Moss is delightful. Frankly we could leave our hands on impressions there, because those three little words sum up our sentiments so far. Polyarc’s hotly anticipated PlayStation VR platformer has impressed us every time we’ve tried it prior to release, and now with just days to go until the title drops onto the PlayStation Store, we’re happy to report that it looks like it’s been worth the wait.
The game’s just gorgeous – and we’re not limiting that word to the lush aesthetics either. Swirling music and a whimsical fantasy tale accompanies the virtual reality action, which has a magical vibe to it. You play as the “Reader”, a kind of Ghibli-esque phantom peering into the world in which intrepid rodent Quill exists. The title does an amazing job of making you feel like you exist within the environment itself.
It achieves this in several ways: it shows your reflection in water for one. But it’s not just this: you can also use the 3D motion tracking of the DualShock 4 to reach out and grab objects in the world, opening up new pathways for Quill to navigate. And the cute protagonist herself is also wonderfully animated, looking at you over her shoulder for guidance as you control her with your analogue stick.
It really is a sight to behold in virtual reality. We’ve captured the first 30 minutes of gameplay in the video above, but watching the footage on YouTube does not do it justice. The vibrant environments surround you in PlayStation VR, and there’s depth to the image that makes it feel like you’re peering into a stunning diorama. It’s hard to explain unless you have experience with virtual reality, but those of you who do should be able to imagine the sheer depth and scale of the world.
But the game’s even managed to surprise us in these opening exchanges. One section sees Quill arrive in a landscape where deer are foraging in the background; another sees the character running through a populated town, where other mice are fishing and going about their business. It’s the kind of world you wished you could snuggle up inside.
The jury, of course, is still out on the combat and whether the title can keep the puzzles interesting over the course of a full campaign. So far we’ve been impressed with the conundrums; they’ve forced us to use our grey matter without frustrating or obstructing our progress. But the title will need to keep inventing new ideas within the boundaries of its systems if it’s to be the true must have that it has the potential to be.
We so hope that the rest of the game delivers on its extraordinary potential, though. It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes you fall in love with a title in its opening exchanges; Moss is very much one of those games.
Are you looking forward to entering the whimsical world of Moss? Turn the pages in the comments section below.