Could this be the ultimate fitness videogame?
Virtual reality (VR) and fitness seem to be going hand-in-hand more than ever, as developers realise the market for losing calories whilst playing videogames. Titles like BoxVR and Beat Saber offer energetic experiences with one core gameplay mechanic. But what if you want more, something that combined the punching, sword-swinging and threw in some gun rhythm like Audica. Well, you’d have Viro Move, a title that really wants to make you sweat and feel the burn.
Recently showcased at Gamescom 2019, developer Fit Reality is currently in the middle of its Move More fitness challenge, tasking a select group of players who registered to post their best scores across each fighting style: Boxing, Shooting, Sword Play and Mixed Weapons.
It’s this variety which makes Viro Move not only stand out from others in this field but also gives you more to think about and a greater overall challenge. The question is, can a videogame with all these styles be as good as a master of one?
If you’ve spent any time with any of the aforementioned videogames then you’ll feel almost right at home with most of Viro Move. The boxing has colour coordinated balls to hit, orange for left, blue for right, with a giant red ball for both fists. As you’d expect, there are also obstacles in the form of rock formations to dodge, removing the multiplier when hit, plus the ball formations require hooks, uppercuts and so forth.
The swords are also fairly self-explanatory for anyone who has played Beat Saber, although there are more multiples in Viro Move. The shooting section offers the biggest difference between the three main styles, with lasers to dodge and targets which can only be hit during certain indicated moments. As such all three do a commendable job of getting you active in different ways.
However, Viro Move’s raison d’être is its mixed weapons mode. This is the true test and the one which really makes a lot of the other fitness apps look pale and relaxed in comparison. This is thanks not only to the sheer amount of movement Fit Reality employs but also the mental dexterity to switch up when needed. With one style you can get into a groove, swinging the swords around as if you’re some sort of ninja. That familiarity goes straight out the window when switching between shooting, punching and swordplay.
An option is available for automatic switching but there’s no fun in that. Guns can only be unlocked by pointing the controllers straight out in front, gloves by placing the controllers behind your back, while swords are over the shoulder. They all give an added dimension to your movement, twisting and flexing muscles for what feels like a proper workout.
That makes Viro Move an exciting prospect to become one of the best VR fitness videogames on the market. Because of the movement required, however, you need plenty of space just to be sure – which may cause home users issues. Most roomscale experiences generally require around 2m x 2m of floor space which is fine for most homes. Viro Move’s recommended minimum is three meters wide by two meters deep, with an actually suggested floor area of 4m x 3m. They did play it in a 2.2m x 2m area and it did feel tight, not unplayable just very tight. Having a clear play space is essential.
Fit Reality certainly wants to enter the VR market with a bang and Viro Move is definitely going to do that. All the individual components work perfectly well, there didn’t seem to be any issues with latency, and it was nice to have some scenic outdoor locations to play in – rather than all the neon-landscapes so often used. If you thought other fitness titles made you sweat wait until you get hold of Viro Move, when that will occur is another matter altogether.