Is that this new VR platformer a severe contender? Discover out in our Ven VR Journey overview!
Ven finds himself in robust firm. Our unusual little alien fox hero is completely able to leaping gaps and whacking critters alongside the very best of them, however has to reckon with the inevitable comparisons to 2 very particular VR video games: Moss and Astro Bot. The previous confirmed us a brand new degree of companionship and connection made potential in VR whereas the latter’s need to shock at each flip resulted in a brilliantly contemporary expertise.
Monologic Video games’ admirable debut undoubtedly has flashes of that magic, however finally lands on a much more routine strategy to 3D platforming. What Ven would possibly lack in identification, although, it goes some option to making up by merely being a pleasure to play.
Ven is, at its coronary heart, a good, exact expertise with lavish manufacturing, all enhanced, if not outlined by VR. Story is superficial right here (which is lucky given the somewhat tough English translations), however sees you teaming up with Ven after his planet is invaded by the evil and fantastically-named Bruce Nelson, a mad scientist in the hunt for immortality.
Ven VR Journey Evaluation – The Info
What’s it?: A single-player 3D platform just like Astro Bot or Mario.
Platforms: Oculus Rift (Quest, Steam + PSVR variations due 2021)
Launch Date: December 17th, 2020
That’s all of the setup you want for Ven’s core marketing campaign of 12 ranges that begin off with light simplicity earlier than descending into twists, a couple of bosses and a surprisingly devilish problem.
Whereas Ven may be stacked as much as its VR contemporaries before everything, it’s really a lot nearer to the Crash Bandicoot sequence than it’s any of its present rivals. You’ve a primary transfer set of leaping, a typical floor assault and a stronger aerial floor pound to get you thru ranges the place you’ll smash crates and scour scenes for tiny alien fox infants. It’s the anticipated concoction of platforming components with pleasing outcomes. Gameplay is sharp and largely responsive; Ven can really feel slightly sluggish, making some jumps exhausting to guage and generally degree geometry frustrates well-timed jumps, however unintentional deaths are largely stored to a minimal (at the very least at first), and also you’ll typically be rewarded for turning your head to hunt out hidden areas.
At first you would possibly fear it’s slightly too clear. The primary of Ven’s three areas — every comprised of 4 ranges — will be crushed together with your mind on autopilot, and I racked up over 60 further lives earlier than shifting onto the following space. Belief me after I say, although, the invoice comes due.
In the direction of the latter half of the marketing campaign Monologic steps issues up, turning Ven into a way more difficult expertise that sways backwards and forwards between rewarding and, sometimes, irritating. Its remaining ranges are pieced collectively by prolonged sections of brutally demanding degree design, by which already-tiny platforms spaced far aside disappear the second you land on them and swinging axes and whack-a-mole noticed blades demand split-second dexterity. You’ll die once more, and once more… and once more so be ready for it. Some shall be seemingly be delay by the sudden requirement for immaculate timing and pin-point precision, however the studio largely does a good job of protecting issues honest. When it comes collectively, it’s breathlessly thrilling to play.
That’s to not say Ven wouldn’t profit from slicing the participant slightly slack, although. 12 ranges may not sound like so much however every is surprisingly lengthy, taking wherever between 15 to 30 minutes to overcome, and it’s typically a conflict of attrition to achieve the end line. Checkpoints are sparsely spaced and the dated lives system doesn’t serve a lot objective apart from to infuriate when a Sport Over merely boots you again to the beginning of a degree. Monologic might have lower nearly each stage in half and break up the marketing campaign into 24 ranges and Ven would seemingly be a greater sport for it.
Partaking as all that is to play, Ven solely hardly ever feels prefer it wanted to be in VR. You possibly can fist bump your new buddy and ruffle his hair, however there’s by no means a lot effort paid to constructing an enduring relationship in the way in which you would possibly with Quill as you play by Moss. Ven himself is little greater than a silent vessel to get you from A to B, missing a lot in the way in which of charisma or attraction.
Ven VR Journey Evaluation – Consolation
As a third-person platformer, Ven doesn’t have lots of consolation points, although these delicate to gliding cameras might discover it a bit troublesome. Typically talking, although, this is among the extra snug introductions to VR you would discover.
In the meantime the overwhelming majority of the marketing campaign can be simply as properly served on a 2D display screen with a controller as it’s in a headset. There are fleeting makes an attempt to capitalize on the movement controllers, together with a couple of sections by which you throw grenades or destroy missiles with swords, however they’re largely underdeveloped, by no means amounting to rather more than a novelty. One part by which you carry Ven in a flying cart simply allowed me to straight-up bypass a giant part of the extent.
That miraculous spark of VR pleasure does flicker when Ven runs proper previous your eyes otherwise you uncover a hidden passage below your nostril, however the platform isn’t utilized as typically or as successfully as you would possibly hope, particularly when the motion takes place so far-off or at a bizarre angle that truly hinders how properly you possibly can play.
It additionally sometimes takes its inspirations slightly too actually, too. Some are ranges are carbon copies of settings and concepts from the unique Crash, together with a stage set on a rope bridge that works nearly identically to the notorious Excessive Highway problem.
That’s to not detract from the sport’s in any other case beneficiant environmental selection, although. Nearly each degree in Ven is themed otherwise and appears completely pleasant, from a boxed-in development floor with a dizzying variety of contraptions at work, to a futuristic lumber yard that makes brilliantly natural use of its setting – Monologic has executed an unbelievable job making every degree distinct, proper right down to particular person soundtracks.
Not unhealthy for a 4 to five-hour core marketing campaign from a brand new developer, then. And that solely lands you at roughly across the 50% full mark – you possibly can return to gather each crate and discover each hidden critter alongside the time trials and there’s an opportunity to unlock bonus ranges too. Ven may not be as strong as most conventional platformers however there’s undoubtedly extra content material right here than in most VR video games, too.
Ven VR Journey Evaluation Remaining Impressions
Ven doesn’t have the intimate connection of Moss nor the fixed innovation of Astro Bot, nevertheless it stands its floor as a rock-solid platformer that serves up a rewarding, if sometimes unbalanced problem. It’s, admittedly, good to have one thing to play inside VR that may lean again on the tried and true mechanics of a 3rd individual platformer and, whereas I can’t assist wishing Monologic had executed extra to justify why its acquainted foundations needed to be in a headset, I’d be mendacity if I didn’t say I discovered its taxing marketing campaign a moreish deal with. This can be a tightly contested style, however there’s a spot on the rostrum for Ven… when you kick off Fortunate’s Story.
For extra on how we arrived at this rating, see our overview tips. What did you make of our Ven VR Journey overview? Tell us within the feedback under!
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