‘Ultrawings 2’ Review – The New Top Gun of Fun & Challenging VR Flying – Road to VR

Fans of Ultrawings (2017) will be happy to hear it Ultrawings 2 delivers all the free-flying fun from the original along with a side-sequence of military-style missions that take its formula in a new and interesting direction. Although it left me with a desire for better screen resolutions and an actual HOTAS setup, Ultrawings 2 really turns out to be one of those ‘easy to pick up, hard to put down’ games that will reward you, test your patience and relentlessly shake you for your many failures.

Ultrawings 2 Details:

Available at: Quest 2, coming to SteamVR in March
Release Date: February 3, 2022
Price: 25 USD
Developer: Bit Planet
Reviewed on: Quest 2

Gameplay

Like the first in the series, Ultrawings 2 is not a 1: 1 flight simulator – far from it – although the control is also not something I would call 100 percent arcade. It presents a good selection of basic instruments that do not feel too complicated, and physics that push the player to develop what feel just like actual flying skills.

However, do not be fooled by the low speeds you take in the little ultralight at first. Ultrawings 2 do not waste much time serving up some rather irreconcilable challenges as you shop into each of the game’s five vehicles (four planes and a helicopter) and four islands, each with their own environmental peculiarities and obstacles.

Love it or hate what you want to paint through a varied selection of “Jobs” for cash on each island, which vary in difficulty. It’s safe to say that if you can not master things like taking off from short runways, making crushing touch-and-go landings, balancing fuel reserves while barreling through multiple rings, you’re going to crash and burn – and probably curse the day Ultrawings 2 enchanted you with its seemingly simple controls and powerful little planes, each with their own unique flying characteristics.

The game also does a good job of segmenting these aircraft, offering an easy-to-pilot ultralight, a WW2-like fighter jet, a bleeding fast rocket fighter, an agile stunt biplane and a light helicopter. All aircraft have different control configurations, which can present some challenge in creating muscle memory, although they are simple enough to visually locate and operate for takeoffs and landings. Onboarding for each aircraft is also straightforward; your handy tablet visually tells you everything you need to know, while a pair of quippe voice-overs guide you and relentlessly tease you to get anything but a gold metal.

The world is ‘open’ in the sense that you can own two airports on each of the four islands and apply for jobs there. I wish the whole job discovery and cash-earning part was a little more organic and less formal: ie. you buy an airport, paint jobs to buy a new plane, go back and complete all jobs and missions with a new plane to be painted for more money to buy a new airport for … I can see that it feels like a less tiring exercise during shorter gameplay sessions than I played when I clocked several hours of virtual flight time in at once.

Photo taken by Road to VR

That said, islands are pretty densely packed and they offer plenty of chances to fly through gorges, under bridges, between tall skyscrapers and make death-defying, powerless landings on some of the shortest runways you’ve ever seen.

All of this, however, accounts for the majority of the game Ultrawings 2 also introduces combat’Ops’, which you have the task of fighting against enemy fighters, bombers, land forces and ships. Thanks to the game’s mature flight design, this offers some surprisingly fun combat situations – something I think would form the basis of a cool independent title in the future.

Ops are still one-time missions with a single weapon – still a very short challenge just like all jobs for the rest of the game. There’s just something super gratifying about using your newly acquired stunt skills and shooting skills and using it for dogfights and penalty runs that really test how you fly under the pressure of incoming fire and dwindling fuel.

You can expect to put in dozens of hours Ultrawings 2—the study says between 40-60 hours – although the biggest time investment is undoubtedly to raise money for the most expensive purchases in the game, the international airports, which essentially let you visit all the islands again to get more challenges.

Immersion

The game’s cartoon-like images appear more mature than the original on Quest, but remain lovingly simplified with a color palette that is bright and provides sufficient contrast to make the goals jump. Cockpit instrument discs are sharp enough, though you can’t help but want a more built-in screen resolution. You can turn off the enemy’s health in the settings, but I’m not sure you want to consider how far away some might be, which would otherwise leave a few blurry gray pixels on your screen, which would be very difficult to fix.

The cockpit controls feel a little less cartoonish than the original Ultrawings, which offers dials, switches and handles instead of a series of buttons. This is both good and bad, because object interaction in the game is unfortunately not very reliable, so it can be frustrating to manipulate these instruments. Instruments feel cumbersome, so you’re never 100 percent sure if the virtual finger actually did not just press a landing gear switch on and off again.

And as you can imagine, the game is begging for HOTAS support – probably something we’ll see when the game goes to SteamVR – even though the virtual flight stick is nowhere near as fluid as I thought it would be. Anchoring my elbow on my office chair armrest to a hanger helped me keep a good handle on the stick most of the time, but switching hands to manipulate other control panels was sometimes a bit of a grip before I got out of control. Still, you will need to find your playing style to mitigate some of the built-in stick float as you grasp something that is not really there.

Comfort

I played almost exclusively in the least comfortable mode, which gives the least blocked view to the cockpit. However, two other comfort modes are available, an intermediate mode that partially blocks your canopy and a beginner mode that offers a kind of adaptable canopy cover to block parts of the glass with a metal shield. When you look left or right and the windshield is covered, and when you look ahead both left and right are covered.

Even in the “full fat” comfort mode, I had no trouble flying for hours at a time, running around and doing maneuvers that might otherwise put me face first in a barf bag aboard a real plane (or a less competent VR). flight games). This is mostly due to the fact that the cockpit itself acts as a visual anchor – no matter how much I spin and loop, I am always stable in the plane – but also the game’s controls, which offer predictable and consistent reactions. Although your mileage may vary, I have never felt like I was about to break out in the dreaded flop sweats that I personally know from experience mean I have to take a long break.

Note: Both rotation and movement comfort settings below reflect movement outside the cockpit. See the section above for aircraft movement.

‘Ultrawings 2’ comfort settings – February 3, 2022

Turning

Artificial rotation
Smooth turn
Adjustable speed
Snap-turn
Adjustable steps

Movement

Artificial movement
Smooth movement
Adjustable speed
Teleporter flow
Shadows
Adjustable strength
Mainly based
Controller-based
Interchangeable movement hand

Pose

Standing condition
Seated state
Artificial squat
Real squat

Availability

Subtitles
Menu language English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Simplified Chinese, Japanese
Alternative sound
Language English
Adjustable difficulty
Two hands required
A real squat is required
Hearing is required
Adjustable player height
William

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