LifeisXbox’s Bodies of Water VR review | Diving is still pretty much something that remains unchecked on my bucket list. It’s something I have always wanted to do. Being able to swim hundreds of feet underwater and experience the underside of the world seems amazing to me. Created by Triggerfish Games and Published by Triggerfish Studios, Bodies of Water allows you to dive via its realistic diving simulation programme and have a small taste of what diving underwater would be like.
Most Memorable Moment
The tutorial section was quite fun. Getting to mess around with all of the equipment in various ways until you get it right was a good way of managing a tutorial. The free roll however made me quite sick since I am not used to that sort of movement in VR. It is easy to switch off though.
ℹ️ Reviewed on PC via Oculus Quest 2 | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- The Concept | You don’t see a lot of water-based games in VR. I think it’s got something to do with the complexities of water-based physics and buoyancy. Getting these right is vital to making a good-looking water game. Bodies of Water however does a good job at getting a lot of these right by offering realistic player movement when in water, water-based physics, and equipment that when acquired helps your player move easier through the water. I haven’t really experienced diving like this before except for one time in 2014 off the coast of Thailand on my honeymoon. These sort of experiences are something that interests me because it allows you to experience these sorts of things without breaking the bank. On top of this, when you look at the niche market on Steam for these sorts of games, there really isn’t a lot to choose from.
- The Effects | The effects in Bodies of Water are really good. To clarify though, I am referring to the water effects. underwater is where you will spend most of your time and seeing things like bubbles floating around from the side of your face, cleaning your goggles with your hand or breath to see clearly is something you don’t really see in games. The refraction from the light hitting the water as well creates pockets of god rays and items, animals and objects caught in the way will bend in the water. It’s really quite impressive.
- The Tutorial | The tutorial was very good as far as tutorials go. In fact, it was one of the better ones I have experienced. Letting you take your time in a swimming pool to get used to everything was exactly what I needed. Since the game is quite technical in nature I appreciated the additional time I was given to make sure I was comfortable with everything before heading on into the main game. The tutorial teaches you every inch of the controls and how each item is used and how it can better assist you as a diver.
- The Audio | The voice acting is terrible. It is as though Microsoft Sam was the voice actor for a majority of the characters and tutorials. It really messes with the immersion. The music and other sound effects are pretty good however with some very realistic water sounds both out of the water and when you are underwater.
- The Stores | For a game that is supposed to teach the core concepts of diving and allow you to dive freely, Bodies of water does a good job at locking a lot of the equipment you will need behind stores. As pictured above, the stores require payment for certain items allowing you to utlise them in the game. I personally would have recommended full access to these regardless and allowing the player to roam around at their pleasure. I feel it is a way to expand the life of the game, but ultimately it doesn’t stop you from playing.
What we Disliked
- The controls | The biggest problem in Bodies of Water is the interactions. Want to swim or dive like in FREEDIVER: Triton Down? Forget about that. No, you’re using the joystick and snap-turning when diving underwater. My biggest gripe with the controls is free-roll. Despite being able to turn it off, the game is so much harder to move without it, and leaving it on opens you up to all sorts of motion sickness.
- It made me quite sick | Largely in part to the control scheme, the other factor Bodies of Water made me feel ill is because of the head bob and sway the game has when underwater. Your eyes want to look one way but your head looks the other and it creates this battle between your brain and eyes which leaves you feeling woozy. Imagine turning right on your right or left analog stick but your head looks the opposite way. It’s unnatural and doesn’t feel good.
- The Framerate | I have an RTX 3090. This is pretty much a top-of-the-range graphics card. Bodies of Water VR brought it to its knees. Looking at my performance indicator on my PC, this game was averaging around 45-50fps on its normal settings. Looking at the Steam community it appears a lot of people have had this issue. The developer had responded with an update but this still appears to be an issue. Before we go any further, yes my CPU is a beast too, so this isn’t the issue. 45-50 fps for a VR game is below acceptable. This is one of the reasons the game will make you feel sick. Any VR game should be a smooth 90fps to really offset that feeling of nausea. Couple this with the control scheme with free-roll and it’s going to give you headaches.
- Coin Collecting | A lot of this game is looking for coins which isn’t fun. You’re stopped from immediately diving where you want and how you want because you have to find coins to progress. That’s a shame because this game does have some nice parts. There’s just lots of circling around for small coins that take away from the core concept of the game.
How long to beat the story | No story to beat
How long to unlock all achievements | There are no achievements to unlock
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Gaming is in my blood. Be it handheld games, Xbox, PC, Switch or Playstation, I am all over it.
I make my own games as part of my profession and love playing co op games with friends in my spare time. Avid dog lover and camper van enthusiast.