Trover Saves the Universe was one of the weirdest games presented at Sony’s E3 conference this year. An original game created by Justin Roiland himself, this is the animator’s second foray into virtual-reality games after the hilarious Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality. There are lots of reasons to look forward to a game like this. A brand new virtual reality game with a huge emphasis on the imbecilic but magnificent humor Roiland is know for, what’s not to love? I was surprised to find out Trover was available to play at Sony’s booth at Brasil Game Show 2018, but results weren’t as positive as expected. Weirdly enough, none of the reasons were the actual game’s fault.
Before I dive into the big issue with the demo, let’s talk about Trover itself. This is a game in which you control a weird Morty-sounding alien by shoving one of his eyes (which are also creatures) into your virtual Dualshock 4 in order to control his body Oddworld-style. You have full control of the character with the left analog stick and can look around with either the right analog stick or by moving your head around while on VR. Your character can move, jump, solve some simple puzzles and attack with a lightsaber, while the Dualshock-wielding mind-controlling character you also control can move around by teleporting to specific spots in the map. The best way I can describe this game is “Rick and Morty meets Oddworld meets Moss“. Sounds like a weird but potentially awesome concept, but it’s now time to talk about the demo.
The thing with Trover is that it is a dialogue-heavy virtual reality game. A good chunk of its appeal is by listening to the ridiculous dialogue spouted by Roiland himself. The demo available at Sony’s booth was only playable at a normal PS4 with non-noise-cancelling headphones. That meant that you could barely hear what Roiland was telling you (besides a few f-bombs every now and then) nor enjoy the immersion only a VR headset can provide. Suffice to say, I couldn’t enjoy the game the way it was supposed to be enjoyed.
While I didn’t enjoy Trover Saves the Universe‘s demo, it wasn’t because the game looked bad or it had faulty gameplay. Being forced to play a dialogue-heavy VR game without good headphones and without a PSVR headset meant I couldn’t properly experience the title the way it was supposed to. While it was enough for me to notice that the gameplay is unique and functional, I couldn’t hear any of the jokes or find out how immersive the game actually is.
By the way, a few Rick and Morty characters made cameos in the demo. You’ll scream when you see them there. No, it wasn’t Rick, nor was it Morty.