December 5th, 2016 at 5:46 pm
|Tagged With: Console Hub, Crytek, playstation, playstation 4, Playstation VR, PS VR, PS4, PSVR, Recommended, review, sony, Virtual Reality, VR|
Robinson: The Journey is a PlayStation VR exclusive title (as of time of writing) and represents one of the most ambitious titles on the platform to date. Crytek’s latest title is based around a child named Robin, has just experienced a crash landing of the colony ship Esmeralda and has ended up on a planet known as Tyson III.
Robin must emerge from the shuttle with only his HIGS AI unit to accompany him in exploring this new world. However, almost immediately upon emerging, Robin picks up a new companion in the form of Laika, a baby Tyrannosaurus who is wandering around the area near the crash site. Including dinosaurs as the species of inhabitance in Robinson: The Journey was a smart move by Crytek. Dinosaurs haven’t appeared in games for quite some time and a VR game is, in my opinion, the best medium with which to display this creatures.
You will feel a sense of wonder, immersion and awe as a towering dinosaur leans in towards you as you are walking around the landscape of this planet. Robinson truly brings a world which we cannot experience in actual reality to life, and gives you a sense of what it would be like to gaze up at an awesome creature which left our planet quite some time ago. This environment also offers Crytek the chance to scare you; not in the same way as Until Dawn: Rush of Blood for example, but more akin to the type of fear you would experience in an unknown place with creatures whose behaviours are unfamiliar to you. Is that velociraptor going to suddenly lean in and eat you? If so, you are helpless; Laika can’t stand up to fully grown creatures and then again… why would she, for you?
Gameplay in Robinson: The Journey mainly involves scanning areas using a tool that you carry and then solving a puzzle of some description. The best experience in the game, however, is often simply admiring the beauty of the environment. The game works using a checkpoint system; if you die, you will be sent to the last checkpoint and you will lose any progress since that point. These checkpoints sometimes feel ill-placed, resulting in you having to complete a relatively long piece of gameplay again which can feel a little repetitive, however, it is not a major issue in my opinion. In terms of control, the game is controlled entirely using the DualShock 4 as Crytek were not able to find a solution to allowing free-movement with the PlayStation Move. They have stated that they are investigating the possibility of adding a PlayStation Move control scheme, however, nothing concrete has been announced on this front.
Robinson: The Journey attempts to market itself as a full-length VR title rather than the shorter experiences that we have seen much of to-date, however, with a playtime sitting around four to five hours depending on how much time it takes you to complete the games’ puzzle segments, Robinson doesn’t have a lot of content to match its price. The replayability is also minimal as you will simply experience the same story again. You may, however, waste more time than the four to five hours if you spend a lot of time simply looking around and taking in the environment. Whether this amount of content justifies paying full-price for the unique experience is for the individual to decide, however, I feel like the title is lacking in content for the price point that they have set.
However, in return, you get what is undoubtedly the best looking PlayStation VR title to date. The world of Robinson: The Journey looks absolutely breathtaking within the PlayStation VR headset. The dinosaurs look incredible and come to life due to the expertise with which Crytek has designed the environments in which they inhabit. The game, for the most part, looks crisp and vivid and most importantly, has both high levels of detail and meticulous attention to detail. I also have not experienced any issues with noticeable frame rate drops and the game ran very smoothly. I also experienced absolutely no motion sickness throughout my time with the game.
Overall, Robinson: The Journey shows us what is possible with PlayStation VR; in terms of longer experiences with in-depth stories, in terms of an incredibly immersive environment and in terms of the excellent graphical fidelity that the PlayStation 4 can still manage to output in VR if used right. Robinson’s price point may not represent great value for money when considering the amount of content, however, the quality of what’s there is extremely high and the experience is something which I believe anyone would truly enjoy.