If you’ve read our review on Humanity, or even just had a good look at the game, then you probably already know it’s a good time. I’ve found it to be an utterly calming experience, putting my mind to work on solving brain-twisting physics and flow puzzles while have maintaining a remarkably chill environment in which I don’t feel stressed in the slightest even when I fail. That said, when we learned Humanity would also feature PS VR2 support, I was excited to slap on the headset and see what Enhance was doing with the technology this time. I won’t say VR Mode redefines the Humanity experience, but I will say it is an incredibly immersive and discomfort-free way to enjoy both virtual reality gaming and methodical puzzle solving on the platform.
Limbo dog puzzles from the omnipresent eye
The way that humanity plays regularly is by controlling a spiritual dog in various levels and guiding a steady flow of humans from a door to a target platform. Throughout the game, you gain commands such as Turn, Jump, High Jump, Long Jump, Float, and many more that can be placed on a spot where humans that pass through it will take the marked action. There are also plenty of obstacles along the way that provide different physics to your humans, such as climbing walls, cubes of water, and air turbines to name a few. Navigating the humans through these puzzles always feels simple to control even if the puzzles themselves become mesmerizingly complex.
For VR, Humanity can be played entirely from a sitting position. Heck, it’s one of the few VR games I’ve ever played where you not only don’t have to stand and move, but you barely need to move your hands either. The whole game can be control via the PS VR2 Sense controllers buttons with your head and vision acting as the main camera (though you can zoom in and out and adjust the elevation of the camera). I find this to be a strength of Humanity. I would actually suggest it as a great place to start if you’re queasy about VR and get motion sickness easily. It’s one of the most chill and comfortable VR experiences I’ve ever played.
I would go as far as to put Humanity over even Enhance’s own Tetris Effect: Connected in VR Mode in terms of comfort. While I love the experience of Tetris Effect in VR, it’s still Tetris. Some of the late levels get very intense and even in Theater Mode, I feel like I’m missing out on a little bit of the immersion because I don’t get the musical notes from moving and dropping blocks. Humanity feels like a 1:1 experience that loses little if anything in the transition between regular gameplay and VR. The one qualm I really have about playing Humanity this way is that the camera feels like it starts a little high certain levels and I felt like I missed some details between structures. That’s also just kind of my bad for not moving the camera around more with the buttons, but you’re also moving the camera regularly in non-VR gameplay, so it’s likely something you won’t notice unless you’re moving between regular and VR gameplay.
Most importantly, it feels and looks good. The simplicity of the controls feel great on the PS VR2 Sense controllers, including moving the camera around when you need to see a level at different angles. When you complete a level, being able to draw back from it and watch all the humans in motion making their way through the path you arranged for their ascendance is such an uplifting feeling. You can also mash the command button to bark as fast as you can press to voice your approval or disdain, so that’s nice too.
For whom the bark tolls
I really love humanity. In an age of modern gaming where we have not had anything like Lemmings in a very long time, Enhance has captured that feeling and, while maintaining the heart of pathing hapless individuals to a goal, also mostly removed the stress of failure. In VR, it’s possibly one of the most relaxing things I’ve ever played this side of Fast Travel’s port of Cities: VR and I would happily recommend it to anyone that usually has discomfort playing that way. It was well deserving of the 9 of 10 we gave it in our review, and on a night where I just want to relax, it just might become my go-to chill and vibe game when I’m in the mood to strap on the PS VR2.
These impressions are based on a PS5 digital copy supplied by the publisher. Humanity is available on PS4, PS5, and PC. VR Mode in Humanity can be played on both PS VR2 and SteamVR-supported HMDs.
TJ Denzer posted a new article, Humanity is another sit-down-and-relax winner for PS VR2