Sparc (PlayStation 4) Review

By Albert Lichi 13.09.2017

Review for Sparc on PlayStation 4

PSVR has been really trying find a way to make a quality competitive multiplayer experience. It is almost a thankless position to be in when trying to develop such a game, since, so far, most attempts to make a multiplayer-centric VR game on PlayStation 4 have fallen on deaf ears, such as RIGS: Mechanized Combat League or the repugnant Smashbox Arena. Sparc aims to simplify things while maintaining a very slick and dazzling presentation by whittling the gameplay down to one-on-one matches. Is it the shocking VR multiplayer game PSVR needs?

Sparc is one of those kinds of games that shows its entire hand right from the start. There really is not a whole lot to do and it does not take very long to come to grips with its mechanics. The gameplay can be best described as a combination of tennis and catch, but where the racket is more like a laser shield. Balls can be caught or deflected back, and users can dodge by physically shifting their physical bodies a bit, as long as they stay within a specific range. Before anyone realizes it, Sparc will have shown all there is to the game, which comprises a few challenge modes that involve hitting targets, and the real meat of the game: competitive online play. Since this is one of those VR games that uses both PS Move wands, there may be some concern about how this would control. Worry not; the 1:1 controls are actually very natural, and somehow Sparc is one of the better examples of how to implement motion controls in a VR game.

Screenshot for Sparc on PlayStation 4

The aesthetics of Sparc can best described as the movie Tron: Legacy meets the Under Armour clothing line. The visuals on display are fairly serviceable, if a bit uninspired or generic. The various moving parts to the catching gloves that transform into a shield looks pretty awesome, and the way the rumble is implemented really makes it feel pretty tangible. Avatars are boring torsos and the options for customisation run a wide gamut of cyberpunk style visors, mohawks, ninja masks and assorted headgears with some minor variation for body suit choices. Don't expect a whole lot from the scenery, either, since it is going to be just a long hall arena. One has to really scrape every facet of Sparc, since it is extremely lacking in content and things to do that it gives the impression that it might have been rushed to meet a release deadline.

For what it's worth, Sparc is reasonably competent and surprisingly polished. However, the single-player challenge modes are never challenging, nor are they plentiful, which will become very apparent to people who may feel burned by this game, since its biggest selling point being the online play is completely dead. Frustratingly, the online aspect could not be experienced for the purposes of this review due to a completely inactive or lack of community. If there were more options for single-player challenges that had more going on than just throwing or deflecting a ball back at a target, then maybe Sparc might have been worth a recommendation. It's desperate to find any substance in such a simplistic game, and it is just not fair for the title given the circumstances that it has nobody playing. That should serve as a lesson to developers: do not rely on online multiplayer to carry an entire game.

Screenshot for Sparc on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

There is a major feature that is tragically both the main selling point and is nigh inoperable due to a lack of interest. The only indication to gauge what the multiplayer might be like is the tutorial and the challenge modes. Had there been anyone else to play Sparc with, it would have been something akin to tennis or racketball with shields. A plain idea, sure, but one that might have worked if the conditions were right.

Developer

CCP Games

Publisher

CCP Games

Genre

Sport

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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