Moss (PSVR2 Review)

Howdy hidey ho!  VR is an interesting game space: it still has not reached enough saturation to justify truly big budget games.  This leaves pretty much only a handful of options: either a VR mode for a regular game, or novelty games made on lower budgets.  That second one was my impression I got when I checked out Moss, but the indie gaming scene has long proven that lower budgets and quality are not necessarily intertwined…


…changed my view of how games like Pikmin or [..] remakes of old top-down Zelda games could be made.

This is going to be very hard to describe, mostly because you’re watching this on a flat screen.  But first, the basics: it’s an action adventure/platformer.  You jump around, you solve puzzles, and you fight enemies here and there.  And here’s the real shocker: I have not smiled like this since the early days of playing Zelda as a kid.  Whether it’s the simplicity of the game or the immersion VR provides, I found myself feeling warm and fuzzy because for once, VR made me rethink the way this type of game plays and feels simply because I’m not the character, but the camera.  In this way, combining my control of Quill and my ability to interact with the game world has permanently changed my view of how games like Pikmin or even potential remakes of old top-down Zelda games could be made.  It is a feeling I cannot explain in words and can only be experienced.  Granted, there is a bit of an issue with simplicity: I found the puzzles, combat, and even platforming to be far too easy and provided little in the way of challenge.  Yet, somehow, I could not stop playing and I pressed on.  Of course, that could also be because games like this don’t strain your mind with high levels of motion…


…I won’t pretend that it didn’t come to an end a bit suddenly…

And just a meager bit shy of 4 hours later, I watched the credits roll.  Coming in at $20, this can still seem a bit steep, and I won’t pretend that it didn’t come to an end a bit suddenly even to me.  There are some collectibles, of course, and a bit of an extra puzzles area included, but if you’re like me and end up feeling like a kid again, boy does that time go by real fast… as in, just a few sittings fast.


…no way to properly give both how tiny things are and how big of a world […] without VR.

As you can imagine by the price and my mention of lower budgets, the game world isn’t exactly highly detailed.  And yet, they compensate for this to a large extent with surprisingly good animation quality.  Add to that the clever perspectives that remind you that you’re watching a tiny mouse in a big world, and the truth is that the graphics will simply get better with later entries.  They nailed the most important things: art style, animation, and in the case of VR, sense of scale.  Perhaps this is what makes the game so enthralling: we are used to VR giving us a sense of realistic scale, or even large scale (like Horizon Call of the Mountain), but this game gives you a sense of small scale, and I often found myself leaning in.  The story itself of this world is also quite simple, though incomplete.  As the game’s ending comes, you recognize that the story is just beginning, and in that this game can also be considered a bit of a story prerequisite.  It sets up characters and world lore at a very limited scale, though I can’t really fault this game for that as it seems more limited by budget than imagination.  The highlight here really is the combination of solid animation work and the art style combining with a sense of scale, something ONLY deliverable through VR.  There’s just no way to properly give both how tiny things are and how big of a world they occur in without the freedom and perspective afforded by VR.  Color me impressed that they made me lean in so closely to observe a meager mouse.


…feelings I have not experiences since I played Zelda as a kid…

This is a great example of where quality and budgets do not always indicate one another.  A budget title brought to me feelings I have not experienced since I played Zelda as a kid, and though it’s simplicity in all facets pales in comparison to said series, I could not help but smile.  I smiled and smiled for what was quintessentially a very short adventure, one even still too short for its price tag.  But the great animation, art style, and the sense of “little big” scale only afforded by VR made this an adventure I’m glad I didn’t miss.

I give Moss

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