Platform: PS4 (requires PlayStation VR headset)
So you spent about RM1,400 on the PlayStation VR headset 2 years ago. From then on out, you must have felt like one of those suckers with the case of FOMO (fear of missing out), reading online rags about the hyped-up VR device. Truth be told, there weren’t any games worth justifying that amount of money.
We’ve got good news for you poor unfortunate souls out there: now there’s a game that gives a shred of hope to you poor fellows out there: a humble little game called Moss.
Moss is what happens when you combine the whimsical with the unnecessary. Part puzzle-platformer and part fantasy storybook whimsical nonsense, Moss is about a mouse named Quill who is tasked with saving her uncle after their mousey kingdom is overthrown by a fire-breathing snake. You as a player, dubbed the Reader, acts as a powerful force of good that helps out the denizens of Moss.
What’s cool about this game is that the use of the PSVR here blends both the immersive-ness of VR and the traditional method of character movement. You control Quill yet at the same time you can move your head around as the Reader to search for clues that can help the mouse out in her escapades and the current stage’s puzzles.
Developer Polyarc made use of the game’s VR capabilities to the fullest. Every single scene in the game is a friggin’ diorama made for mice (but not for men). From the squirrel emblems on the curtains and panels to the top of the bookshelves hiding little things here and there, you know there’s a huge amount of love being put in Moss’ aesthetics. It’s like you’re in a European-made fantasy RPG where you get to kay-poh around and search every nook and cranny.
None of this would mean jack if we didn’t have a lead character worth a damn. And Quill is worth a hundred damns. From beginning to end, we felt as if we had a tiny mouse friend in real life ala Stuart Little, but more proactive. She even high-fives you at times and you can interact with her like said mini-companion comparison.
And the puzzles! Damn these are some creative level designs that suit the PSVR’s focus. While you’re controlling Quill, you act as an overseeing eye to spot and help out in creative puzzles. We can’t spoil anything, but trust us when we say that you’ll be like “woah” when you solve the puzzles using a combo of your wits and Quill’s skillset.
We’ll just put this Jesse Cox playthrough here to show you what I mean by how it makes players loom over the field like a god, but is obligated to protect and help out the most charming character of 2018 so far.
Moss may not be a conventional game, but at the very least it set the standards pretty high for VR storytelling. And it also adds to the case that the PSVR is not just a hunk of white plastic with VR gimmicks. We need more devs like Polyarc to create more immersive meaningful experiences like this and not one-trick ponies like Farpoint and that Batman tech demo.
In other words, buy this without hesitation if you have a PSVR collecting dust somewhere in your storage closet. If not, maybe wait until the headset is at a reasonable price?