Written by Derrick Smith
If there was ever a platform based game to introduce you to the unique interactive innovation of VR, Moss would most certainly be near the top of the list, as developer Polyarc has created arguably one of the best VR games to adorn Sony’s virtual accessory.
Moss throws players into the fantastical world of Quill, a warm-hearted and courageous little female mouse, who immediately steals your heart. At its core Moss is an action adventure starring our new friend with you the player assisting as this ever-present, all-seeing entity, positioned to protect Quill throughout her daunting journey.
While on the surface the gist of the story of Moss may seem rather on the thin side, as Quill is tasked with an impossible mission to rescue her uncle, who has been taken prisoner by the games larger than life menacing boss, the underlining narrative ingredient nicely compliments the overall experience.
Told from the likes of a children’s novel, Moss impressively presents itself as a stratified platformer with satisfying combat within a intimately believable world, which exists somewhere beneath the unseen eye. Filled with straightforward, yet pleasant brain teasing puzzles as Quill navigates her way through this highly detailed world, players will find themselves in awe of this wondrous reality.
The full scale of Moss can sometimes leave you amazed at its world within a world. One moments you are fully immersed with the plentiful tasks of Quill as she fights her way through the dangerous passageways, to next being introduced to a fully fleshed out creation that envelopes Quill, revealing her overwhelming vulnerability and seeming insignificance within the broad gamut of this universe.
As mentioned before Quill’s adventure is told as a fascinating short story as players manually turn the pages via the dualshock controller to unfold the sequence of events. While you control Quill along her journey, the player is a separate character in the world. In fact, if players want to get a reflection of themselves in Quill’s world they need only take a look at themselves in water to see their true reflective appearance. In addition, players can also interact with Quill by leaning forward, getting a closer look your adventuring partner who delightfully acknowledges your presence.
For Quill players are the endearing protector, watching her every move while manipulating stages for Quill’s safe travels. As the guardian players are tasked with various level interactions such as moving respectively large objects, water mills, opening passageways, triggering levers and even temporarily distracting enemies in order to buy time for Quill to properly manage her way through the highly detailed environments.
With this degree of interaction the player becomes exceptionally immersed into the experience. Even though the visual representation of the game does not support a high degree of graphical fidelity, what is on display here in VR is truly incredible.
Though this adventure of Quill finds a conclusion, you are excited to discover that this tale is only the first book in what is hopefully a series of adventures following the exploits of Quill. There is much here to build upon and our hopes are for Moss becoming a raving success in order to establish our new heroine as an iconic PlayStation character.
Moss is an unforgettable experience that I did not want to end. Culminating into a true fairy tale adventure come to life, Polyarc has crafted the best platformer that has yet to grace the PSVR platform. Sure, some stages presented seemingly unfair obstacles at times, yet the wonderful feeling constantly accompanying the world of Moss never lets up.
From scouring the well depicted levels looking for those tantalizing collectibles, solving the games thought-provoking puzzles, to enjoying the challenging combative set-pieces and always being captivated by the games wondrous showcase, Moss dazzles as one of the best VR experiences to date.