For football fans virtual reality (VR) hasn’t really offered much in the way of immersive entertainment so far. There’s plenty of standard videogames on the sport but it seems as if football doesn’t translate overly well to VR headsets. But that depends on what part of the game you’re interested in, while football mad kids dream of being a striker – upfront, scoring goals – being the goalkeeper is just as critical, and it’s this position that Ivanovich Games has chosen for Final Goalie: Football Simulator.
Firstly, you don’t need to be a fan of football to get into Final Goalie: Football Simulator. This isn’t a videogame that involves stats, teams or any of the other fluff that you get in management simulators. It’s just you, the goal, and a whole load of flying balls to stop. Being a HTC Vive title mechanics are simple, it’s all about hand to eye coordination. Use your hands to defend the goal by any means necessary, whether that’s punching, slapping or catching the incoming projectiles.
Final Goalie: Football Simulator offer up four flavours of entertainment, Arcade Game, Simulator Game, Story Mode and Multiplayer. The first two offer the quickest access into the action, with the Simulator putting you in front of several football players who take it in turn to shoot a variety of shots. It’s this initial introduction – you need to play Simulator then Arcade before unlocking Story mode – that can certainly give you a rush of adrenaline, putting you on the pitch inside a fully fledged stadium, certainly does impress.
Once the shots start incoming, it’s certainly quick and intuitive to start saving the balls. Your hands naturally extend to save the shots, keeping an eye how they curve and slice through the air. You soon realise that unlike a real goal mouth, Final Goalie: Football Simulator‘s goal is a lot smaller, and thankfully so. It means you’re not going to start diving wildly around your living room stretching for the top corner, most should find they can cover the goal at full arm extension with little footwork required.
But that’s not to say it’s easy, in the Arcade mode for example, players are replaced with cannons firing footballs and cannonballs so beware which to save. There’s also the challenge of trying to save multiple shots at the same time, which can certainly be difficult, but this is made easier with powerups. These pop up as nets where the cannons appear. To activate them, simply catch a ball and throw it at a net.
Multiplayer on the other certainly offers up a unique approach to cross-platform play. Ivanovich Games make Final Kick, a mobile title in which revolves around players taking penalties. The developer mixes these two together to offer a far more dynamic challenge to both titles. It adds a nice social aspect to the VR version, so that friends can play together whilst in the same room.
If you’re after a fun alternative to all of the first-person shooters (FPS) available on HTC Vive Final Goalie: Football Simulator certainly provides an outlet. There’s plenty to experience and it’s certainly a workout in long play sessions, but it can get repetitive as the basic challenge does essentially stay the same. If you’re happy wildly flailing your arms in VR, then Final Goalie: Football Simulator provides an enjoyable experience that’s suitable for everyone.