The Last Worker is the perfect demo for the PSVR 2

The Last Worker
(Image credit: Oiffy)

Virtual reality scares me, sort of. There’s been a weird underlying feeling that I could get stuck in one of the devices forever, since I watched Sword Art Online, or the thought that something as simple as a phone call could kill me while I’m in there, as I saw once in Black Mirror. 

The PSVR 2 has no such life-threatening details. In fact, it’s been quite a breeze to set up and use, as I recently found out when I experienced the new-gen VR device from Sony while playing Oiffy’s The Last Worker, a narrative-driven adventure game about machines taking over menial labor from humans. 

Game director Jorg Tittel effortlessly plonks the main headset over my face, and hands me the two motion controllers, one for each hand. “I’m going to squeeze your head like a fucking melon,” he mutters as he makes his way behind me to tighten the headset using a cog. After a life-threatening few seconds, I’m simply set up and ready to roll into the world of The Last Worker. 

The Last Worker

(Image credit: Oiffy)

But first I need to get a feel for the PSVR 2. It’s heavy, not unbearably so, but enough to make you think it’s made of sterner stuff and ready to take a beating when you shell out nearly £600 for it. In this way it’s quite similar to the original PSVR unit, really - it’s sleek and shiny white with curved edges, and looks like something you might think Apple designed a world away in California. 

The motion controllers in my hands feel nice and weighty as well. They don’t feel cheap and made of plastic, but like complex technological tools waiting for you to guide them to work in a virtual world. In that respect, at least, I feel like you wouldn’t need to stress about them falling apart should you accidentally smack your hand into a real-life object while playing in your house or apartment. 

That aforementioned virtual world today takes the form of a humongous factory in The Last Worker. I step into the shoes of a tired, old warehouse worker, someone who I feel has been here all their life by the long, slow drawl of words falling out of their mouth, and the drab face that stares back at me when I look in a mirror. 

The Last Worker is an adventure game at heart, though, and so I’m placed in a floating trolley of sorts, with gadgets all around me. There’s a lever that commands the platform’s forward and backwards motions, a gun-shaped device that telekinetically picks up boxes from around the warehouse near me, and another device that enables me to repel nearby robotic warehouse staff.

The Last Worker

(Image credit: Oiffy)

The Last Worker functions brilliantly as a way of demoing the PSVR 2 because all the fancy gizmos are right there in front of you. Everything that you could ever want to push, pull, and get a feel for is literally right there in front of you on this one platform, so Oiffy’s game immediately makes clear to you how to use each device, and what you’ve got in your arsenal to play around with. 

That’s all well and good, but I’m still useless with the PSVR 2. The Last Worker’s introductory sequences are great at onboarding the average player with helpful tutorials and guidance, but that’s not me. Tittel barks at me which buttons on the controller I should use to pick up by telekinetic gun, but it’s all lost on me, as I flail around on my platform to little avail. I’m pretty sure Tittel physically left the room at one point, poor guy. 

This is where the PSVR 2’s real-life view mode is a godsend. Simply pressing a button underneath the main headset, I’m taken out of the game and into a real-world view from the headset with a film-like grain over the top. It’s a nifty little feature for assessing your surroundings, you might think, but it’s a stroke of genius for those (like me) who need a minute to look over the buttons on the motion controllers and puzzle their way around. 

On-screen, a robotic companion whirs to life near my character, assaulting my senses with an overly chipper American voice. My tired old factory worker really wants this thing to buzz off, immediately communicating just how alien this world I’ve been thrust into is to the average human being. The robot is another fantastic use of the PSVR 2’s head-tracking features, beckoning me to follow it as it swoops and dives all around my platform.

The Last Worker

(Image credit: Oiffy)

There’s something… sinister about this factory. I’m the only human being, obviously, but there’s weird little jabs from my robotic overseer, laced with threatening innuendo about me eventually having to be replaced by a robot if I can’t do my job of picking up a box and moving it to a designated location well enough. “The Last Worker” implies loneliness and isolation, and the game hammers this home with existential dread in a world utterly consumed and dominated by machinery and AI.

But all of a sudden, after a brief mechanical failure, the haughty Yorkshire tones of Jason Isaacs bursts forth from the robot. The beloved Brit actor takes over as the rebellious side of the robot, who beckons me to find out the truth about the daunting factory in a daring quest against the machines. It’s quite the compelling twist after less than half an hour in The Last Worker, and Isaac’s voice does wonders for urging me on, probably because the average Yorkshireman just has an air of authority about them. 

The PSVR 2 works brilliantly with the game’s stealth-based sections. As I wind my pod around corners and tight angles, I’m craning my neck to see any pesky patrolling robots sneaking up on me, guarding the murky corridors. The head-tracking is again sublime here, a feature that The Last Worker uses to perfection to ground you in the factory and the peril you’re putting yourself in by going up against the machines. 

The PSVR 2 feels brilliant to use, and The Last Worker is the perfect way of demoing it. As a newbie to VR in general, the PS5 device immediately feels impressive and weighty, with little additions like the real-life view going a long way to boost quality of life. The Last Worker might be coming to other platforms like PC and Nintendo Switch, but with seamless head tracking for stealth sections and sublime hand coordination for doing menial work in the warehouse, the PSVR 2 looks to be the place to play The Last Worker.

PSVR 2 launches next month on February 22. The Last Worker launches later this year in 2023. 

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.