The Redwall-esque world of Moss was an absolute joy to play through when it first launched on PSVR. Inhabiting the mantle of the omniscient, invisible “reader,” you guided the ASL-fluent mouse heroine, Quill, on her journey to vanquish Sarffog. Moss: Book II picks up in the immediate aftermath of the first title as Quill and a handful of allies must now gather the five pieces of glass before her enemies claim them and bring calamity upon the world of Moss.
The phenomenal gameplay of the first title returns in force, offering a great combination of hack-and-slash and VR item manipulation. While not the most challenging of experiences, using Quill to beat back hordes of enemies remains exhilarating, and more importantly, fun. One of the biggest changes is the introduction of multiple weapons for Quill. In addition to her glass sword, a hammer and chakrams have joined Quill’s arsenal, though switching on the fly in the heat of combat is a little shaky: weapon swapping is tucked into a menu reached through the touchpad, but we can’t help thinking the weapons should have been mapped to the d-pad instead. Fortunately, the weapons themselves are all fun to use, and each serve different purposes for puzzles thanks to their charge attacks. The hammer can smash metal surfaces, the sword allows for a dash, and the chakrams can of course hit items at range.
The combat pairs with the “reader” powers impeccably yet again, as the level design really leans into the strengths of both systems working in harmony. Locking the camera down and presenting environments as dioramas for you to look through remains one of our favorite design decisions in this series. But while the level design may take the same approach in Book II, the complexity has definitely increased. Puzzles are much more elaborate, especially in the late game, and the solutions are often satisfyingly clever. And that’s to say nothing of the staggering environmental variety: forested woods give way to a castle, which in turn leads to an impressively mechanized factory, with an abandoned conservatory being a real standout. The game is able to showcase an impressive array of locales considering its five-hour runtime, and each and every one is gorgeous.
While Polyarc doesn’t get too wild and crazy with its second title, it didn't need to considering how solid the foundation was with Moss. Book II takes the time to tighten up a few lingering issues from the first title, while providing more of the incredible world of Moss, albeit on a grander scale. Moss: Book II is further proof that Polyarc is among the best developers working in the VR space.