Like so many other VR games out there, Budget Cuts made its way over to PlayStation VR after being exclusive to PC for two years or so. I hadn’t heard of it until my editor slid the review code onto my desk, but as always, I never say no to checking out what the indie scene is up to.
Budget Cuts is a sort of stealth-action VR game that have you play the role of a nameless employee of a company called TransCorp, and try to escape after a character named Winta called you, telling you that you’re next to go to HR, a place that nobody comes back from. The entire office building is filled with robots that work there 27/4 because it’s always Tuesday. Oh, and they all also think they’re human.
The game is played using the Move controllers, and with them, you get to use different tools, including a nifty transporting device which you use to move around within the levels. You aim where you want to go, throw a transport ball that can bounce of walls and then instantly go where you aimed. It is the main tool you will use, but you have some others like a magnifying glass that shows you hidden or foreign text. You also have an inventory in which you can add some important stuff, like a pager, access key cards and “letter openers”.
As I mentioned, the plot of Budget Cuts sees you going about the task of escaping the building, which is made more challenging by the Supervisor bots with guns being all over the place, thankfully you have some “letter openers” or throwing knives at your disposal that you can chuck at them take them down, though this resource is quite limited. So the game has some sneaky elements along with combat backed into it, which makes some of the encounters both fun and intense, as you try and figure you where to go, take down a supervisor bot and survive at the same time.
I’m not the biggest fan of the teleporting mechanic that VR games employ, but I understand the limitation and why it is there. That said, the implementation of it in Budget Cuts is pretty decent and a smooth enough experience. I also started the game thinking it would be a sort of quirky puzzle game but was pleasantly surprised with the stealth/ combat game that it actually is. The story isn’t great, but also decent enough and there’s some quirky humour thrown in to keep you motivated.
I can really not find much fault with the game, as it is in that sweet spot for VR games in terms of length, around five hours or so, and it is pretty well made. Some complaints, however, would be the very long loading times that come up a little bit too frequently, as well as the fact that the game doesn’t really tell you what to do. I didn’t know how to get into the menu for instance and came across it by accident by pressing and holding the two Move buttons. Nothing is really explained and you’re kind of just sent in a direction.
A decent VR experience
Budget Cuts won’t blow your mind, but if you’re looking for a fun and entertaining Virtual Reality experience, then it is worth having a look. The exploration coupled with decent stealth mechanics and combat makes it a really solid VR outing. It clocks in at around five hours which isn’t bad for a VR game and plays well enough without any comfort issues. As I mentioned, the loading times can be a bit long and frequent, but that is nit-picking. Budget Cuts is a solid VR title.