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Kayak VR: Mirage PSVR 2 Review

Kayak VR Mirage review 2

Whether you want to compete or relax, Kayak VR: Mirage has something for you.

We wouldn’t dare go kayaking in open water in real life. And judging by Kayak VR: Mirage, we’re not really cut out for it. Jump into a race in one of its four available locations – Cierva Cove in Antarctica, Bjørnøya in Norway, Kings Canyon in Australia, and Papagayo in Costa Rica – and you’ll have to paddle like mad to stand a chance against the competition, truly testing your skill and endurance. Needless to say, it’s probably best to practice a little first.

That’s where Free Roam comes in. Here, you can paddle around at your leisure, investigating any nooks and crannies that take your fancy. In Costa Rica, for example, you might be drawn to the lush jungle, while in Antarctica you might want to get closer to one of the many penguins going about their daily lives. There are interesting things to find in every location, and you’ll be brushing up your paddling skills along the way.

If you don’t want to exert yourself, tour mode allows you to sit back and just enjoy being taken on a ride. There’s nothing to do here other than take in the sights and sounds – the only thing you have control over is the speed of your kayak. But even at max the pace is glacial. It’s great for simply relaxing, or maybe showing off your fancy PSVR 2 gear to a non-gamer.

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Related: PlayStation VR 2 Review: A Vast Improvement in Every Possible Way

Whether you’re racing, exploring or going on a tour, numerous time of day options are available for each location, and some can be experienced in stormy conditions, too. Even during the latter we’ve had no problems with motion sickness, but your mileage may vary. In any case, there are a whole host of comfort and and accessibility options to tweak the experience to your needs. Playing seated, perhaps the most important one is your position in your kayak: if by default you’re positioned too low, like we were, you won’t have a good time.

The nature of Kayak VR: Mirage means it’s the type of game most will return to from time to time to enjoy its serene nature. Thanks to global online leaderboards for its races, however, there’s a good chance competitive types will become obsessed with improving their times and chasing the top spot. There are even cosmetic rewards available for those who excel, and some can also be purchased with Sea Miles accumulated in all modes. A range of inflatables are available, too, which add another layer of silly fun to the game.

Ultimately through, it’s the immersiveness of Kayak VR: Mirage that will win you over. Get comfortable in your kayak and brush up your paddling technique, and you really could believe you’re in one of the beautiful locations on offer. There’s an impressive level of realism here, and once you’ve mastered things such as turning and accelerating at great speed, you can briskly move through environments feeling like a pro. And with these realistic mechanics accompanied by stellar visuals and haptic feedback support, you’re onto a real winner.

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Only little things let the realism of Kayak VR: Mirage down, like animations of some of the wildlife that go about their business around you being a little basic. Some may also find the races perhaps a little too challenging even once they have got used to the mechanics, limiting how much fun they’ll get out of the package. Still, with its modest price point, it’s hard to imagine anyone would be too disappointed with their purchase.

Kayak VR: Mirage may not be the most content-rich title, but if you’re picking up PSVR 2 and want something that will impress you with its visuals and realistic mechanics it’s well worth checking out. From its races that will give your arms a decent workout, to its laid-back tours, there’s a little something here for almost everyone. And while it won’t take you too long to see and do most of what it has to offer, there’s a good chance you’ll keep it installed just so that you can immerse yourself in its stunning locales every once in a while.

Kayak VR: Mirage Review – GameSpew’s Score

This review of Kayak VR: Mirage is based on the PS5 version, with a code provided by the game’s publisher. It’s available on PS5 and PC, and requires a VR headset.
Editor in Chief // An avid gamer since discovering the wonders of the Acorn Electron in the '80s, Rich has nearly played more games than he's had hot dinners. Not one to put all his eggs in one basket, Rich is happy to play games of all genres, but he particularly enjoys racing games and anything that's full of non-stop action, especially if it includes a good dose of humour, horror or crudeness!