New Game Review PSVR

Review – Moss (PSVR)

Where there's a Quill, there's a way.

From the very beginning, Polyarc doesn’t hide what Moss is. In fact, they proudly put it center stage. Moss is a story: a beautifully told and presented story. A fantastic book that you sit down with and can’t put down. What literally starts as a simple turn of the pages suddenly becomes you entering the story teller’s world. This story is about Quill, the main protagonist. You are the Reader but together, this is your journey.

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The world of Moss is beautiful. You realize this the moment you enter Quill’s fantastical forest and village. Its fixed camera position allows you to turn and take in all the beauty. Diorama-like levels allow you to casually explore each set. The main character is young, adventurous, and in way over her head. But the true beauty of Moss is how it successfully combines certain VR mechanics that find success for different reasons, incorporating them each in a positive way that provides game depth.

Your story begins with the background of Moss and the evil that fell on the land; the serpent Sarffog and his armies of the Arcane. This is where you get a brief history of the events leading up to your adventure. It’s also where you learn about the importance of the Glass Relics, which is where your adventure starts. This is where you meet Quill, or rather she meets you, after a Glass Relic chooses her when she stumbles across it while adventuring.

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There are six chapters to the first book of Moss. The Clearing is where you begin and where Polyarc starts teaching you the basics of the game. Starting with RT to grip and move specific environment pieces, playing with Attack and Jump to get around obstacles, recognizing and finding collectibles, and maneuvering through puzzles. These simple and common mechanics are the core of Moss. You make your way past The Mire, The Mire Temple, and the Namelhook Mining Co., all while learning and mastering other skills.

Learning enemy attack patterns becomes paramount, as handling two or three enemies turns into handling waves of 5 simultaneously. Using enemies to your advantage to get past areas, or even against other enemies, becomes a needed skill. All of the little uses of VR in these chapters truly show that with some ingenuity and some creative restraint, a little can go a long way.

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Music is another example of this. Nature is the main soundtrack in Moss. Sounds of streams and wildlife are always present, as is a soft calming flute. This goes a long way to immerse you into the virtual world created. In the end, immersion is what this game is about. The subtle kind you find yourself in after reading 15 straight chapters of your favorite book. VR is a perfect home for the story telling game Moss is aiming to be.

Moss is a short, linear game. Although this works for the game they put out, it does mean that other than wrapping up some collectibles, there is little reason to continue playing post credits. But the same could be said for any good book, yet most of us find ourselves revisiting our favorite worlds again and again.

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There are games you buy a system for. Games that are must owns to showcase your system. Moss proudly sits as that title for PSVR. And seeing that this is labeled as “Book One,” I can’t wait to continue my role as the Reader. “Now your time has come at last, dear Reader. While we began this tale . . . we hope it is yours to finish.”

Graphics: 8.5

Beautifully rendered world effortlessly combining a bit of fantasy, reality, and science fiction.

Gameplay: 9.0

Showcases many small mechanics that work well in VR and uses each proficiently.

Sound: 8.5

No massive soundtrack, but soft subtle music mixed with the all-around-you nature sounds adds to immersion.

Fun Factor: 9.0

Fantastic story element, multiple VR mechanics, and beautiful world design all create a great experience.

Final Verdict: 9.0

Moss is available now on PlayStation VR

A copy of Moss was provided by the publisher.

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