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July 2022

Viro Move

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4
Genre: Sports
Developer: Fit Reality
Release Date: Oct. 20, 2021


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PC VR Review - 'Viro Move'

by Cody Medellin on April 28, 2022 @ 12:00 a.m. PDT

Viro Move is an innovative adrenaline-pumping VR fitness experience that combines the excitement of VR gameplay with a real-life workout.

No matter the gaming generation, every major peripheral that has ever been released has had a title designed purely for exercise. That sort of thinking exploded a few generations ago when the Nintendo Wii was a major hit. Suddenly, there were a slew of fitness titles hitting that console and on the PS3 and Xbox 360 with their respective motion-controlled accessories. VR is no different, as fledgling buyers can glance around a store and see a ton of titles to burn some calories. Viro Move is one such title, and it does its job well — provided you can live with its quirks.

There are four different workout modes, with each immediately reminiscent of rhythm games. Shooting feels like Audica, as you blast robots with your guns while running into orbs to keep your health meter up. The main difference is that you need to wait for aiming reticles to match up to get a higher score; this isn't fun if you prefer twitch shooters, but it's clever if you're into chasing scores since it requires skill to hit those reticles. Swords is exactly like Beat Saber, minus the need to slash at specific directions, so the experience is more freeform and gives you the chance to be fancy while slashing. Boxing can remind you of Audioshield, but it resembles BoxVR since you're punching orbs and ducking walls while performing hooks and uppercuts to hit orbs stacked in a chain. Finally, there's Weapon Master mode, which takes the mechanics of all three weapon modes but asks you to switch to each on the fly. It works for those looking for a frantic experience, but if you're starting out, you'll likely be attracted to the specific weapon disciplines.

Although the modes may remind you of some successful rhythm games, the main advantage in Viro Move is the game's use of space. Walls are wide enough that you need to dart around to reach the opening, and the same can be said of the laser beams that force you to take a few steps to the side to avoid them. The various orbs you need to hit are spread out wide and take height into consideration, so you'll duck or lift your arms to hit them. It's an experience that works out your legs beyond squats, and it does a great job of making you sweat faster, even if you're already acclimated to other VR rhythm game experiences.

The campaign serves as a more structured method of getting your workout without necessarily messing with options. Those who want a customized experience can create playlists of each song and discipline, while those who want to play the hard stuff right away can go into the Challenge menu after completing the gameplay tutorials. No matter which mode you choose, you can use the earned points to buy cosmetics for your weapons or hands. There are no gameplay benefits for changing out your gear, but it gives you some more incentive to make sure your in-game stuff looks correct.

While the concept works fine, it is imperfect in a number of areas. For an exercise game that pulls double duty as a rhythm game, it doesn't seem too concerned with keeping things on a beat. Often, you'll hit things between beats instead of on them, and the later levels devolve into chaos because everything is thrown at you regardless of how it melds with the song. Stats like the number of orbs hit and missed are completely absent. You get a reading for how you did calorie-wise per song, but you only get lifetime stats for your workouts, rather than detailed breakdowns per day or session. There is a leaderboard present, but the population is rather small, and the bigger complaint is that the game requires an online connection to function. There were a few moments post-release when the game could not be played due to the inability to connect to game servers; that's not a good sign when other exercise games can be played offline and are more versatile in that way.

The real sin that Viro Move commits is in the soundtrack. It has a rock song here and there, but this is mostly an EDM affair, and if you're a fan of the genre, the selection isn't too bad. Don't expect stuff that would top the charts or tunes from famous artists here, but it works well enough if you don't dislike the style. The problem is that there are only 11 songs in the entire game. Considering the number of routines the game has per play style, you'll quickly get bored of the selection and the lack of DLC songs. You're also unable to add more songs to the mix, so that's restrictive unless you treat that music as white noise.

Graphically, the game looks wonderful. There are only five environments, but they all look picturesque thanks to the lighting that highlights the vast amount of detail in things like small tufts of grass and rock walls. The weapons you hone also sport some nice details; your floating hands sport imperfections on the gloves, an unnecessary but cool feature. Compared to a number of rhythm and exercise games that put you in sterile or wireframe environments, this is a nice change of pace and quite a looker to boot.

For an exercise game, Viro Move does a pretty good job of making you sweat. All of the modes feel like they're cribbing from bigger rhythm games, but the use of space makes it more appealing to those who don't want to remain stationary. However, the few songs wear out their welcome faster than expected, and the constant need for an online connection has already been problematic for those who just want a workout instead of competing on leaderboards. Overall, it's fine, but you can't escape the feeling that other exercise games execute the idea much better.

Score: 6.0/10

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