Preview: Sociable Soccer on Gear VR

Mobile VR football set to make its debut on Gear VR.

Spiritual successor to Sensible Soccer, Sociable Soccer, has already seen turbulence in its respectively short development lifecycle. A cancelled Kickstarter campaign has lead the passionate team behind the videogame to look at traditional publishing avenues, but also to keenly adopt new technologies such as virtual reality (VR). VRFocus recently got hands-on with two editions of Sociable Soccer at PG Connects, Helsinki, with the mobile edition throwing out some interesting problems.

Sociable Soccer

On Oculus Rift, Sociable Soccer provides an immediately accessible football experience that feels almost complete even at this stage. On Samsung Gear VR however, there are some issues. Most would look at the gameplay presented by Sociable Soccer and question what it is that the videogame delivers that couldn’t be pushed by any modern format, however there remains some complicated mathematics running under that simple visual presentation, and the development team has allowed the graphical quality to suffer in order to maintain an accurate representation of the intended gameplay on mobile.

Sociable Soccer is a fast and intentionally aggressive multiplayer football videogame. On the Oculus Rift VRFocus experienced this competitive gameplay, however on Gear VR the videogame is currently limited to solo play against the AI. Multiplayer is in development of course, as this has been cited as a key component of the videogame, but at present there are bigger issues to contend with. Even with only one player’s control input to contend with, Sociable Soccer suffers from drastic framerate drops throughout even just a six minute match.

Furthermore, the visual design is significantly hindered by the jump to mobile. The screen resolution results in jagged edges on near-every on-screen item, from the players to the shadows they cast. The result is a significantly muddier visual presentation than its Oculus Rift cousin. There’s time to rectify these issues of course, though one might have hoped that the Gear VR version would be further into development given the high quality of the presentation on PC.

Even with these visual issues, Sociable Soccer is a compelling VR football videogame. It’s equally as intuitive and aggressive on the Gear VR as the Oculus Rift edition of the videogame, and is set to be offered at a compelling price point at launch. Just when that launch date will arrive is not yet determined, however you can be sure that VRFocus will be following the progression of the Gear VR edition of Sociable Soccer very closely indeed.

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