Please note I was very kindly given a review copy by the generous developer. However this has not affected my review in any way.
Pool Nation VR is currently the best multiplayer game available. And it has hats. Everyone loves hats.
First and foremost, Pool Nation VR is an excellent pool game. It’s the most realistic pool game you can play, I think I prefer it to real pool! The physics are spot on, the sounds is perfect and the controls, once you’re used to them, are excellent and intuitive.
The game is set in a bar. Not a posh one but not a total dump either, somewhere in the middle. There’s obviously the bar, 3 pools tables, a jukebox, dart boards, dominoes and plenty of objects for you to interact with. If this was just a pool game, a serious pool game, a single table in a room, it would still be excellent. However adding all these features to the VR environment takes this from a really good pool game, to a virtual pub where you want to hang out with friends, playing pool or darts and just messing about, having a good time. Pool Nation VR lets you have a sociable night out without having to actually go out!
The fact that the pub setting is so familiar, it’s not some sci-fi or fantasy scene, it really does fool the mind into believing you’re really there. For example, at one point I put my controller onto the pool table! Luckily I was wearing the wrist strap. And several times I’ve gone to lean on bars and tables. It really does feel as though you’re in the pub, which is astonishing.
Multiplayer is brilliant, watching the other person’s virtual headset and controllers move around is genius. At it’s core, this is obviously a solid pool game, but I challenge anyone to have a multiplayer game and just play pool without messing around with the environment. I believe this is currently the best multiplayer game out for VR.
Playing on your own will also keep you entertained. The AI may not throw bottles at you and try and hit you with the cue, but it will give you a challenging game on the table. In fact, a little too challenging. I’ve only played the easiest AI so far, however it’s pretty level. Maybe I’m just a bit crap, but I think it’ll be a while before I turn the difficulty up!
The only other (minor) negative I can think of is the people standing around the pub, swaying from side to side. They’re quite low res, and you can’t really interact with them. Seriously though, if the only negative is that I can’t put an ice box on the head of a background character, you know the developers have done an amazing job!
Title: Pool Nation VR
Cost: £14.99 (currently on sale for £12.74, get it now!)