Battlescar: Punk Was Invented By Girls

4-star rating
Apple, Link, Quest
Music, Short Films
Comfortable, Stationary

Battlescar VR short film poster

Battlescar: Punk Was Invented by Girls is an animated virtual reality short film set in 1978's New York City, focusing on struggles in young life and finding identity. The tricks of VR are used well here to keep the viewer engaged as the story of two teen girls unfolds, depicting life on the dangerous and grim city streets while striving for expression through punk rock music.

The camera is rarely in the same place twice as scenes cut between immersive shots, overhead views and animated sets that play with scale and look like miniature stages. Text and doodles from the main character's journal hit the screen as they punctuate and echo the dialog of the story and the emotion. Great color and lighting sets the atmosphere, though we found visuals to be lacking in detail and design flair, particularly on the principal characters. Thankfully Rosaria Dawson's masterful vocal performance lends a depth to the characters that makes up for any shortfall in the graphics.

Battlescar VR concert scene

It's hard to find a new tale to tell and Battlescar's 30 minute story is somewhat generic, though thankfully the high production values keep this short film interesting throughout. We were a little underwhelmed by the ending however - the final act took a turn that lacked foreshadowing or reason in a way that felt under developed.

Battlescar is available on Meta Quest and Oculus Rift devices. Though it's also available on Steam, reports suggest that the app will not function on non-Meta headsets so we can't recommend it on that platform. Controllers aren't needed for this app, and though snap-turning is not available it is mostly unnecessary as all the scenes are positioned within a 180 degree viewing angle.

Battlescar VR interstitial scene

Battlescar VR street scene

✅ Told in an engaging way with plenty of VR tricks.
✅ Excellent voicework by Rosario Dawson.
❌ Somewhat generic story.

• YouTube: Trailer
• Languages: English, French, German, Japanese, Korean
• Oculus Rift depreciated version: $5.99 at Meta PCVR Store
• Facebook: Comment on this article

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