Returning with mouse companion Quill to Polyarc’s lovely fantasy world is a delight. Moss is a game we were quite fond of back when it launched in 2018, and it’s only gotten better here. Though the sequel, Book II, remains the superior title, Moss’ Redwall-esque world and environments are as lovely as ever with PSVR2.
One of our gripes with the original was its short runtime and unfulfilling conclusion, and while that remains true here, the inclusion of the 'Twilight Garden' expansion helps to alleviate some of those woes. Gameplay remains fun and interesting, with its unique combination of traditional combat and platforming with Quill, paired with you, as 'the Reader', actively exerting influence over the world.
While both are strong in their own right, the gameplay really shines when utilising them together. So, it’s good that your influence on the world is where the upgrade takes the biggest strides. Using the DualShock 4 to control Quill felt excellent, but it made interacting with the environment using motion controls a pain, especially when you needed to remain in range of the PS Camera. The PSVR2 Sense Controllers easily remedy this problem, offering massively improved tracking, as well as the ability to exert influence over multiple things in the environment at once.
The art direction was another strong aspect at launch, and here in the upgraded version, things feel even more alive, with lighting especially offering greater nuance. The draw distance looks noticeably better as well, with environments feeling more believable and elaborate as you peek around corners and look for secrets in the game’s unique diorama approach to level design.
Rather than rotating the camera, you're presented with static areas to navigate both Quill and yourself through. Much like with the controls, removing the shackles of the PS Camera allows exploration to be both more satisfying and easier: you no longer have to worry about moving your head too far only to cause the image to start freaking out. As such, the experience is a much more stable one.
Throwing in the heart-melting cuteness of ASL fluent Quill, a career-best soundtrack from Jason Graves, and an emotionally resonant story, Polyarc’s upgrade exists to remind you why Moss was one of PSVR’s must plays.