Platforms: PlayStation VR
Reviewed on: PlayStation VR
Acquired: * A copy of this game was provided from publisher for review purpose*
Moss is a first-of-its-kind storybook adventure for the PlayStation VR. But can Polyarc deliver a solid story and impressive graphics with all of the technical issues the PSVR brings?
Moss opens in a dark cathedral with a big book in front of you. A narrator tells us before the story begins that I (the reader) has a big part of this story.
“Many years ago, the stuff of nightmares came to life in the kingdom. A winged creature swooped into the king’s chambers and killed him beneath a starless sky. A fiery snake and the underworld army known as the Arcane ravaged the castle in search of a powerful relic called the Glass. Outmatched, Sir Argus led his people to a distant clearing, hidden by trees. With the help of the Sprites, a neighboring group who sent a Glass-wielding champion of their own, Argus sealed the temple gate to keep the Arcane out. The Sprite champion perished near the gate, and a towering tree grew in his place to keep the Glass safe until a suitable hero came along.”
The voice of the narrator reads like an animated parent reading a bedtime story for a kid. And by doing so gives me a true feeling of the setting.
Quill, a small mouse, our hero in this story, finds a piece of glass that gives her a connection between her and us (the reader). To shorten things up a bit without starting to spoil the rest of the story, your uncle is being kidnapped by evil forces and takes over the castle. You and Quill embarks on an adventure to rescue Quill’s uncle, to push back the evil and reclaim the fallen castle.
One thing is certain; even though the story is simple, it is compelling and the hours is swifting by. But the negative part is that there isn’t many hours to swift with, as I finished the story within three-four hours on the first attempt. But then again, the story ends with wonder of what happens next, so we might get an sequel hopefully soon.
The world in Moss is gorgeous!
Moss is one of the few PlayStation VR titles that actually looks better inside the VR headset than on the TV screen. All of the characters is perfectly detailed in both the visual and texturing. You know the developers have done something right when you can’t stop cuddling with Quill instead of actual playing the game.
I get the right feeling on each scenario with the help of perfectly set lightning and from relaxing to nerv wrecking soundtrack. Most of the environmental visuals is simply made, but all of it is designed with perfection that gives the whole scenario a beautiful look. And by perfection I mean it is designed perfect for this type of game and story, it’s not photorealistic, but suits this title well.
Moss’s gameplay is a second strong part in this VR title. It’s not in an advanced control system or combat system, but in the smart usage of simple buttons on the Dualshock controller that you have to use to solve the puzzles to proceed. Moss brings a simple tutorial as you go through the story, other than that Quill and you are on your own to solve the puzzles.
Quill can jump, swing her sword, dodge and pull levers. You on the other hand can grab things and heal Quill by pulling her up. This might sound complicated, but isn’t; you control Quill and you can contribute by grabbing different objects (or enemies). Sometimes both Quill and you have to work together at the same time to defeat enemies or solving puzzles.
From combat to puzzles, Moss plays like a dream. I was afraid that it might have been to easy to complete, and some of the puzzles was easy. But don’t read me wrong there, some of the combat is challenging – especially the final boss. And even though some of the puzzles was easy, they were fun to solve. So have in mind that this game isn’t only meant for adults, but kids as well.
It is here some of the struggles with the use of the PlayStation VR appears. As the PlayStation camera has to recognize your Dualshock controller because of the motion sensors. Have in mind that your camera should be in the right position to give a better experience. I struggled at first, as my “reader hand” vanished under the floor or couldn’t reach Quill in the back of the level. But I managed to solve this by repositioning the camera. But then again, you can finish the game without moving your head (but what is the fun in that?). I didn’t encounter delays in the buttons, on another hand I didn’t encounter a single negative thing about the controls at all on both the Dualshock controller and the VR headset.
There isn’t much end game content in Moss besides that you can play through the chapters once more to find the hidden scrolls. Each hidden scroll contains a piece for your unfinished mosaic window painting. Other than that, well we have to wait for the next book.
Moss delivers a strong title to this genre, and they also delivers an amazing VR experience. I can easily spend many more hours in Quill’s adventures, so I truly hope a sequel is around the corner. The mix of combat and puzzle solving is addictive and always felt fresh.
Replay Value: 7/10