If you look at the current trend of VR gaming, it’s all about the gritty, scary side of things. Survive this crazy asylum. Beware of every corner of this spooky house. That sort of stuff. Look, it’s what any developer would jump at doing given the potential (and limitations) of VR technology, but what about the fun side of it? What about a good old-fashioned adventure?
Well, Moss aims to change this, signalling a storytelling victory for PSVR. While many VR titles can be accused of lacking the rich narrative of its PS4 counterparts, this game paves the way for future games with its solid world-building, terrific cast, and addictive storyline. What its characters lack in height, they make up for in heart as it leaves you excited for the next instalment of this franchise.
Following a little field mouse named Quill, it’s a coming-of-age story of epic proportions. When Quill’s family is kidnapped, their fate is put in her hands as she heads off on a journey to rescue them. Along the way she does battle with various creatures and encounters a world lush in colour and excitement. Think of this as Fievel Goes West meets Harry Potter and Spyro the Dragon.
What’s immediately refreshing about this title is the ability to play in third-person view. After a few first-person games that caused me vertigo, this is a welcome change. Additionally, the environment isn’t a smorgasbord of migraines, as it keeps it simple and good-looking without going overboard on the aesthetics. It might not contain the greatest set pieces, designs, or sounds we’ve ever encountered in a fantasy game, but it does complement the fairy-tale element of Moss rather well.
As with most VR titles, the controls are relatively simple and easy to grasp. The puzzles aren’t as challenging as some other PSVR titles nor do you need to suffer a stiff neck from craning your neck too far, but it affords you more time to enjoy the splendour of this colourful world and the wonderful lead character rather than wrack your brain over complexities.
The combat, in particular, is the most satisfying part of it, as you witness the delicate and fragile Quill throwdown like she’s Wonder Mouse. Again, it isn’t a revolutionary system or new mechanics, but you’ll undoubtedly crack a smile at the swashbuckling bits and mindless battles.
As expected, the game is short and you’ll clock it in no time. Unfortunately, that’s one of the downsides of VR gaming and we don’t see this changing in the near future. That said, the time spent with Quill is engaging and fulfilling enough, ensuring that you’ll want to continue the adventure in a forthcoming sequel.
While Moss isn’t a perfect game, you’ll look past all its inadequacies due to its sheer fun and likability. Funny enough, the fact that it doesn’t rely too much on VR is probably its biggest strength. Who would’ve thunk it?