I know he’s a bit of a one dimensional dullard and all that, but come on now; wouldn’t it be pretty great if a game developer somehow managed to encapsulate all the good stuff about being Superman (the flying, the immortality, the powers), wrapped it up in a classic arcade shooter template and chucked it all into a PSVR shaped melting pot? Say hello then, to Megaton Rainfall; the best Superman game you’ll likely ever play and a grandly fine arcade shooter in its own right.
One of the most stylish and enthralling games on PSVR
Charged with destroying an enemy race of rather horrible, interdimensional scumbags who are seemingly hell-bent on eradicating humanity, your task is to soar across the planet in your best double-fisted Superman pose as you rain all manner of death and destruction down upon them before they inflict catastrophic casualties on Earth’s bustling populace. Essentially a first-person shooter with a classic arcade feel, the premise behind Megaton Rainfall is blissfully simple; using your otherworldly powers, you must blast your alien foes to pieces, while landing a direct hit on that timeless weak point of arcade enemies; the classic big obvious red spot, will result in an instant and greatly satisfying kill.
Because you’re double-hard and impervious to all forms of attack, Megaton Rainfall instead imposes a different fail state on the player with failure manifesting itself if too many fragile earthlings end up getting detached from their mortal coil. Where it all gets especially clever however, is in how the threat that the player must contend with is continually engineered. From twisting mechanical worms that burrow through buildings, to hammer shaped craft that pulverise the city and even alien ships that can disguise themselves as the very same buildings you are sworn to protect, Megaton Rainfall has no shortage of ways to surprise and challenge wannabe superheroes.
Alongside the uptick in the cunning behaviour and clever design of your extra-terrestrial enemies, Megaton Rainfall also endows a number of additional abilities onto the player to keep things fair and balanced. In addition to a starting plasma blast strike, players can gain such abilities as a Superman style precision laser attack, being able to freeze time (something which proves especially handy when dealing with multiple enemies at once), a devastating focussed blast that has a nuclear yield and the power to be able to fly at many times the speed of light, to name just few.
Relatedly, and quite unlike many of the superhero films that Hollywood has doled out as of late, those powers come with an accountable cost as Megaton Rainfall has quite the fixation on making you responsible for any and all collateral damage that you might result from your ever more dangerous superhero escapades. Indeed, more than the aliens that you face, it’s really you and your ever growing arsenal of powers that are the biggest threat to humankind, since an errant shot early on can destroy whole buildings, while later, a missed special attack can be akin to an atomic blast that while impressive to behold, can level the city and instantly end the game.
As a result, often more than the attacks of the invading aliens themselves, it’s their in-built evasive behaviours that make them notoriously tricky to deal with since every carelessly missed attack in Megaton Rainfall carries with it a very real consequence. Luckily though, and quite like the classic arcade shooters of old, each alien type follows a bespoke pattern and their movements can be gauged and learned in order to minimise the potential casualties that engaging them carelessly might otherwise generate.
When you’re not pounding intergalactic interlopers into smithereens above the various cityscapes in Megaton Rainfall, you’ll be spending a fair chunk of your time flying about and exploring, and it’s here that the game offers up some of the finest ‘VR moments’ to date on PSVR. Whether you’re flying out of the Earth’s atmosphere at Mach 8, circling the globe at supersonic speeds, skimming across the white hot surface of the Sun, soaring through the rings of Saturn or just plunging down into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, Megaton Rainfall absolutely feels like one of those games that fully justifies the cost of your PSVR rig and should be demonstrated to anybody who is even remotely curious about the technology. Honestly, there’s just nothing else quite like it.
With all this alien blasting and high octane flying about you might well assume that being a PSVR title, Megaton Rainfall controls with all the grace of a morphine addled tortoise, but lo and behold, I am here to happily inform you to the contrary; Megaton Rainfall is both ultra-responsive and intuitive to play in a way that results in just about anybody being able to pick up the game and get stuck in right away. A big reason for this is that because the game exclusively embraces a mixture of traditional DualShock 4 controls and PSVR head-tracking, with the former being used to shoot and use your powers while the latter allows you to steer your movement and aim your next attack, not only is Megaton Rainfall is easy to pick up and play but it also negates any potential motion sickness that one might otherwise experience, too.
Where Megaton Rainfall sadly feels less than super is in its visuals, which though somewhat impressive from a distance and certainly not lacking in spectacle, fail to stand up to scrutiny up close owing to low detailed textures and generally simplistic buildings and environments. Likewise, the lack of content beyond the odd collectible and additional difficulty settings mean that there isn’t a whole lot to do once the 4-7 hour story campaign has been completed, though just the seemingly evergreen thrill of being able to fly around the various planets and enact a form of superhero fantasy roleplay will sustain a fair few folk for a while after the credits have rolled.
Even though Megaton Rainfall lacks longevity beyond its initial playthrough, and the visuals are certainly less accomplished than what we might expect, the intoxicating feeling of empowerment that the game foists upon the player is substantial.
Not only does the focus on breathtakingly epic spectacle render Megaton Rainfall as one of PSVR’s better virtual reality exhibitions, but it also serves to coat its resoundingly solid arcade shooter sensibilities in an extravagant veneer quite unlike any other, rendering the game as the most essential PSVR shooter since Rez Infinite.