The many innovations of virtual reality gaming over the last couple of years have helped paved the way for some neat experiences. The creation of new sports titles is inevitable, and one of the first publishers to nail this is CCP. Sparc is a virtual sport available on most VR headsets. This review is for the PSVR version of the physical and exhausting game.
Sparc is an odd little virtual sports title that reminds me of a lot of Tron. Two players stand up to each other and throw projectiles at their opponent. Players need to block, dodge and catch the projectiles to avoid getting hit by one. Hitting your opponent gives you a point. Score enough points and win a round, and the first to win two out of three wins. It’s simple enough, but the addition of walls around the players that bounce off projectiles adds a welcome amount of depth to the game.
The thing about Sparc is that it is truly a full-body experience. Players will want to make sure that they have an adequate amount of space to play in. They will be throwing the virtual projectile with force and dodging with purposes. I always find myself out of breath at the end of a game session, but it’s always satisfying.
While the graphics aren’t spectacular, they embrace the Tron-esque nature of the game, giving players an atmosphere that looks just like the Grid. The environments are simple but neat, pulling players into the virtual world. Everything looks clear in the headset, further helping with immersion.
There aren’t really a ton of ways to play Sparc, but there are some difficulty adjustments available. There is also a mode where players can tweak the walls and physics a bit. Despite the lack of modes, the game is still fun and immersive. Half of the fun of any sport is playing until you “Get it,” then working hard to improve. Sparc does a fine job of imitating this, making me want to continue to improve. That constant drive to get better will keep players in the game well past the point of exhaustion.
Sparc runs well and I didn’t experience any performance issues during my time with the game. The tracking is superb. I can’t think of a single instance where the camera lost my headset and move controllers. The frame rate is steady and the matches load relatively fast in ranked play. Leaderboards exist to help motivate players to work their way to the top. The community is great, and I had many pleasant games and conversations with my opponents.
Sparc is just a good time for sports fans and those who want to try something different in VR. It runs well, has a solid set of rules, and is easy to pick up and play a couple of rounds in. There aren’t a lot of modes and it isn’t particularly deep, but it is still one of the best, more original experiences on PSVR. Be sure to check it out if this is your kind of game.
Sparc is one of the best experiences available on PSVR for those who want to get active. It's a fun, competitive virtual sport that is just a bit short on modes.