YupiterGrad (PlayStation 4) Review

By Sandy Kirchner-Wilson 19.01.2023

Review for YupiterGrad on PlayStation 4

YupiterGrad was developed by Gamedust, a Polish studio with quite a few games under their belt. The developer appears to have had a very specific idea for this title with an almost Spider-Man-esque play loop and a very unique aesthetic. The game is available on PSVR, Oculus, Steam VR, Vive and Pico, meaning there are plenty of places to give it a shot if this review sounds good! There is very little to compare it to in the VR space so instead, it's time to review.

Scale is a big factor in virtual reality titles and YupiterGrad does things with a scale that feels immense. From the training centre to the huge Yupitergrad station things are incredible to see. Players control a new Cosmonaut as they learn the ropes then proceed to undertake a mission at the rather oppressive sounding Yupitergrad. The story is quite light but does have a very uneasy atmosphere like something big happened. Driving the structure is the Commander who gives the main character objectives and dialogue to follow. Despite this simple setup, this game hides a fantastic gameplay setup.

"Feeling like Spider-Man", was something many games have tried to capture including some VR experiences however Yupitergrad is the only title deserving of the sentence. Using a pair of move controllers players can fire plungers on ropes at any angle, then reel the rope in for maximum swinging freedom with truly autonomous hands and tools. This is definitely a steep learning curve and the game tried hard to teach players the full ins and outs of the controls but it takes practical application in levels to really make the scheme click. Firing and pulling the ropes feels great and once a good rhythm builds up the movement feels fantastic. Design-wise the game sets a lot of challenges with very precise and tight platforming, yet never has to limit its control scheme to raise the difficulty.

The levels themselves are quite large and open to begin with, letting players swing, grab objects, climb and experiment with ease. Later, however, they throw in machinery that can crush the character, gates that require momentum to open and more; it's insanely satisfying but it does get quite difficult! The tighter platforming is controlled by reeling in or releasing the ropes using Triangle and Square. It takes a while to get used to doing this separately for each hand but once mastered this means it is possible to essentially winch them up through tight gaps through machines which given the VR can get a bit claustrophobic!

Screenshot for YupiterGrad on PlayStation 4

The aesthetic is excellent too, lots of cool cell-shaded environments with a big sense of scale and a soviet look to everything that makes it feel grungy and intense. In the opening, the player boards a rocket and the sensation of it taking off is really awesome. The grungy look has been coined "Dieselpunk", easily seen in the plunger and rope design of the weapon, this look continues throughout with the engine rooms and interactive elements like fuel tanks and machinery. The music is decent but is mostly atmospheric and gives the game a nice exploratory feeling. Gamedust has taken lots of measures to ensure that motion sickness is kept to a minimum and this reviewer can confirm that their methods are very, very good as there was no motion sickness during the entire review period.

If the main story was not enough there is also a fully-featured time-attack mode that tasks players with flying through levels as fast as possible without dying. This mode is very moreish and again adds a layer of complexity to the situation as well as offering yet more longevity to this VR game. This mode is great fun and will keep players returning to the game well past its original length; it was expanded with an update that was not only free but included ten levels!

Screenshot for YupiterGrad on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

The levels in YupiterGrad don't drag and the challenge gets pretty hard to surmount, but if players stick with it the game is incredibly awarding and satisfying. It's not a short VR experience but a decent length Deiselpunk Sci-fi adventure with a fun cell shaded cosmonaut aesthetic that makes it truly unique. This is a must-buy for PSVR owners!

Developer

Gamedust

Publisher

Gamedust

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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