Eat my goal
Headmaster, from Frame Interactive, is a virtual reality heading game for the PlayStation VR. Set in a prison, sorry, a Football Improvement Centre, you have been enrolled on an intense re-education program to ensure you aren’t a threat to your club’s reputation.
Exactly why you are a threat to your club is a mystery; either I missed the explanation because I was too busy looking around the pitch or because there wasn’t one. It doesn’t matter though, because in Headmaster you are thrown head-first straight into the game. Once you are shown the correct way to head a ball they start flying towards you and I mean that literally. Through the PSVR it feels as though the balls are really headed your way.
The basic aim of Headmaster is to head balls at targets. It’s easily approachable so that anyone can play it, but this simplistic facade actually hides a challenging game that will put your skills to the test. Broken down into lessons the game will have you directing balls at targets, through hoops and even at piñatas while watching for extra balls, bombs and golden balls (which double your score). These lessons each have a three star scoring system in place. Score high enough and you’ll earn a star so you can move onto the next level. Pass enough of the levels and you open up an exam. Exams can only be taken when you have earned a target amount of stars. This encourages you to replay the lessons to try to improve your scores and earn more stars. There’s even a party mode where you and your friends can compete for the highest score.
There are not many controls to master in Headmaster, and after the start screen it is all handled via the headset. The camera tracks your head movements so you can direct the virtual footballs just like you would in reality. Even the menus are navigated using your head! Whenever you are in a menu screen there’s a little dot on screen that acts as a cursor. You move your head around to move the dot and I have to say the movement of it tracks perfectly. During a lesson you can look down and the game will bring up a state of the art tablet. Okay it’s actually a clipboard, but from here you can use the cursor to retry, resume or go to the main menu.
Graphically Headmaster is more than realistic enough to convince you that you are stood on a football pitch taking lessons. You’ll probably grunt and groan like a professional footballer trying to head in a winner at Wembley as you frantically try to head all the balls in the quick-fire rounds. The audio works really well; again it’s all realistic and convincing enough to immerse you in the game. I especially liked the PA system above the scoreboard; it relays lesson instructions and thanks to the 3D audio qualities of the PSVR headset when you move your head away from it the audio trails away and gets quieter just as it would in real life.
Headmaster has fourteen trophies to aim for. As well as a few miscellaneous and some story-related trophies you’ll need to get three stars in each of the lessons and ace the exams if you plan to earn your freedom and become a rehabilitated star player.
Headmaster is a great game that’s not to be missed. It’s a perfect introduction into the world of virtual reality. The graphics and physics of the ball are convincing and make you feel like you are really part of the game. Overall while the premise of each lesson is always the same – head the ball and get a target score – the variety between them keeps the game fresh, which ensures you enjoy your stay at the Football Improvement Centre.
NelMaNo Rating – 8/10
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