I’ve had my PSVR helmet a couple of years at this point, I’m always looking for that holy grail of VR, that feeling of immersion. Now that doesn’t mean I’m seeking photo-realism or a grounded real-life story. For me it’s more that enveloping feeling of being there, wherever being there is. Throw Anything has made me swear and get stressed in both a positive and negative way more than most other VR games has achieved.
Starting with a rather lacklustre story intro you’re shown that a mysterious plague doctor mask wearing scientist has unleashed the undead on earth and you’re tasked with finding pieces of a broken cube across the globe to bring everything back to normality. This is exposition is dolled out to the player with some unexciting still images that don’t really do anything to invoke the vibe of the game. Mix with that the music, which throughout the game seems completely mishandled. At no point did I feel like any music was appropriate for the level or menu I was in, all screamed of royalty free placeholder until the real soundtrack is put in.
After getting through a basic tutorial you’re introduced to your first level, the apartment. Each level presents essentially two elements, the first is a window that when looked out of you can see a slowly meandering crowd of zombies. If they make it across the street, up the wall and into the window it’s game over. The second element is 180 degrees behind you, a room of stuff. Using the two Move controllers you must grab everything that isn’t nailed down and whip it out the window to knock the zombies back and hopefully kill them. The size of item dictates damage meaning the easier to grab books, fish, fruit, clocks and stationery etc isn’t going to do nearly as much good as a chair. Nearly all larger objects like sofas and tables can be smashed with smaller objects meaning more detritus to be weaponised against the horde.
This is where I feel I need to caveat most of my opinions on Throw Anything, the game is bubble-gum, it’s a harmless arcade experience that would be a perfect ‘show game’ for people new to VR to try when they come to your house (assuming you have the wrist straps on the Move controllers, otherwise say goodbye TV). It doesn’t need a super in-depth story or the greatest graphics or audio. It just needs to work.
And on the most part the game does work. Very rarely was I grabbing something I didn’t want, or my throws weren’t heading where I intended, it was all reacting incredibly well to my actions, with one exception. Originally Throw Anything was on PC VR headsets which all allow for 360 movement thanks to their fancy antennas around a room or in headset cameras. PSVR on the whole teaches you very quickly to keep your feet planted and don’t walk around, partially for safety, but also because the system simply can’t see what your hands are doing if you turn away from the camera, unfortunately with the set up of Throw Anything you are basically required to turn around completely to be able to grab all the items to be chucked out the window. I did see news on a patch coming to allow a button to be pressed to turn around but at time of review it wasn’t live.
This isn’t to say this is a game breaking element of Throw Anything. The game is a lot of fun and can get stressful, in a good way, when the challenge of item management and defence comes together. Not wanting to use all your large objects or guns upfront at the start of the level and instead burning through every keyboard and mouse or book on a shelf to hold back an onslaught is a lot of fun and really got me ‘in’. The immersion of the situation, rather than the world, played me well and I was frantic, there’s no other word for it, just frantic in my actions and my accuracy. When those moments did happen the game was a blast, I was sucked into the scenario and let go and played along.
There are six levels with difficulty ranging from ‘walk in the park’ to ‘this isn’t fair’ (see the police station level that had a boss that caused me to drop the difficulty level after a rather unceremonious rage quit). All the level’s have their ‘gimmick’ like the office having a photocopier, the kitchen with its freezer and the police station with it’s small arsenal hidden away. It’s not a game you’d feel inclined to finish in one sitting but for a pick up and play arcade experience Throw Anything ticks a lot of boxes and is a lot higher quality than a lot of other PSVR games that try to put out that similar vibe. Once the game has had its quick turn patch it’s easy for me to recommend, with one slight exception; it’s a little expensive for what it is. Currently in the UK PSN store the game is selling for £24.49 which is a fair bit on the high side. For that money you could pick up a couple of the games which are considered classics on PSVR like Astro-Bot, Moss or Blood and Truth. If you’ve played those and want something easy then during a sale I can definitely recommend Throw Anything, but until that price drops you’re just not getting enough bang for your buck, especially if a house guest throws a Move controller at your TV.