy tutorial which is definitely needed to help you understand what to do. Some of it works effortlessly, like looking to where you want to aim, but it takes time to get the hang of everything. Running about during my first session actually made me a bit ill, however, I found switching to one of the slower rigs on offer to be very helpful whilst getting used to it all.

 

In terms of the rigs on offer there are four types all with variations and their own quirks. Some explode after being defeated, causing damage to enemies, others can work as healers and assist the team and much more. Most matches are three on three, although one on one matches are an option. You’ll want a good mixture of rigs on your team. Some work very much like a “tank” class, taking damage and being targets, whilst others are perfect for sneaking up on foes and being almost like a “scout” class.

 

 
The reason why you need this variety is due to the modes available. Although there is a standard team versus team mode, there are also two modes that work much better if you have a mix. Endzone sees your rigs giving American Football a twist, getting a ball and trying to run it through a goal at the other end of the arena. It’s simple to understand what to do, but getting the ball through that goal is much easier said than done, which can result in some wonderfully tight matches. I won one of mine in the last second of the game after throwing away a two goal lead and it was a great feeling.

 

The other mode is Power Slam, where you have to charge your rig up to Overdrive. You do this by killing enemies or finding power spheres around the map. Overdrive can happen in the other modes, but in Power Slam once you get it your target is to dunk your rig through a goal in the centre of the arena. It can prove for some frantic shootouts and tends to concentrate a lot of the battle around the centre area, which is a nice change to the other modes.

 

rigs

 

RIGS Mechanized Combat League does the important thing of creating something that feels unique yet also strangely similar. It looks great and there’s plenty there for you even if you don’t fancy playing online. This could be handy as I found a lot of my online matches had to unfortunately be padded out with AI rigs, although hopefully this is something that changes as more people adopt PSVR. The single player league system leaves you plenty to unlock thanks to the sponsorship system and the AI is of varying quality, meaning you’ll have those teams you’ll be battling with for league supremacy whilst also having the whipping boys. Much like the league system for most sports.

 

It’s an intriguing experience and one that feels natural. The sound design and graphics do a great job in hyping you up and the game modes have enough variety to keep you playing for a while. Although the benchmark for VR games shouldn’t be “it would be a great game outside of VR” RIGS Mechanized Combat League is a great example of one that would be. It’s also a great example of the level of immersion VR can provide this kind of experience and is a delight to play.

You can watch my playing RIGS below, via my Brett’s Play video.

 


 



Author

Brett Claxton

I like video games. That's why I write about them. I've played them for years and in that time I've found a love for creepy horrors, indie darlings and the oddities that come out of Japan. Although my main purpose on the site is to write up news and reviews I'm also one of the main Let's Play video creators of the team (or, as I call them, Brett's Play videos). You can check them out here: https://www.youtube.com/user/Bretteh2