After remaining a PSVR exclusive since its November release, Crytek’s gorgeous Robinson: The Journey recently popped up on Oculus Home and has now come to Steam. Following the unfortunate lack of VR controller support, a rocky Steam release has been met with a major bug preventing many players from launching the game, and no official support for the HTC Vive.
Update (2/13/17, 11AM ET): A patch released by the developers has fixed the issue. See here for details. Original story continues below.
Robinson: The Journey launched on PSVR in early November, and it seems a brief period of exclusivity has lifted, with the game hitting the Oculus store and now Steam over the last few days. The game is the second full VR title for Crytek, who also developed the Oculus exclusive The Climb.
The title follows a young boy and his robotic AI caretaker who have crash landed on a planet inhabited by lush foliage and dinosaurs both friendly and fierce. While the game’s undeniably gorgeous visuals are an achievement for the young VR market, the gameplay was hampered by the awkward use of a static gamepad to handle many first-person hand interactions (much of which seem to have been purpose-built for motion controllers).
A critical bug is preventing a significant number of users from launching Robinson: The Journey the game on SteamVR at all. The game’s discussion forum is filled largely with complaints of players not able to play the game due to a ‘Platform Error’. Crytek developers have acknowledged the bug on February 10th and purportedly issued a fix, but many players are still reporting the issue as of today.
We downloaded the title to test it and are also unable to launch the game due to the error. Data from SteamSpy suggests the issue is affecting nearly 100% of users, with just 2 users recorded as the game’s all time peak players.
With its launch on Steam, Robinson: The Journey is now available on all three major VR platforms, but only two of the major headsets. That’s because, while SteamVR is designed to be interoperable with many PC VR headsets, the developers have chosen to launch the game on Steam with official support only designated for the Oculus Rift. With the Vive outnumbering Rift users on SteamVR 3 to 2, that leaves the game unsupported by the majority of VR headset users on SteamVR.
These issues are underscored by the unfortunate lack of VR controller support in the game, which we elaborated on previously:
Like Robinson, Crytek’s The Climb also initially launched only with support for the gamepad, but that was before Oculus launched Touch. Crytek eventually made a major update to The Climb which brought Touch support to the game which, again, felt made-for-motion-controllers from the beginning. Hopefully Robinson will see the same treatment, but presently there’s no indication of whether or not that will happen.
Gamepad-only support makes a little more sense on the Rift though because every Rift comes with an included gamepad. The Vive however comes standard with motion controls, so even if the game supported the Vive on SteamVR, only players who separately have a compatible gamepad would be able to play (unless the developers took the extra awkward step of allowing the Vive’s motion controllers to emulate a static gamepad).
It’s been a rocky launch for Robinson on PC, which is a shame given that it’s presently one of VR’s most highly produced games, with its AAA graphics looking even more impressive in the PC version.